Times are tough and keeping any small business afloat is a difficult task in these challenging economic conditions so it pays to have a good marketing strategy. Of course you could pray to the Gods of Small Business and wait for new customers to come knocking on your door, but a more sensible approach is to look at easy (and cheap!) ways of marketing your business in the modern world. Don’t be afraid to try new things; what works for one business might not work for another, but remember to give any new marketing strategy time to work before you dismiss it and try something different.
Web Design and SEO
Every business, no matter how small, needs a website and without one you are likely to find your business swiftly overtaken by your competitors. But not just any old website will do; in order to be an effective marketing tool, a website should be well designed, easy to navigate and optimised for SEO purposes so that your customers can find you when they type in certain terms into search engines. Unfortunately, a lot of small business owners neglect this aspect of business marketing because they know nothing about designing a website, so if this sounds like you, hire a professional as it will pay dividends in the long run!
Harness the Power of Social Media
Websites such as Twitter and Facebook are excellent platforms for marketing businesses online but in order to make the most of this fantastic opportunity you need to understand how each one works and use them all simultaneously. For example, you could upload how-to videos related to your products and services on YouTube and then send out a tweet to your customers inviting them to take a look. Social media is also the place to attract new customers by engaging with them in a less formal way. For example, encourage them to make suggestions and offer criticism via a Facebook page or Twitter account. The possibilities are endless!
Sponsor Local Charitable Events
They say charity begins at home but nothing beats the power of positive publicity that comes from sponsoring a good cause or local charity with a special meaning to you and your business. You don’t have to spend a fortune doing it; offering a product or service for a prize at a local charity event will get your company name printed on the advertising material and help you connect with new customers as a result of your philanthropic endeavours. Alternatively, invite some of your customers to a charitable dinner or sporting event, you can raise money for a good cause and impress potential clients at the same time!
Never underestimate the power of networking opportunities: networking events are a great opportunity to rub shoulders with people interested in the things you offer so make time to boost your company’s profile by attending trade shows and conferences in your niche. You don’t even have to spend a fortune printing slick marketing brochures - desktop publishing software can be used by small businesses to create effective posters and hand outs. The contacts you make at this kind of event may just lead to some exciting new business opportunities!
Utilise the Power of E-Newsletters
In the good old days, small businesses regularly printed off newsletters and paid for them to be distributed to their regular customers as a way of keeping in touch and advertising new offers and deals. These days however, old-fashioned newsletters have largely been replaced by e-bulletins, which are just as effective and a lot more cost effective. Just remember, everything you send out to your marketing list needs to have some kind of ‘value’, be that a discount code, a unique special offer, or something of interest to them. Without any of those things it will be classified as SPAM, which alienates people and loses valuable custom as a result.
By incorporating a mixture of social media, SEO, networking and a good web design into your marketing efforts, you will soon start to see an increase in customer numbers. Good luck!
I'm Louida from Atlanta, Georgia and I'm a mother of two daughters, blogger, and full time working mom at a Business Consulting Firm.
I love helping others learn how to start working from home on the internet free to supplement their current income.
I also blog at Productreviewmom.com
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