Posted 2 weeks ago by Alison
It can be difficult to make yourself heard among the many companies vying for customers’ attention, particularly for small businesses. Without large marketing teams and vast budgets, it can be a challenge to stand out and promote your business message. The good news, however, is that there are an array of marketing tools and ideas that can truly make a difference to your business, without breaking the bank.
Here we highlight our top five.
Many small businesses see social media as too time-consuming and ineffective when it comes to driving sales, but done properly it can be a great tool for marketing your goods or services. The first step is to choose the platform (or platforms) that work best for you. Is your work eye-catching and creative? In this case image-led Instagram is best. This platform also boasts regular updates, many of which can have direct business benefits, such as shoppable posts. These allow businesses to add tags to the products in their photos with links that include a product description, price and the ability to shop now.
To deliver timely content quickly and to a wide audience – think product launches, news announcements and trending topics – Twitter is a safe bet; while if your aim is wide reach, particularly among an older demographic, head to Facebook for low-cost marketing options.
One way to create a lasting social media presence is to create video content. This can be as simple as a product demo or a how-to filmed on a smartphone; just make sure you have something new and interesting to say.
Creating video content can also be the first step in building your reputation as a knowledgeable person within your industry. Other ways to do this include contacting relevant industry media outlets and offering to share your thoughts as part of features or in opinion pieces, or speaking at industry events. A good place to start when it comes to building your profile is to publish great content on your site. Think about topics that your customers are interested in or questions that you regularly get asked and create articles that respond to these. Sharing them on social media will help you to really gain some traction.
Pretty much every industry now has an associated awards event and many have multiple that are free to enter. Even being shortlisted will result in great publicity and gives you something to promote across all your marketing channels. Attending events can be a useful networking opportunity and if you’re lucky enough to win further opportunities, such as follow up interviews, winners’ videos and winners’ logos for use on marketing material, are likely.
If you don’t want to attend someone else’s event, how about hosting your own? These don’t have to be vast, costly spectacles. Instead focus on intimate events that really allow you to get to know attendees. Breakfast briefings keep the cost of catering low, while taking a class can be a great way to break the ice.
Finally, one of the most effective ways to reach people who have already shown an interest in your business is through email marketing. While the purpose of these emails is to generate leads, they don’t have to entirely sales focused. Have you won an award, hosted an event, launched a new video? Tell your recipients all about it. The idea is to build relationships, develop communities and, over the course of a campaign, tell the story of your business in a way that will ultimately lead to more conversions.
While by themselves each of these ideas will have a positive impact on your business, the real results will become visible when you combine these steps into a unique and engaging marketing plan. By sharing your knowledge, your products and your personality, you’ll reach more people, generate more interest in your proposition and build your business profile, all for very little investment.