Marketing is often the cornerstone of any business, meaning it’s an important feature for creating increased awareness of your brand and for getting the word out about your products or services.
There are so many forms of marketing which can make choosing the most appropriate marketing campaign in which to effectively reach your target customers a little more tricky. Also, promotion of any scale can often come with a hefty price tag before you start to see any results.
Small business owners often rely on word of mouth as their first and most effective form of marketing, so we’ve pulled together ‘ten tips for marketing on a small budget’, which we hope you will find useful.
Follow-ups and Customer Service
Follow-ups include gaining feedback from customers who you have already worked with and asking for testimonials and reviews which you can display on your website, Google my Business page and for sharing on social media. Creating a personalised marketing campaign for existing and lapsed customers will help drive future sales.
Delivering exceptional customer service and putting the needs of the consumer first will help drive a winning marketing plan.
Posting consistently on Social Media platforms
Most social media platforms are free to use with optional premium (paid) extras. Posting good quality content on a consistent basis, that is relevant to your customer base, will grow your following and over time will help to increase sales.
Create a good database of contacts / CRM Management
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems help track important information about your potential prospects and clients, including details such as their likes, wants and needs. Implementing and managing a CRM helps to identify a customer’s ‘pain’ points which you can then analyse and create solutions for. Staying in touch and dedicating time to developing strong relationships is key to increasing your client base.
B2B exhibitions and events
Business events are a perfect way to keep up to speed with industry trends which you can in turn use to your advantage through future marketing. Not only can you visit other brands within your industry and get tips from them by scoping out how they market themselves, but you can also make new contacts that may result in future sales opportunities.
Information and knowledge is power – keep learning and evolving in order to stay ahead of your competitors.
You could also look into exhibiting yourself at local business events, often those linked to networking groups are more affordable and will give you greater exposure and a new avenue of engaging with potential clients.
Although considered a form of social media, LinkedIn deserves a special mention of its own. The LinkedIn platform is used by individuals and companies, specifically looking for business opportunities so always make sure that your profile is kept up to date. Creating and maintaining industry contacts and viewing trends online can help with creating a marketing campaign, as can keeping up to date with competitor news.
Do your research
If you’re short on time a little bit of online research can go a long way. It can help you identify your customer base, your market value proposition, your competitors and even identify processes and tools to help you with your business plans.
If you need help with these types of research tasks, you can delegate this to our team and we'll send you a detailed report of our findings so you can be more strategic with your marketing activites.
Using an email service such as MailChimp or creating a newsletter list so you can keep in touch with your prospects and customers with regular updates, promotions, sharing tips, blogs etc.
As part of our Marketing services, we can help support you with creating regular newsletter campaigns and/or surveys to ask for feedback on your business and services.
Don’t give people the ‘hard sell’
Marketing simply means telling people about you, your brand and what you do/how you can help them. Creating a personable and intuitive story will help to create a bond between yourself and your customers. Always remember, that people buy from people so by trying to ‘sell’ with little other relevant background information you may find yourself alienating people instead.
A traditional approach to marketing is of course, networking. There are numerous groups and networks, many of which offer free, local events (online and in person) and details can be found online. These offer the perfect opportunity to meet potential clients so find a couple of groups that you enjoy and have the right people attending and then focus on attending them reguarly.
Always remember, as with all other forms of relationship building, networking is a long-term investment so don’t expect instant results.
Local magazines and press often feature local events for free if a story is marketed in the right way. Sending a well written press release with an interesting narrative such as big client news, involvement with local groups and charities or sponsorship from local business can create a buzz in the local press, resulting in free marketing for you.
I hope you’ve found this blog helpful, if you have any other top tips for marketing on a small business budget, we’d love to hear them so please share them in the comments section below.
And, of course if you need any help to support any of your marketing activities, please do get in touch to discuss further.