When talking about successful marketing strategies, many people believe that you have to go all-in to really make a difference for a business. Well, that might be the case for big companies competing with each other, but for small businesses with a tighter budget, that’s never an alternative. In fact, most of the times that’s not even necessary.
With the right content marketing strategy, any small business can certainly stand out without spending all of its money on online marketing. Wanna know how to do it? Read on for our 10 best ideas for your needs!
Online marketing for small businesses tips
1 – Create and share interesting content
Saying this in the golden age of content marketing might seem redundant but it’s always worth to remember it. Why? Because creating attractive blog posts, images, videos and infographic for your targeted audience works as the best advertising in the Internet age. People loving your content will always come back for more and will start acknowledging your brand as trustful, useful and – most importantly – as a referent in its field.
2 – Pay the right price for creative talent – or do it yourself!
Freelancers are a great asset – when their fees are reasonable for your budget. Don’t overpay for professionals or consultants to get the proper job done. Just research your area and find the creative talent that suits both your needs and your budget. You don’t have to hire the best photographer, writer or consultant to achieve the perfect work for your company.
Want a better alternative? Do it in-house! If you have some writing and photo skills or some marketing knowledge, then there are tons of tasks you can do yourself. The rule that you should apply here is: if you can do it, then do it and save the money to hire someone when you really need it.
3 – Turn yourself into a social networking expert
Having great content (AKA having something interesting to say) is just the first step in your low-budget online marketing scheme. After that, you have to get it out there to make some noise. And is there a noisier channel than social networks? Everyone uses at least one of them multiple times a day, so your business definitely has to be there in order to find its audience.
The positive side? Chances are you already know how to use most of them, so you won’t have a problem in developing a publication schedule. The downside? There are too many of them: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and even Reddit are among the most popular. Which one should you choose? You’ll have to find out according to your specific needs and your targeted audience. One thing is sure: don’t divide your efforts but rather focus on two alternatives that suit you the most.
4 – Tempt your potential customers with contests and discounts
Hosting a contest with an appealing prize is one of the oldest tricks in the book but it still is as effective as ever. If you pick the proper prize, participants will start pouring in and it’ll be just a matter of time before you start getting new leads. Just select a digital contest platform and you’re ready to go! Discounts on some of your products are also amazing at generating leads, although it might attract people that will only stay for the discounts. Be that as it may, consider both options to get the word going around about your business.
5 – Don’t throw something away just because
Many companies often redo their images, marketing strategies and ads just to stay modern in the public’s eye. That’s not bad for huge companies but for small business like yours this is just not necessary – it can be really harmful for your budget. Hence the suggestion: you don’t have to abandon the things that have worked for you just to try something new. This applies to practically anything related to online marketing, from blog posts to digital ads. So, recycle the things that have worked in the past and only change or update them when people show clear signs of disinterest.
6 – Don’t forget about traditional marketing channels
And by that we mean e-mail campaigns. Many marketing gurus and experts love to refer to e-mail marketing as an outdated so-2000 kind of marketing. But reality shows that e-mails are as effective as they ever were. They can keep you in touch with your existing customers by updating them on your new offers, products and discounts.
Additionally, encourage new visitors to subscribe to your newsletter – offer them an exclusive content, for instance. In that way, you’ll open a door to potential clients. Just be sure to get in touch with them fairly regularly but not intrusively and with enough charm to interest them in what you have to offer. Make them feel interested in what you have to say and ultimately in what you’re selling.
The same we’ve said here can be applied to other forms of traditional marketing channels, such as print ads and brochures. Just be sure that the channel you decide to use for your business is the most appropriate and a perfect fit for your budget.
Local marketing ideas for small businesses
Although your business can thrive exclusively on the Web and forget about the offline world, combining the strategies mentioned above with an offline plan can certainly make a difference, especially for small businesses.
7 – Team up with other small businesses
We know that getting noticed is pretty hard, especially with big companies garnering all the attention with their huge ads and multimillionaire marketing campaigns. That’s why partnering with other businesses can be such a good option. Combining efforts can result in joint campaigns that can be beneficial for both businesses.
For instance, you can team up with other store and make its customers a special and exclusive offer. Thus, your partner has something extra to give to its clients while you’ll get free advertising among people that might haven’t heard from your company otherwise.
8 – Work on your business’ image
Another aspect you have to take care of is the image your business will show to its potential clients. This is very important so make sure you don’t overlook it. However, you don’t have to overdo it to get perfect results. To achieve that, you’ll have to use your creativity over the big bucks. This means that you won’t have to spend tons of cash in print ads or expensive business cards but rather go with a more affordable an creative choice.
The concept of guerrilla marketing can certainly help you out here. Use your city as your canvas and play with its public spaces to get a cheap ad in an unusual place that will make people turn their heads. If your campaign is innovative enough, you won’t have to pay much for it: your imagination will be the one that gets the attention, not your fancy pricey ads.
9 – Walk the less travelled road
Although studying your closest competitors to see what they’re up to and get new ideas is a great advise, remember that’s pretty important to differentiate yourself as well. So, although analyzing your competition might indicate that certain type of advertising is perfect for the business, you can always try the less travelled road. Once again, think in guerrilla marketing or even in online channels that haven’t been used by your competitors.
Since you know your business better than anyone, you’ll have to decide for yourself when it’s time to follow the herd and when it’s safe to walk alone. If you choose wisely, your potential clients will surely be seduced whenever you decide to break the mold and do something innovative. Of course, also keep in mind that innovation doesn’t mean expensive, so follow your wild ideas as long as they don’t break your business down.
10 – Host an event
Want people to learn where your store is located? Host an event! You can arrange a public class, a brief seminar or a small conference or talk. Just be sure to open your doors for anyone interested and to print enough flyers to hand out around the city. Additionally, dress the store up for the occasion with some charming decorations. Finally, you can give away some little inexpensive reminder with your business name on it, like a balloon.
The idea is for you to introduce your business to everyone that attends and to let them know you exist! Of course, we surely don’t have to remind you to display your products in the best possible manner, since you’re doing all this to show them to your potential clients.
These are just 10 of the many tips we here at L7sto can offer your business. Want to know more? Then make sure you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to learn the latest on how to take your business to a whole new level!