Sadly, having the best product on the market won’t automatically lead to sales. You’ve also got to market your product well so that customers know where to look and why yours is the one they should buy.
Marketing budgets can stretch far beyond the modest capacities of most small businesses but you can still mount an effective campaign without breaking the bank. Here are 8 tips for how to market your business on a shoestring budget.
1. Set SMART Goals.
Before you embark on your brilliant marketing campaign, make sure your goals are realistically achievable. The SMART rule of business is a good one to follow – in other words, your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Although aiming high can help get you motivated, creating unrealistic goals can end up being self-defeating.
2. Research your target before launching.
However good your product is, not everyone will be interested in it. Conduct research to work out your target demographic in terms of age, location, gender and other factors. Spending money, time and energy targeting the wrong people is a waste of your precious resources.
3. Get on social media.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are helping to level the playing field for small businesses everywhere. Thanks to social media, you can now build an international presence on a local budget. Set up a page for your company on all the major platforms and start uploading content to drive traffic. Don’t neglect non-written forms either – post videos on YouTube or photos on Instagram as part of your marketing strategy.
4. Design your website Responsive
If social media is your business’ PR department, your website is your shop window. Unless it’s good-looking, fully stocked and up-to-date visitors are going to click on by. If you’re not a designer, hire a Best Web Design company who can produce an design website on a budget. Regularly updating your website with new content, images and graphics will not only attract new customers but will help your rankings on Google and other major search engines.
5. Make the news
You don’t have to spend a fortune on advertising to get your business in print and your name out there. Organizing a local event like a seminar or presentation can generate good publicity, especially if your chosen topic is relevant and useful for your audience. Supporting a worthy cause through donation or volunteering is also a great idea – not just because it keeps your business in the public eye but also because you’ll be making a real contribution to your community.
6. Reduce postage costs
Direct mail marketing is still one of the best ways for small businesses to target new and existing customers. Invest in a franking machine to save on postage fees – you’ll save money over the cost of stamps. You can make even bigger savings by arranging your franked mail deliveries into collections of 500 or 1000 mail items and using bulk mail discounts.
7. Be consistent in your message
You’ll need to develop a strong and readily identifiable brand image to be successful. To do this, you should be consistent in your marketing materials across various media. As well as using the same logo and pictures, the tone and content of accompanying text should be instantly recognizable as yours.
8. Get feedback
You won’t create the perfect marketing campaign overnight so survey your customers regularly after launch to find out what’s working well and what needs improving. Customer feedback can provide a wealth of valuable data for your business so offer incentives – such as gift vouchers and promotional codes – to customers willing to provide more detailed information. In addition, it’s easy to determine the success rate of marketing tools like direct mail, and you should also use tracking software to determine where visitors to your website are coming from.
Successful marketing isn’t just about how much you have to spend but how well you use what you’ve got. Even with limited resources, a marketing campaign that’s well conceived and executed can draw in many new customers and boost your business returns.