10 Free or Low Cost Marketing Strategies
When it comes to trying to get your business out there with limited funds, it can quickly become frustrating. Everything seems more expensive than you would have expected. If you are a new business, its important to remember it takes time to get the word out there.
1) Give customers what they want
While your current strategy, service or product may seem perfect to you its really important to remember that it's not necessarily everyone's view. Market research is really important so make sure you get the view of your customers, audience and peers. Its a great place to start when considering a chance in tactics.
2) Make sure people know you exist
If you have opened a business which has a physical premises, have you announced it? Get stuck in with the local community, people in your industry and potential audience. Hold an opening party, invite influencers such as press or local bloggers, business owners, friends, people that would be interested in your product. We know this can be a scary step but it is a necessary one.
If you don't have a physical premises, for example if you are a service provider or e-commerce, announce your presence on social media - this way you can still engage with your target audience and if relevant, locals.
3) Advertising discounts
Google and Facebook often have sign up offers which are normally pretty decent deals. Keep your eyes open and grab them if they come up.
4) Social Networking
Social networking is free. Get on the sites relevant to you and update with valuable & interesting content. Don't post for the sake of it because your potential audience are looking for authenticity and helpful information. Follow and engage with your target audience. Consider Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Pinterest and industry specific sites.
5) Define your audience
When you know who you are targeting, marketing suddenly becomes a whole lot easier. Create a couple of examples of your perfect customer. Consider age range, location, interests, gender.
Putting effort into the right people instead of just trying to appeal to everyone is a much more effective strategy than throwing darts with a blindfold on.
6) Customer referral
Existing customers already know about you, so who other than you is more ideal to spread the world. Encourage your customers to leave feedback and create a referral program. For example if they recommend a friend, they can achieve a discount on their next purchase.
7) Reward loyalty
Your customers are important to you - let them know. Offer them exclusive offers and stay interested in the manner of which they interact with your business. Keeping your finger on the pulse of your loyal customers can highlight any indicators where change may be required.
8) Tone of voice, brand reputation
I recently dealt with a taxi firm that I really wanted to like. They had put a lot of money in to a cab booking app. It was user friendly, efficient and did what it said on the tin. They made it simple to book, refer my friends and stay loyal. I could see the effort and money they had put in to it.
Yet I still had a bad feeling about this firm, and it wasn't because my taxi was 30 mins late last week. When I tried to bypass the app and call up I was faced with rude operators. They we're unhelpful, unenthusiastic and ultimately clashed with everything the company was trying to represent - what they wanted me to buy in to.
I can't stress the importance of this enough - your customers want to deal with companies that they feel they resonate with. The way your brand speaks, looks, acts and treats it's customers needs be consistent across every single marketing effort.
Consider the image you want to portray and make sure every area of your business lives up to that.
9) Host an event
We touched on this with an introductory event and will follow on from that. For example if you are a bakery or restaurant, a cookery or drinks making class would be an excellent way to generate extra income while giving potential frequent customers a flavor of your business and attitude. Put the event on Facebook for extra targeting powers and exposure.
10) Inform, don't sell
Everything you do should be useful to your audience. Make sure with whatever form of communication it's focused on serving them, not you. Define yourself as the leader of knowledge within your sector by sharing information that is specifically related to your business and educational to the audience.
Whether answering questions in forums, speaking at events, exhibitions and classes, you want to help to position your company as the solution.
That's the end of these 10 tips to help you market on a tight budget. For more ideas on getting the most out of your budget, get in touch with me today!