Marketing is often undervalued when it comes to running a small business. When costs are tight, or you’re lacking in time, it’s the one thing that is pushed back or put off. But the key to running a successful business depends on the marketing.
But why is marketing so important?
It increases brand awareness, increases customer engagement both leading to a rise in sales and growth.
Marketing a small business doesn’t need to be expensive. Traditional advertising methods can be costly, and trying to spread yourself everywhere too thinly doesn’t work. Here are my top 7 ways to market your small business for a small investment or for free.
Email marketing is a low cost method to engage with people who are really interested in what you are offering. It allows you to target with specific messages to your ideal customers, showcasing what you can do or offer them. Creating a series of emails, regular newsletters and special offers can help to build a strong relationship with potential clients.
I personally recommend Mailchimp which is a free platform if you have a mailing list under 2000 contacts. You can connect it to your social media and blog, you can create automations, sequences, and even link to your ecommerce site for follow up messages.
Networking is a fantastic way to start building relationships, find clients and gain referrals. As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, but who you know. Making connections, no matter what industry you are in, is a great way to raise awareness of your brand. Having local support from other like-minded business owners will help build and develop you and your business.
If you aren’t marketing your business on social media, you are missing out. It’s a powerful way to reach and engage with potential clients. Your ideal customers won’t be on all of them so it’s important to focus your efforts on 2-3 platforms that they are likely to be using. The key to social media is being consistent and posting at regularly.
Running a competition is a great way to engage with potential clients and reach a wider audience. People love freebies and the chance to win something for nothing. Obviously different platforms have different guidelines and rules to adhere to. Facebook, as an example, doesn’t allow sharing to be used as a condition of entry, but simply asking if entrants would mind sharing the post will open up new opportunities, whilst complying with the platform rules.
Do you know of another business that could complement what you are offering? Could you work together on a campaign or project to offer a wider service and reach a greater audience? As an example, a client of mine sells nursery products. She teamed up with another company who has a similar ideal client. They ran a competition to win prizes offered up by both companies. They promoted and tagged each other’s businesses, increasing their audiences.
If you aren’t already running a blog, start one now! It’s not only a great way to share your knowledge and experiences but is fantastic for engaging with potential clients for free! What’s more, it helps with your website SEO, increasing your chances of being seen online.
No matter what platform, or where you are posting your content, it is important to create content that is going to appeal to your ideal customers. Being clear on who is your ideal client, where they hang out, where they like to shop etc gives you an insight into their lives and helps you to understand their needs and what they want to see. Create content that speaks to them. That they can connect and engage with. Things that will draw them in and ultimately, want to buy from you.
If you have any questions or are looking for support with your marketing, why not arrange a call to find out how I could help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07538 715537.