As a business owner, you will understand the importance of marketing. Failure to spread the word about your business can bring about failure full stop! If people don’t know you exist, then you are hardly likely to make any profits. No wonder then that many businesses spend a small fortune on marketing. From paying for ads on and offline to hiring expensive marketing agencies to do the job for them, business leaders are seeing a sizeable chunk of their budget disappear because of their marketing efforts.
Of course, spending money on marketing isn’t a bad thing, especially if the end result is more custom and bigger profits. But mistakes can be made. Marketing to the wrong demographic, not tracking the ROI, and using outdated and irrelevant methods, are some of the ways businesses lose money in their bid to make money when pushing their brand. Their efforts are counterproductive, and this can prove frustrating, especially when those hoped-for results don’t materialise.
Thankfully, you don’t have to blow your budget on marketing. You can learn valuable lessons from some of the bigger brands operating today who have forsaken a traditional marketing budget. They still thrive because they have mastered the art of influencer marketing, gained customer trust, and have encouraged word-of-mouth marketing to further the cause of their brand. To learn more, follow the previous link and consider how these methods can apply to your business. While these companies do have established brand recognition on their side, some of the methods they use/have used can be replicated for businesses both large and small.
Marketing Your Business Cheaply
Here’s the thing. Sometimes, out of the box thinking can help you market your business cheaply. By being creative, you can spend less money than you would normally. Guerilla marketing methods such as creating publicity stunts or creating competitions for customers can be just as effective as more expensive marketing, such as renting billboard space, handing out printed material, or creating a tv ad. Again, follow the previous link for examples of free or low-budget marketing.
Don’t neglect your staff, either. Aside from your marketing team, if you have one, your staff members can do much of the marketing for you, purely by being themselves. Sending them out in a unique uniform, perhaps using the services of Patches4Less to create logo and name patches, you will soon get people talking about your brand when your staff interacts with them. Your staff members can also promote your business by handing out free branded products on their daily commute, or by casually leaving such things as branded pens in coffee shops and libraries. They can talk about your business on social media, and to the people they meet face to face. They can do all of these things as part of their daily life, though you may be in the position to offer them incentives if they do generate leads while out and about.
The same principle applies to you. Wherever you go, always have a business card or a branded item with you. Network at business meetings and conferences, and get your business card into the hands of others. Go online and contribute to niche sites and forums where your opinions are likely to be respected. Link back to your business website and social media accounts in your online efforts, and you may generate new customers for your business. You can’t be a wallflower; if you want your business to succeed, it is your voice and presence that will steer people your way, so get yourself into the world and start talking about what it is you do. Your passion for your business can inspire others to sit up and take notice, and all without you having to spend any money in the process.
Let’s not forget your current customer base. Provided you have shown excellent customer care, you will have gained their respect. They will write positive reviews about you on sites such as Yelp. They will share word of your business to their friends and family online and off. And they will return to you time and again, rather than risk using a business they are unfamiliar with. As with your staff, your customers can be your greatest marketing tool, so capitalise on it. Encourage customer referrals, offering incentives to those customers who can generate new custom for you. Actively encourage them to write positive reviews for your business, whether that’s on Yelp, or for testimonials on your website. So long as you keep them on your side, the longer they will return to you and encourage others to do so. Again, you won’t have to spend a fortune making this happen.
How else can you market your business cheaply? There are numerous ways. Promote your business on YouTube through tutorial videos. Create a podcast and share information that relates to your business. List your business on Google My Business, a free source of advertising, and an effective way to improve your SEO. Work with other businesses, and encourage them to refer customers your way, provided you do the same for them. Share your blog posts across your social media networks and encourage your employees and customers to do the same. Do all this and more, using the links we have provided in this article and through researching low-budget marketing tips online. No money, no problem, you just need to use your imagination a little, while relying on the people who are already affiliated with your business to push awareness of your brand cheaply.
We aren’t saying don’t spend money on your marketing. There are times when you have to open your wallet to further the cause of your business. But you don’t have to go overboard. You can still market your business at little or no cost, regardless of the income you are receiving on a monthly basis. It’s about finding what works for you. And remember this final fact. If your business is worth talking about, and if your product is up to scratch, you won’t need to work as hard on your marketing at all, as sometimes, what your business stands for will speak for itself.
Let us know what you think. Have you found ways to market your business cheaply? Have you made mistakes or found success in the methods you have used? Share your wisdom and experiences with us, for the betterment of all our businesses.