COST EFFECTIVE SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING TIPS
At INOV8 Marketing, we’re on the side of small businesses. We love to see small businesses thrive, and we thought we would put together some tips on how to get the most from your marketing spend. Marketing can mean many different things to difference businesses, some see this as a promotion, whilst other see it as a public relations process. Here are some thoughts on how to maximise your marketing time and efforts.
CUSTOMER REFERRAL PROGRAMME
This is one of the most cost-effective ways to attract new customers, using the customers your already have. According to an article by Nielsen, over 90% of consumers would act on recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. This shows how powerful word of mouth can be.
By getting your current customers on-board, it can help bring other customers to your door if they are getting a reward. You could try offering existing customers something in return for this new business, such as a complimentary service, a discount or a voucher of some description. In the long run, these customers will hopefully continue to push you to their fellow friends and family.
TELL A STORY
Being a small and medium business, it is important to shout about your triumphs. Everyone loves to hear stories that you are succeeding as a small business, so tell people about it. Look at your stats, have you just completed a record number of orders? Have you had the most visitors this month/year. People resonate with success stories and like to feel part of the success. Spread the word via social media, send out a press release to local papers or write up an article on your website, however you do it, make sure you shout about it!
Looking after your current customers is an important tool in the marketing arsenal. There is a classic phrase that ‘people buy people’, and that is true in many ways. People emotionally invest into a business far more if you make an effort to build a relationship with them. Examples could be sending a happy birthday email or sending a small token gift to a customer that keeps coming back to you. This will cost little, and in return you gain more than a customer, you gain a brand ambassador, who will tell their friends and family about your products/services.
People love a freebie, so why not give the people what they want. Competitions on social media are a cheap and easy way of getting your followers excited about something and creating a buzz around a product or service you’re offering. The prizes don’t have to be expensive, but whatever you offer it needs to be something that people want and BE relevant to your customers.
Print can be an inexpensive way to get your message into the hands of your customers. From business cards through to flyers, there are many ways in which you can give you potential customers information about an upcoming event, a product launch or sale for example. If you are planning to do something with print, our recommendation is to ensure it is impactful, easy to understand and concise. You can distribute these via local shops, direct mail (if budgets allow), door drops or handing them out on the street. Eventbrite has some great tips on print marketing.
Charity events are a great way for a small business to get visibility, all whilst doing something for a great cause. Whether it’s sponsoring a prize, donating a service or sponsoring the event, it not only looks good for the company, but also increases awareness of your brand too.
Networking events are a great way of building up face-to-face relationships with new potential customers. They are usually free or inexpensive to attend and can be a great way to help spread the word on what services or products you can provide. One of our tips is to ensure you have business cards that stand out against the rest, so if you need some help with this, do let us know!
It goes without saying, that social media is an important marketing strategy for businesses. It is a free way to interact with followers of your business and potential customers. Using social media helps to build brand awareness, potentially increase your customer base, and connect with your current customers.
In fact, one study by Social Media Examiner revealed a staggering 90% of marketers say social media is important to their business. One piece of advice from us here at INOV8 will be choose relevant social media platforms for your customer base. You don’t want to be spreading yourself too thin, being on 8 different platforms. Choose ones that your customers are most likely going to be using.
We hope that these ideas have given you some food for thought, in ways that you can increase your marketing presence without a big increase in cost. Thanks for reading!
With thanks to Pexels.com & Rawpixel.com for the photos in this article.
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