Inexpensive Marketing Tactics
Whether you are conducting your small business locally, online or a combination of the two, you can benefit from low cost marketing ideas. For a small business, getting the word out about your company and what you offer can be expensive. The following are ideas that may help you to better market your brand without breaking the bank. Depending upon your business, some may apply more than others, but implementing these ideas will not cost a lot of money. In many instances, it will only cost you some of your time.
Incentives for referrals
This can be a powerful tool to increase business that costs you nothing until you get a new paying customer. Basically, you offer your present customers a gift or more often a cash reward for referring a customer. Business owners have been doing this for years. A manager of an apartment complex may offer current tenants a certain amount of money when they refer a friend. The success of this type of program will vary depending upon the type of business, but the cost is minimal. Online businesses can start an affiliate program and pay for every new paying customer they bring in.
Create a postcard for targeted mailing
For a local business, there is a great direct mail service from the United States Postal Service. You can have a postcard delivered to every household within a targeted area surrounding your business establishment. Postcards are inexpensive, and they can be purchased online from printing companies. These same companies have online software, so you can custom design your own postcard and mass market your business through the mail.
Start a newsletter
This is a great idea for almost any type of business. This newsletter is best done electronically and can be sent to your customer by email. Your current customers can opt-in to your newsletter subscriber list, and once a month, you can send them an update on recent events at your business. You should always include a special discount that is attractive. Many people will take advantage of this and purchase something they would not normally buy. Although you will not be getting a new customer, in all likelihood, you will increase your sales with existing customers. Repeat business such as this can increase your sales with little investment.
Virtually no cost is involved in creating a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn page for your brand. Using social media you can directly engage with customers, give away samples of your product or service, garner free “shares” from happy customers and position yourself in front of a much wider audience. When current customers share their happiness with your brand on their own social media channels, you have basically just secured free PR. Of course, bad reviews can work in the same manner, so be careful how much is shared on your pages.
You should already have a website, but if your customers are all offline and you don’t think you need a website, you need to think again. Everyone uses the Internet for products and services, so you need to have your information available. It is not necessary to get a separate blog, you could simply use your website, but the idea is to have a lot of information that is more general in nature and not necessarily specific to your product. If you are in the business of pest control, you could have articles on the nature of various insects. Content is key, so make sure you are positioning your product in the right way, perhaps highlight contributions to the community and make your brand plausible to the common consumer.
Whether you decide to use one or several of the suggestions above, don’t let a limited budget for marketing hold you back. You can increase your sales through many inexpensive internet marketing techniques.
Alex Faubel enjoys writing about topics related to business and technology in career-focused education programs.