THAT PIECE OF MARKETING COST HOW MUCH?!
INEXPENSIVE MARKET STRATEGIES
Marketing is an essential tool in growing your business, but it can sometimes be costly. If you’re a small business owner just starting out, you may not feel that you have the budget to allow for extravagant or complex marketing strategies, but this doesn’t mean that you have to shelve marketing altogether. We’ve compiled a list of some inexpensive marketing strategies to help you get started, without compromising on your budget.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool when used effectively. It’s essentially free advertising, so it’s a good idea to use it to promote your business wherever possible. However, creating valuable and original content can be time consuming, so we’d suggest setting aside time once a month to create a bank of content. You can also use scheduling tools to automatically queue up your content for posting.
If you feel that you need an extra push to increase your brand recognition on the platforms, you could try employing some small-scale influencer marketing. You can either go down the route of paid adverts with influencers whose rates fit into your budget, or you could choose to gift them some of your products in exchange for a promotion to their following.
GET INVOLVED WITH YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY
It’s not always the global campaigns that bring the most return; sometimes focusing on your local community and network can be a more effective use of your time. You could sponsor a fun run in your local park, donate your products to a charity coffee morning, host a pop-up event, and more. By getting involved with your local community and sharing your business with people who actually know you, you’ll stand out from the crowd of faceless companies.
The main thing is getting your brand out there, but if you can help those around you in the process, what’s not to love?
The best advertising is word of mouth. People take the opinions of those they trust very seriously, and are more likely to have confidence in real, lived positive experiences than what a company says about itself.
A really easy way to ensure that when someone has a great experience with your business is to introduce refer-a-friend schemes. You could offer exclusive discounts, credit options, and more when someone refers a new customer to your business. This way, you’re offering your customers an incentive for spreading the word, while also bringing in new business for yourself.
Just make sure that you budget for the incentive you give people, and don’t offer more than you can afford.
Collaborations offer you not only the opportunity to work with other like-minded and worthwhile businesses, but they also offer you exposure to another business’ entire audience base, that was previously untapped by you. Plus, there’s the added bonus that when you’re working with someone else there’s less upfront cost, as your marketing spend will be split between the companies.
Your collaboration could be a new product, service, event, or something else entirely. With small- or large-scale options available to you, your choices are endless. Reach out to businesses that you align with and would love to collaborate with, to gauge the interest!
Cold pitching isn’t the most glamourous way to secure work but it can be surprisingly effective, and all it costs is your time. Start by creating a tailored list of clients you’d love to land, and from there create individual emails that express to each of them why you think working together would be a great fit. Make sure to personalise your email, as this will help to ensure that you stand out from the crowd and will also ensure that your email doesn’t come across like spam.
Think of your email as an introduction into you and your business, more than as a sales pitch. The point of cold pitching is to initiate a relationship with someone, and if they like what they see, you’ll likely gain an opportunity to pitch your products or services to them in person.
As the age old saying goes, if you don’t ask you don’t get, and this is the essence of cold pitching. It can never hurt to try, and in the worst-case scenario you’ve lost a few hours of your time.
VOLUNTEER TO SPEAK
Volunteering is another marketing method that only costs you your time. This is especially suited to very new business owners who are finding themselves with hours in the week that are waiting to be filled, simply because the workload isn’t there yet.
Offer to speak at industry conferences, at charity events, at local colleges or pop-ups, and anywhere else that you can think of. By doing this, you get a literal stage to promote your business, and you’ll be exposed to a whole new audience, eager to hear what you have to say.
Events like these offer invaluable networking opportunities, brand exposure, and free publicity – they’re well worth considering.
These are just a handful of low-cost marketing suggestions – there are countless others out there – but they’re a great place to get started. Try your hand at some of these methods and keep track of the returns you see; you might be surprised at how effective they can be. Whatever method of you opt for, just make sure to remember that marketing is rarely an overnight success, it takes commitment to a campaign over a long period of time to reap the rewards. Think of it as a snowball effect – it takes a while to get going, but once you do, there’s no stopping you.
If you’re looking for help with upcoming marketing campaigns, we’d love to hear from you! Follow this link to start a conversation today.