The right kind of advertising can bring fame and notoriety to any brand, but advertising can be expensive and in this crazy economy many small businesses decide to cut their marketing budgets first. However, when times are tough, marketing is the most important tool you have!
Consumers may have less money to spend but you want to make sure when they DO spend their money, they spend it on your products. Your brand needs to be at the top of their lists! Below are ten marketing strategies that can help you market on a budget.
1. Social Media
Social media is one of the easiest ways to keep your brand at the top of customer’s minds. Make sure to post consistently, use hashtags (#) (but only for relevant terms, not every word), engage with your audience and mix up what you post! It gets boring if you only post photos or text, remember to change it up with text, photos, videos and more! Venturing into social media advertising is another great way to make your dollars go much further. Social media advertising is a topic that will need to be covered in its own post. (See below for the Fleuriste Craft Supply example!)
2. Get that elevator pitch done!
Elevator pitch: A succinct and persuasive sales pitch. Coming from the idea of having to impress a senior executive during a brief ride in an elevator. You might not be in an elevator with a senior executive, but you might be at a cocktail party, in line at the grocery store or picking up your kids from school. Being able to convey what you do quickly and efficiently may be the difference between a new customer and just some person in line. You should be marketing all the time, wherever you are. Research shows that the average attention span of an adult is about 8 seconds. If you engage them, you have about a minute to sell them on what you do and earn a new customer and even better, new business opportunities!
3. Know your community.
Focusing locally is a very effective away to start the ripple effect. Check out what’s going on in your neighborhood, community, city, county, etc. Get involved by donating to a local cause, sponsoring and event. Print fliers and posters and put them up at coffee shops, your local posts offices and community centers. Think about your ideal customer and try to think like them. Where do they shop? Hang out? Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time. Then search for opportunities to get in front of your customer with your marketing message. Front of mind awareness of your brand makes it more likely that you will engage and retain new customers.
Do you have a store in a shopping center? Do you have a group of friends that own small businesses? Or maybe you purchase your materials from different vendors? Get these people together and agree to cross-promote. Create coupons, bundled promotions, social media and website links to provide mutually beneficial marketing.
If you don’t get out there, no one will ever know who you are or what you do. So go out and introduce yourself to local businesses in your area, join meet up groups or other networking groups, get that elevator pitch ready to roll and go meet new people and businesses, you never know who you might get to know and how they can help you or work with you.
6. Guest blog or Speak
You might hate putting yourself out there, I know I sure do, but it can be worth it in making you a leader in your field. Find businesses with blogs and ask if you could write a guest blog about the product you sell or the services you provide. This exposes you and your business to a new audience. Or, see if any local organizations are looking for speakers. What you do might inspire others, you never know what the affect of your words might be. Go out there and become a credible authority in your field!
Make sure your website, if you have one, has links to your social media outlets, a subscription form for your newsletter, easy ways to contact you and clarity. Also, see if you can make sure your site is mobile friendly so that when people are looking for you they can view your website on their mobile devices. This is the very top of the Fleuriste site!
8. Online presence
You know when you really want to research that great store you heard about but you can’t find them online, at all? Yeah, that’s not a good feeling. Update your contact information, including addresses, phone numbers and emails across all platforms (website, social media, google listings, etc.) If they can’t find you, they definitely won’t be a new customer any time soon.
So there you have it, 8 simple, inexpensive marketing tactics that can help you get new customers, build relationships and keep your brand top-of-mind. It might take a little time on your part, but it will be well worth it in the end.
For help developing or implementing a marketing plan or for help with branding, websites or social media, please contact Michaela Idhammar at firstname.lastname@example.org.