Marketing is key for any business, big or small. It’s meant to connect your business to the right customers and grow your business.
Traditional marketing is expensive and hard to measure. And as a small business, you might not have a crazy budget set aside for marketing.
There are so many other marketing strategies you can use to connect with your customers, but you need to choose the right one for your business.
When you are on a shoestring marketing budget, the strategies and channels you will use are mostly digital/ online. You don’t have to go all the way out as some businesses do with digital marketing since there are affordable and even free common channels.
First, you need to know your business and your customer base. After that, choose the best marketing strategy in line with your business and your customer base.
Understanding your customer base:
- Know your customers’ demographics.
- Know where they live.
- Find out where they hang out online.
- Know how they perceive your products or services.
- Know who influences their decision making when it comes to your products or services.
Once you understand the above, you will be able to choose viable channels from the following business marketing strategies fit for your small business.
According to Facebook Business, there are more than 2 Million small to medium-sized businesses that advertise on Facebook.
Facebook is inexpensive and effective to virtually market to any audience. All audience groups are represented on Facebook and you can easily reach your specific target audience.
Facebook allows you to have advanced targeting through its Facebook ads. These ads allow you to target a specific audience depending on sex, age, location, online behavior, interests, etc.
To create a Facebook ad, you need;
- A Headline
- Descriptive copy
- An image
- A link
With the help of Facebook Ads Manager, you can easily create and analyze your paid Facebook ads/ campaigns.
You can also manage several ads at once and edit settings such as audience, budget, and placements. Most importantly, you can be able to see how your ads perform and schedule reports.
2.Google My Business
According to Google, millions of people search on Google for businesses. Google My Business is free and easy to engage with your customers.
You just need to create a Google My Business Account and easily connect with customers through Google search and Google Maps.
With a Google My Business Account, you show up on search results and Google Maps when people search for you online or other businesses like you.
Google My Business shows customers where and how to find you – a website or a physical address they can visit. It ensures you get top results instead of being on page two and beyond.
Google My Business also provides your account access to analytics keeping tabs with your paid and organic ads.
Your account also allows customer reviews which is a great way to boost your business. Think With Google found out that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
3.Content Marketing – Publish great content
This is one strategy you can’t do without especially when your budget is small.
Content marketing is a win for you if you create great content. It can be a blog post, images, videos, podcasts, etc.
Use your website blog as your marketing foundation. Let it be where you direct your page visitors who are customers or potential customers, get leads, and build relationships with your customers.
Regularly create and post content that is interesting to your audience and speaks for your business. Post content that tells a story showing what your business represents.
Unlike paid content, content marketing has a long term effect and focuses more on long term results. There is the sustainable growth of visitors, leads, and customers over time and this alone can carry a business.
4.Organic Social Media
Social media usage is significantly influencing business when it comes to marketing and connecting with customers.
Know where your customers are on social media and how they like to be approached.
Use the free tools and services offered by various social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to connect your business with your customers.
All these social media platforms allow you to post status updates, put up links, upload images, and create captions for your audience.
This is a great way to build a loyal online community without having to pay to increase your reach. You end up building relationships with people and customers who interact with your brand.
Post relevant content that shows your business values and culture and engages with those who interact with your brand on social media.
Organic social media boosts your validity and helps you create a solid following and engagement.
Use paid social media to boost your reach and organic social media to maintain customer relationships and solidify engagement.
5.Join local Business Groups and attend local Networking events
This is a great way to connect with other business owners who can bounce off ideas, share referrals, and help you discover new opportunities.
There are so many business groups you can join online and offline but it is advisable to join those in your niche or industry.
These groups are a great place to network and create connections that might be of significance to your business.
Attend events that bring together different business owners and get to know several entrepreneurs and industry influencers.
They can be a place to find and create great business partnerships that can help in boosting your brand awareness.
6.Collaborate/partner with other Businesses – industry partnerships
Apart from joining local business groups in your area, partnering with other businesses can be a great way to market your business.
Most small businesses collaborate with other small businesses for the mutual benefits that come from the partnerships.
Teamwork is more effective compared to doing something alone. Target companies in your local area whom you can work together and benefit from the partnership.
Businesses in partnerships can recommend each other’s services or products to their clients or refer clients to each other.
With these partnerships, you increase your brand, product, or service awareness as the other business does the same.
7.Build Relationships with Customers
Do you know how much more impact an existing customer has than a potential customer?
Most businesses spend more time and money chasing potential customers and forget to put effort into keeping existing ones.
Work towards establishing relationships with your customer base by keeping in touch with them. The best way to do this is through email marketing.
Ask customers for their email addresses when they buy something from your store or when they visit your website.
From time to time, send them emails with something informative – make them aware of a new product, ask them to review your product or service. Remind them of ongoing sales, offers, and send them discounts.
8.Ask Customers for Referrals
Word of mouth is a magic bullet in marketing and very effective especially from customers.
Ask customers to refer your product or service to people they know. Friends telling friends about your business is valuable and contributes to finding new customers and making sales.
A good way to create a referral culture is offering existing customers a discount, free product or service, or another form of reward for bringing in a new customer.
Every small business needs to grow and the key way to do that is through marketing. Clearly, you don’t have to blow your budget to do that.
Set aside a small budget for your marketing and choose strategies that work for you from the above tactics.
Understand your customer base and connect your business value to the right customers and see your business grow.