4 Cost-Effective Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Owning a budding business in today’s industry can be a scary, overwhelming experience. Especially on the financial side, where it can seem like you can reach people only if you have enough money to pay for an ad marathon during prime-time TV. But, all is not lost! All those big and successful companies had to start small, just like the rest of us in the market, and their strategies didn’t differ much from ours. Except that now, we have the Internet, which already makes our reach far greater than theirs back in the day, and infinitely more cost-effective.
We all know that a poignant online presence is a cheap, original way to advertise. But it is far from being the only one, as we’re about to see. In this article, we offer four cost-effective marketing tips that will not only save you money but also give you a fairly good bang for your buck.
Do you know how they say that strength is in numbers? The same goes for the business world. Teaming up with other companies that complement yours can yield great results, marketing-wise. You must have seen gyms promoting supplements, or simply displaying them at the check-in. In much the same way, there are cafes and pubs that will offer beer from privately owned breweries.
Partnering up with another company can result in collaboration in trade shows and cross-promotion, as well as strengthen your network. If you have the full support of your partnering company, their customers are more likely to choose you over your competitors.
Team up with non-profits as well. Donate your products or services, because, in this way, you increase your exposure both online and offline. Aside from doing something good for the community, you’re making waves with potential customers by getting the word out.
Believe it or not, newsletters and e-mail feeds are not a dying marketing art. Most people won’t bother checking a business’s website simply to find out what’s new. Unless it’s a social media page or a digital storefront, they’re very unlikely to read a feed or a blog by going to your page. That is why you need to bring the content to them.
Up your newsletter game. Send them the most important news relating to your business and brand. Highlight the most important articles on your blog, and entice them with bold titles and creative newsletter design. Include promotional offers, coupons and discounts.
Make Great Referral Programs
Offer incentives for returning customers. Establish rewards or benefits, such as coupon cards you see in stores, or discounts for referrals. Your biggest selling point should be to incentivise people to do some word-of-mouth advertising, without really trying.
Nowadays, we see this creatively exploited in Instagram posts of certain start-up companies. In order to enter an announced giveaway, users need to like the announcement post, be following the profile page, share the post, and tag three of their friends in the comments, for example. So, not only did they get three additional people to look at the post and page, but they’ve also had their posts shared to other social media outlets. Pretty ingenious – and cost-effective to boot!
Invest in Branded Merchandise
Perhaps the most interesting way to be cost-effective and yet have a big reach and the longest exposure is through branded promotional merchandise. Whether it’s caps, shirts, pens, umbrellas, or water bottles, people absolutely love free merchandise. And if your logo is memorable and eye-catching, then the design itself will be enough to reel them in. Invest some time in researching your target audience and people’s preferences when it comes to promo material overall.
The costs of bulk orders are low when compared to the exposure your brand will receive. Think about it: people usually hear (or watch) an expensive 30-second ad, only to forget about it in the next five minutes, but promotional material stays with them. The logo is within their line of sight for much longer, especially if it is a useful household item. Don’t underestimate the power of free stuff.
What Is the Takeaway?
While it may seem like the marketing game is rigged so that the biggest companies get the most exposure, simply because they can afford to be on TV and online so much, it’s actually more hopeful than that. Smaller businesses still have a shot at making it big, but only by playing the same marketing game in a smart way. People are used to seeing ads all day, every day. They’re practically numb to them. That is why the secret to success is tapping into their lives by bringing your product to them, almost literally.
Through compelling newsletters, partnering up with their other favourite brands, handing out branded merchandise in various ways and so much more, you can actually get quite ahead. It just takes careful financial planning and smart strategising.