During challenging economic times, your company most likely targets a broad variety of budget categories with cuts, but marketing probably isn’t one of those affected. Although few businesses are willing to spend significantly extra on marketing when finances are tight, it’s important to realize that marketing is essential for most businesses. Marketing helps you acquire new customers while retaining the loyalty of existing ones, and without it, you’ll be left with very few connections between your business and your customer base. Luckily, there are a number of ways to supplement your marketing campaign with efforts that won’t break the bank. Below, you will find the top three inexpensive yet effective ways to market your small business:
1. Offer yourself up as an expert in your field.
People are always on the hunt for information, and as a business manager, you’re in a great position to provide it. Your expertise will be valuable to the individuals who want advice, and just as importantly, it will also be valuable to your business because providing information affords you an excellent opportunity to market your company or product. Writers for blogs, newspapers, and magazines would all likely be very interested in harvesting your knowledge and utilizing your skills for articles and editorials.
What’s more, by being a source of information in your field, you prove to customers and competitors that you’re a leading source of knowledge in your area of expertise. This makes your business more appealing, and it also increases the trustworthiness of your brand. Finally, providing information to the public on behalf of your business also increases name recognition for your business or brand.
2. Have a professional website.
This is a simple task, but it can make a big difference in how you and your business appears to the outside world. When people are searching for a product or service, one of the very first things they do is search on the internet for a relevant business. As a business, one of the best ways for you to lose that prospective customer is to have a website that is non-functional, poorly designed, or (heaven forbid) nonexistent. Businesses without websites are often viewed as out of touch, uninformed, outdated, and unconcerned, so if you’re one of the last holdouts in the tech-revolution, then it’s time for you to change your ways and create a website.
Websites allow you to attract new customers who otherwise would have passed over your business in favor of a competing company, and despite what you may think, a website won’t complicate your business very much at all (and, in many cases, could actually help streamline it). Websites don’t have to be fancy or expensive, and with today’s services, you can create and maintain an effective and attractive site for very little money.
If you have an existing website and want to know whether it’s living up to its full potential, please refer to these helpful articles:
3. Don’t be afraid to target new audiences.
For businesses new to the marketing game, one of the most important things to do is to find your target audience and tailor your marketing campaign to that audience. However, while understanding your demographic is certainly important, it’s equally important that you never feel confined to this group of people. If you’re looking for a new twist to your marketing campaign (one that could potentially unlock a whole new audience), then consider broadening your marketing efforts to target those other than your ideal audience. This will be an experiment, to be sure, which means that it might not yield ideal results, but it will almost certainly benefit those businesses who have restricted their marketing to the point where they’ve become stuck in a rut.
If you decide to experiment with new audiences, be sure you don’t abandon your initial target audience, because right now, they’re your best chance of securing business. Do consider branching out, though. Doing so gives you the opportunity to find customers and clients in places you never thought possible, and this can give you new perspectives on your products and services. Your business could be forever changed for the better as a result.