It is really hard to fight for your share of the market, particularly if you run a small business, which usually cannot offer to spend a lot. However, without a share of the market, your business is doomed to fail.
Luckily for all of us, there are affordable business marketing strategies suitable for both businesses which are aiming for a local market, as well as those who are operating globally.
Make yourself visible locally
As a small-business owner, depending on the niche you are in, it is very likely that your first efforts should be aimed at attracting the local audience. Registering your business with different local directories could be done for free or for a nominal fee, depending on the directory and the type of visibility you want to have. Speaking of visibility, as a part of the modern age, having a Google My Business account is an absolute must. That will get you listed with Google in search results, Google Maps, and Google+. The listing is very easy to manage and you could have your name pop out every time someone searches for your competitor’s business, that is, any other business from your niche.
Write quality content
The content in question here is the one you publish on your website, your social media accounts, other people’s blogs and magazines from your niche. This will also allow you to use some basic SEO strategies by linking the content to your website and attracting additional traffic thus positioning yourself better in Google search results. With informative content and a good “fanbase”, you will gain trust and credibility. You can use the credibility and your expertise to create training material relevant to the people from your niche. The goal of the content is to attract reader attention and have the anticipate for the next thing you publish, as well as get them interested in products or services behind the content.
You can encourage your customers to leave reviews of your product or provide testimonials you could use on your website. Having a review based on a unique experience stands out from the crowd of potentially fake ones and your prospective customers should be able to recognize it. Apart from user reviews, you should also ask social media influencer and bloggers relevant to your niche to write about your products or services. This is a very effective strategy for reaching out to new customers if you are confident about the level of quality you provide. Speak to the influencer and provide samples or free service and see if they could write about their experience.
Social media and niche-related communities
Use your social media accounts to join relevant reputable groups. By leaving valuable input in these groups you can attract attention similar to the one of your content and provoke people to want to know more about the business you are running. It could also get you connected to other people from the industry and you could work on joint ventures. Speaking of joint ventures, you can use buddy marketing, that is, cross-promotion by agreeing with others running similar businesses to advertise each other to your customers
Organize Seminars and workshops
Use your experience and expertise to organize an event at which you could share them. Use your connections, if you have them, to invite guest speakers. The span of subjects is vast, you can talk about theories of strategical development for those in the industry or you can have training sessions for teaching some more practical skills. Teaching the practical skills may be of greater interest to you as you are very likely to have your target audience present and prepare gifts and special offers for the participants. Alternatively, if you have a skill or a hobby you are passionate about, you could base an event on that and print promotional materials such as shirts, mugs, and notebooks for all the participants. If organizing is too much, you can invest in sponsoring an event at your local community. Being one of the sponsors, as opposed to being the only one, will be much cheaper and it will allow you to participate with however much you can put aside.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising will display your ads at the top of, or close to the top of Google search results for the relevant searches based on the keywords used. As you can read from the name, you only pay when there is an actual “click” on the ad. The position your ad will have for the relevant keywords has to be bid for in auctions, so you cannot simply pay for a better position. This type of advertising is usually very cost-effective, but once you get the prospective customers it is your and your website’s job to keep them interested and convert the visit into a sale. This is by no means free but is far less expensive than a TV campaign, for example, and has better results. If you are interested in finding out whether this could work for you, find out whether certain services you may be signing up for offer free PPC vouchers and use them to test it out.
Last minute advertising
You are probably familiar with terms first-minute and last-minute offers. Last-minute advertising, aka, remnant advertising is purchasing media time or media space that was left over, that is, that the media was unable to sell. You will get your ad running at a discount rate which is also a subject of an auction rather than a set rate. This is a great savings strategy provided that you are prepared to act quickly, meaning that you have the appropriate promotional material ready and that your team can quickly determine whether the campaign offered can still provide a good return on investment.
Regardless of your skills, creativity, and innovation, you have brought to and with your business, it is all in vain if you do not have the marketing strategy to match. A good promotion will attract a lot of prospective customers and you will consequently make more sales. Remember that what matters the most in a campaign is the ROI you get out of it and the greatest one achieved is when you sell more and invest less.