A Handy Marketing Guide for Small Businesses

Businesses must market their services and products to get customers. Small businesses, however, can’t spend on mass mailing, radio ads, and billboards if it’s running on a shoestring. Here are low-cost marketing techniques for small businesses to improve its return on investment.

1. Website

A website is an essential component of any business, and it is really easy to build it from scratch. The most important step is to choose a hosting service provider and website builder that meets the needs of small businesses. Of course, every online venture wants its site to show up at the top of search engines once a prospective customer searches it on the internet.

You also want it to appear among the results of people looking for products or services within your industry. For example, someone looking for restaurant sites will be using different search terms than if they were looking for a shoe store.

Online marketers have many options to improve their site ranking on search engines. Your business information needs to be clear and should make it easier for prospective customers to search your location and contact information. For a successful online marketing, you also have to add the necessary information about your services and products to the site.

2. Social Media

Nearly every business has a presence on social media. You can pay for social media advertising services to push your business in front of millions of prospective buyers both within the country and overseas. While paid social media ads can be expensive, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have features that allow free marketing.

For example, you can create a Facebook business page and let users leave reviews on the page where you can encourage your loyal customers to post positive reviews on your profile. Your target audience will always see praises from other customers once they come across your profile. You can also post online contests, coupon codes, and images of products to encourage potential customers to transact with you.

4. Sidewalk Signs

Business located on the main streets can try to put a sign on the sidewalk to draw the attention of the pedestrians. You can use sidewalk signs to announce new inventory or list a sale. People will hopefully stop at your premises as they walk by to learn more about your products and services.

5. Business Partnerships

Small businesses can try to team up with their local partners and promote each other’s brand. For example, companies within the same location can give customers coupons to the other partners, and vice versa and team up to create an email list.

Of course, every entrepreneur wants to partner with competitors, so it’s crucial to look for a complementary venture. Businesses dealing with related services such as an ice cream store can partner with a coffee shop.

6. Local Media

You might consider paying a local media outlet to cover your brand. Businesses can do this through networking with local reporters and sending out press releases.

Nonetheless, some local media outlets don’t cover promotional content such as international sales unless you pay for an advertising spot for them. However, your business might get some free airtime if it has something newsworthy or unique to share.

7. Vehicle Branding

Perhaps you have a company van or truck that you drive around regularly. In such a case, consider branding it with logo and information about your company.

Painting the entire truck might be expensive for a startup, so opt for posters that can stick to the sides. Alternatively, purchase decals and attach them to the back windows and sides of the truck.

8. Market to Your Current Customers

One of the best ways to improve your bottom line is to market to your existing customers. Of course, you’re sure a loyal customer will transact with you, so your goal should be to encourage them to make repeat purchases.

You can ask anyone that buys from you if you can add them to your WhatsApp group or email list and use these platforms to send them news about your brand, inventory updates, and coupons. Moreover, you can send them creative postcards, as they will help you build a long-term relationship with them and promote your business. Check out some tutorials to learn how to design and fill out postcards to increase their sending success rate. Marketing agencies can also help you in promoting your products and services aggressively.

Sending regular emails to your prospective customers can help keep your brand on top of their mind and encourage them to purchase more from you. Small businesses can also capitalize on their existing customers to start a referral program and offer incentives to customers who introduce new people to their brand. Customer acquisition is also a useful method to bring new customers to your small business. Businesses that measure their CAC know exactly how much money is used whenever a new customer buys their products or services.

Salman Zafar

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