You could have the best business in the world, but if nobody knows about it you’re going to be in trouble. But there’s one problem – marketing can be expensive. Between advertising, printing up all your bumph, hiring someone to do the copy for your website, and then maintaining your efforts, it all adds up.
But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get good results. Here are some budget-friendly marketing efforts to add to your arsenal.
Word of Mouth
The marketers not-so-secret weapon, but sadly one that can’t be deployed on demand. Word of mouth marketing is free, and shockingly important to a business, old or new. A recommendation about your services from someone a potential new customer really trusts will have more influence than a flashy leaflet campaign. The best way to ensure you’re being talked about really is to just be doing your job exceptionally well, providing top-notch customer service and generally being an all-round good egg. A referral programme can also pay dividends!
Every business has a ready-made list of previous customers (unless you had to wipe them all for GDPR reasons, that is…). This list is your very own self-selected target market, so make sure you take full advantage of it! A quick email every month or so will do the trick without customers feeling overloaded. Pack it full of news, tips and any offers you might have on the go.
If you think your business doesn’t need social media, then it’s time for you to crawl out from under that rock. As irritating as it sometimes may be (we don’t want to see endless photos of people’s dinners either), customers turn to social media to get the feel of a business. And come on…it’s free! Having a website just isn’t enough anymore, and customers want to see you’re up-to-date and active, as well as to have the ability to interact with you instantly. To save you time, you can use a free app like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your social network posts at the start of the week – it’ll then post on your behalf whenever you choose.
Whether schmoozing is your idea of fun or hell, it’s a great (and we’d argue essential!) way to connect with other local businesses, get your brand out there, and to scarf down a few canapes. Don’t forget your business cards!
Sharpen up your Content
As the often-misquoted line goes, ‘If you build it, they will come’ (it’s actually ‘he’ will come, but whatever…). Posting regular content is great for your marketing efforts, but if it’s of terrible quality, totally irrelevant or boring as sin, you’re simply wasting your time. When you’re running your business, you’re at the heart of your industry, you know what people want, so tell everyone about your expertise. This could be in the form of blogs, infographics, social media posts, video content or brushing up on your Insta-worthy photos and Snapchats if you’re down with the millennials.