Marketing a Small Business Without Spending Big Bucks
It’s safe to say that most small businesses don’t have big marketing budgets. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have big marketing needs. In today’s competitive business environment, small businesses need to be more proactive than ever to ensure that their brand is front and center and their message is heard. Following are tips on marketing your small business without breaking the bank.
- Create an elevator pitch – as a small business owner you are always selling, so be sure to craft a pitch that takes 10 seconds or less and outlines what your business does along with the value-add. Once a prospect is engaged, you have less than a minute, so keep it short, to the point, and have a clearly defined call to action.
- Keep it local – small businesses are inherently local so it is important to be involved in your community. Join the rotary, sponsor a local team, have a float in the 4th of July parade. Think of creative, inexpensive ways to get your message across to your target customer, all while creating a positive impression.
- Leverage your network – taking care of relationships with your existing customers is key. Competition is stiff, so you want to make sure your existing customers spend their money with you and having a program nurture relationships with existing customers is key. Create a “friends and family discount” and extend it to your regulars; it doesn’t have to be a large, but it will leave a big impression. If the opportunity is right, ask your customers if they know anyone they would feel comfortable referring to you. Remember, converting a warm lead is much easier than trying to win over a “cold” prospect. Talk to your customers on a regular basis – an email newsletter is always a good way to keep in touch. Cover a variety of topics that customers and prospects might find interesting; they should be relevant to your business, but feel free to mix it up at times.
- Position yourself and your company as subject matter experts – attend conferences that are important within your industry and see if you can’t finagle an invitation from the promoters to participate in panel discussions. Create content that your client base and prospects will find relevant and that will help them solve problems. You want to be the person people turn to when they need something, and if you are an acknowledged “expert”, people are more likely to seek you out. And think about becoming a resource for the media. They are always looking for commentary. Check out Help a Reporter Out at helpareporter.com
- Play in in the digital arena – build a website and make sure it is findable. There are a number of free website tools, such as Word Press or Wix that you can use to create your site. Check out Moz.com for keys to optimizing your site for search.
In addition, set up accounts on Social Media properties such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Twitter. As you can imagine, there are a number of options, so find one or two you feel comfortable with and participate on a regular basis. Explore opportunities for promoting your business on social media – for example, Facebook has a widget for setting up contests and promotions so if your goal is to increase your online awareness as well as drive traffic into your store, set up a contest where a visitor can “like” your page and download a coupon for 10% off their 1st purchase.
We know that your primary focus is running your business and these strategies and tactics may seem overwhelming. It all doesn’t need to happen at once. Start small and as you feel comfortable and see results, expand your efforts. And remember, consistency is key.
MKP communications inc. is a New York City based communications company that delivers spot-on strategy, smart, fresh creative, along with flawless execution for financial services clients.