If you’ve ever gotten stuck in a marketing rut—you’re not alone.
Coming up with new and trendy marketing ideas starts to get hard, especially if you’re a small business, have a limited number of funds or have a small team to conjure up ideas from. We’ve all hit the inevitable marketing road block and thought to ourselves—“have we done all the marketing we can do?”
At AffordableDisplays.com, we face the same issues as any other small business. Trade show displays might be our thing, but that doesn’t mean every now and then we don’t hop on the struggle bus when it comes to marketing.
First things first, you absolutely need to invest in marketing in some way. Word of mouth is great, but only has the potential to take you so far. You would need a lot of momentum and a lot of customers for word of mouth to launch you to the next level. Spending money on marketing might pose a problem especially if you’re on a shoestring budget, which many small businesses are.
With a small budget in mind, here’s a few quick and easy tips that won’t break the marketing bank:
1. Business cards
Yup, the never fail approach to spreading the word. Business cards offer a quick exchange to anyone inquiring about your business and gives them all the tools to get in touch with you at a later date. And the good thing is that they aren’t as expensive as they used to be! You can get a box of 1000 business cards for under $50.00. Yes you read that right $50.00! That’s a small price to pay to have the ability to scatter your information wherever you go.
Networking online and in person is another great way to get the word out. This can be as easy as a Facebook or LinkedIn post letting your friends and family know about your products and/or services you offer. People who know you personally are more likely to check out your business and they may even share your information with some of their friends who may need your services as well.
3. Partnerships and collaborations
Partner up with other neighboring small businesses or any business that shares the same target audience as you. Go in together on prizes for a social media contest, set up a referral program or offer package deals together. It’s a great way to drum up new business for you both along with making new business connections.
Starting a blog on your website offers the opportunity to to rank higher on more relevant keywords in google searches, along with keeping your website content up to date and shows that your business is active to new customers. Ask customers to subscribe to your email list. By sending regular email blasts to your customers this will keep you in the forefront of their mind and provide an easy way to regularly connect with your target audience.
5. Giveaways, coupons, discounts
Grab the attention of new customers quickly by offering a discount, giveaway or coupon code for first time purchases. It’s a low-risk, high-reward situation for them – a win-win really! List these offers on the homepage of your site or within the first few emails to new customers in order to hook them while you still have their interest and before they move on to someone else. Just make sure to state it’s for first-time customers only or it will chew a whole in your pocket pretty quickly.
6. Speaking opportunities
This may not be as scary as it sounds! It could mean guest hosting a webinar, providing a quote or tip for an article or appearing in front of an audience. Whenever possible, whether online or in person, always say yes even if they don’t pay well or at all. Announcing you’ve participated in an event as an invited expert gives you the opportunity to build major credibility within your industry and can often result in new connections you might not have made otherwise.
Marketing is a necessary evil if you want your business to survive and thrive, but as you can see it doesn’t need to break the bank. Actively invest in your business with these small business marketing tips to get the most out of any budget you may have. We’ve used each of these strategies in our business, so we can speak to their effectiveness. Even if it’s just a glance at a business card or a quick handshake at a networking event, even the smallest gestures can result in big business!