Marketing on a budget
Marketing a small business can be extremely difficult as you do not have the money like the larger companies to reach your niche market. Depending upon the type of business you are running and the customers you need to reach, you need to be extremely careful about what forms of marketing you choose to use. Here are some of the common marketing strategies that are used for small business owners:
- Print marketing - billboards, newspaper ads, magazine ads
- Mailers - flyers, postcards, and marketing pieces sent directly to your customers
- Online advertising - pay-per-click ads, banner advertising
There are a number of marketing options for small business owners but you must understand what type of market you are dealing with in order to find out which marketing techniques will actually reach your target audience. If you are targeting a small group like your city, advertising in the Yellow Pages is a good option. If you are targeting an entire state, paying for television commercials and larger ads will reach them.
Marketing doesn't always have to be expensive to make an impact and attract new customers. Here are some great marketing tools you can use to drive up your small business success and start getting quality leads:
- Networking. This is a great form of marketing as you are able to partner with other companies to expose your business to a larger audience. Networking allows you to dramatically reduce your marketing costs as you will split the cost of newspaper ads and other things to get the exposure you need. When you network with other businesses you are also able to reach out to some of their customers and convert them into potential sales for your business. Just make sure you are working with reputable businesses in order to generate decent leads for your small business.
- Blogs. Another way to market to your customers is through a blog. Blogging one of the best ways to establish a name for yourself in your particular industry. Use your blog to offer advice, tips, and other great information that will benefit your customers in some way. It also helps to turn to your blog to promote new products and offer discounts as this helps to generate blog subscribers which can boost your pagerank status.
- Social Media. Twitter and Facebook are extremely valuable tools for your business. Since a number of clients are on social media sites, you need to start watching the discussion boards and providing insightful information. As you provide information to your customers and show them that your business is run by actual people, they will become more receptive to your company. The best part about social media marketing is that it is completely free, which is always a welcome sound to any marketing strategy.
- Your website. It seems as if everyone is online anymore. Your website provides valuable information to your customers and it is the face of your organization. Use your website to reach out to your customers and provide them with the information they are seeking. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and that it includes ecommerce if you are selling products. This will allow your customers to have 24/7 access to your business so they can get in touch with your business whenever they need. Use pay-per-click and other SEO marketing tools to boost your website pagerank status and gain more online exposure. Hire a good website designer to optimize your website to make sure it is filled with the right keywords and content that your customers are searching for along with your customers.