For most small businesses, marketing budgets are an impossible luxury. But take note – you do not need to spend big bucks to effectively market your business! There are a variety of ways to increase your business’s visibility, customer base and marketing strategies without setting aside a large portion of your budget. It’s no secret that marketing is key to the success of any business, but by using smart advertising strategies it can cost little to nothing. Follow these few tips to market your business in a cost effective manner:
- Use free social networking sites – If you don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account for your business, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. Not only are they free, they offer an avenue through which to advertise your product or service, communicate with customers and create an online community with other businesses. Face-to-face and personal networking is also important. Use your personal and business contacts to network your product or services.
- Co-op advertising – If you want formal advertising but can’t shoulder the fee alone, why not try creating partnerships with other companies to share the cost?
- Attach your company name to an event– By offering your services or help with an event, particularly those which are likely to attract your target customer base, your business will gain exposure to a wider group of people. For example, if you own a local shop, offer to sell raffle tickets for the local fun-run.
- Reach out to existing customers – Many marketing strategists spend a lot of time focusing on securing new customers, but equally important is reaching out to your existing customers to ensure they continue to use what skill or service your business offers, and are more likely to personally recommend you to their friends and acquaintances. Engaging in communication with your existing customers is one of the most important marketing strategies for small businesses.
- Identify and target your niche market – Not everyone is going to buy your product or have need of your service, so make sure you identify and then target your niche market through your marketing strategies.
- Join local clubs and organisations – By attaching your business’s name to local organisations you’ll get free publicity and increase your visibility within the community. Also, events organised by local clubs and organisations present great networking opportunities.
It’s also important for small businesses to change the way they think about marketing. Rather than seeing it as an expense you can’t afford, try and see marketing as an essential investment in your business. If no one knows about the service or product you offer, who will be your customers? A smart way to invest in the marketing of your business is to take a marketing course, such as a Certificate III in Business, which will help your business develop more effective marketing strategies.
Can’t take the time off work to commit to study? Why not try courses by correspondence, which are usually conducted online, and allow you the freedom to learn marketing skills on your own time from the convenience of your own home. Furthermore, they’re much cheaper than traditional university courses and will significantly improve the marketing activity, and subsequent success, of your business.