For most small business owners, every dollar counts – and investment into marketing needs to pay off in real and immediate return. Here are six cost effective ways for you to market your small business ‘on a shoestring’.
- Research Your Market
The more time you invest in identifying your target market, the more effective your marketing will be. Period. Think about the characteristics that describe your ideal type/s of buyer that you are targeting.
From there you’ll be able to better focus your marketing efforts and hone in your marketing messages to help attract and engage these buyers specifically.
All-star teams don’t just study their own game plan, they think about what their competitors are doing. Find opportunities to beat them and do it better. Going head to head with your competitors in areas where they’re more established or stronger may prove expensive or less effective. Figure out what you can do better by finding their gaps or weaknesses in the market.
Alongside planning your marketing and business operations, it’s important to consider other aspects of business hygiene. Business insurance is a good example. You can use AMI’s assessment tool to identify your insurance needs. Visit https://www.ami.co.nz/business
- Turn Email into Your Heavy Hitter
When coming up with marketing recommendations for startups and small businesses, email marketing is typically high on the list simply because of the potential return on investment (assuming you have a customer list to start with).
In fact, according to an eMarketer study, the median email marketing ROI is 122%. Regardless of your industry or the size of your business, email marketing produces excellent returns for the marketing efforts you make.
Studies have shown that consumers see email as their preferred way to communicate with a brand.
- The Need for Speed
The quicker that you are able to engage, intrigue, and convert members of your audience, the better your results will be.
Most consumers are going to start their search for a business, service or product online. In many cases, online research has even replaced parts of the traditional buying cycle. This means by the time a buyer actually meets a sales rep for more information, they are nearly completely through with the buying journey.
You need to make sure that the prospects that come to your website are able to quickly and easily access the information they need that’s most likely to convert them into a buyer. To make your job easier, your website should automatically detect certain specifications about your buyer.
What device are they using? Use Google Analytics to tell you where, when, and how people are accessing your site. By customizing different versions of your website, you can increase engagement and encourage conversions. What works on a desktop doesn’t work on a mobile device. Most users will be on your site using their mobile device and your desktop-friendly site may load slowly or be hard to use.
- Optimize for Search Engines
Many small business owners say that word-of-mouth is their best type of marketing, but it shouldn’t be. When it comes to big ticket items, about 81% of consumers say they go online before they go to the store.
They may spend up to two to three months gathering information before they make a decision. Even with low-ticket items, a consumer is more likely to start the buying process online, which is probably why more than 55% of mobile searches convert within an hour.
All of this means you need to have a mobile-friendly design that promotes conversions. On top of that, it also means that you need to do keyword research and work to build your website in accordance with SEO best practices for the industry. This means you will be rewarded with higher-ranking results when people Google for your product.
The results will not be instant, but they will be monumental for your business if you continually work to improve your site’s organic ranking and conversions.
- Be Strategically Social
Investing $40 into a sponsored post on LinkedIn or Facebook will put your brand, products, or services in front of thousands of people who are your targeted audience. This small investment can end up producing hundreds of new followers. This can lead to new traffic, greater brand awareness, and hopefully a better bottom line profit that you can trace back to social media engagement.
If you look into social media marketing and follow the basic do’s and don’ts, you should be able to get excellent results without spending much money.
For under $100 or even $50 a month, you can tweak your campaigns and eventually come up with huge lead generating ads that can help grow your business substantially.
- Strengthen Your Partnerships
The thought of establishing some informal partnerships with other businesses might not sound like that big of a move, but it can actually prove extremely strategic and beneficial. By establishing these partnerships, you can cross-promote and market cooperatively, which is especially great for startups and small businesses who are looking to build a large database of contacts.
You probably already know the importance of networking. Sharing contacts and working together with fellow business owners who have overlapping target markets with your own can help you build brand awareness and grow your organization more quickly than you could do on your own.