Small businesses often overlook their marketing budget and struggle to meet their long-term goals. One of the reasons is because traditional forms of marketing are expensive and it is hard to quantify their return on investment. It is your task as a business owner to find the right mix of marketing channels for your small business. Small businesses often rely on internet marketing, trade shows, and word of mouth. Large businesses rely on traditional marketing but also invest in blogging, social media, and email because of their good return on investment. Let's look at some low-cost marketing strategies that can help your business grow.
Blogging is hardly a new way of attracting customers. Most businesses, large and small, have long realized its potential and have adopted it to some degree. Through major advancements of search engines and the algorithms they employ to categorize, locate, and deliver all of the information on the internet, content creation has become a science. There is a set of rules and best practices to follow in order to get your content to work for you and generate leads. You should take advantage of blogging in order to attract genuine visitors to your website and nurture them into customers. Blogging can be one of the most effective low-cost marketing strategies.
Do not underestimate the power of social media. Companies of all sizes and ages are employing it to keep their customers delighted and generate leads. You should post regularly to keep your existing clients up to date. Employ some of the paid options to reach further and generate sales leads. Social media is a virtual world which billions of people visit every day. It is a marketplace in its own right and you want to be part of it. With your brand in mind, select the right mix of channels and post genuine educational and entertaining content.
Listen to your audience online via social media, blog comments, or email feedback. Single out exceptionally interesting responses or appealing stories. For example, if you are selling underwater cameras and a boy expresses deep affection for owning one in order to record his diving explorations in the upcoming spring break, take notice. It might be worth sending him a free camera to fulfill his dream. Ask him to send you the videos and share them on your site. This sort of content has the potential of going viral and boosting your image and exposure.
Of all of the low-cost marketing strategies, the most powerful is word of mouth, and it is virtually free. Research shows that customers are often ready to refer brands, but rarely do so on their own accord. Go the extra mile and ask your most loyal customers to refer you. You can do that via your thank you page or followup emails. You can go a step further and offer them a free gift or an iincentive for every referral that follows through and becomes a customer. That way, you are turning your followers into promoters of your business.
If your business is location specific, explore your neighborhood and collaborate with the businesses around you. You can use cross marketing by placing business cards in each other’s stores. Exchange links on your websites to drive more traffic. This approach works with businesses that compliment each other and are not direct competitors. For example, if you own a bakery, you can collaborate and cross-market with the local wine shop, newsstand, and organic market. You are increasing your exposure and chances of generating leads.