CLEVER IDEAS TO MARKET YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
You don’t need to spend buckets of money on marketing. Creativity and a bit of gumption to do something different from everyone else in the market can be the difference between business success and business failure. Here are just a few of hundreds of ideas to market your business:
Attend networking events. It’s not what you know, but who you know. Get out there and network — meet and greet. You can never have too many friends in life, even if they don’t end up as customers.
Sponsor a local event or charity. It really does make you feel good to support your community, and everyone benefits — you, your staff, your customers, the people you sponsor and, of course, the community at large.
Manage your public relations. Getting your name up in lights on TV and radio, and in newspapers and magazines isn’t as hard as you think — if you’ve got a story worth telling!
Use social media. Using social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, producing your own videos for YouTube or writing your own blog are creative methods of letting people know about you and your business. Go on, have a bit of fun.
Host seminars and events. Hosting your own events and inviting along your best customers and some of their friends is a great way to get to know people, connect at a personal level and build deep relationships.
Become a public speaker. If speaking isn’t your number-one fear after death, hone your skills and become a great and entertaining speaker. It’s a fabulous way to demonstrate your expertise and generate new business enquiries from the audience.
22 Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses With Limited Budgets
1. Publish Great Content.- If you can create it yourself, all the better (isn’t free always better?). Try top 10 lists, tip collections, best practices for your industry, etc
2. Create Instructional Videos. Video content is really valuable, and while it can cost big bucks to get professional YouTube videos produced, there’s nothing wrong with giving it a shot yourself
3. Get Ad Promo Credits. While massive ad campaigns may be out of your budget, there are often discounts and coupons floating around for paid Facebook ads or Google ads. Some web hosting services offer advertising discount codes as part of their membership offerings.
4. Reddit. Reddit, a bare-bones social network self-titled as the “front page of the internet,” can be a powerful tool when used strategically. Reddit is composed of a very tech-savvy audience that bristles at any obvious marketing tactics.
5. Be a Savvy Social Networker. Create business accounts and participate in the big social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Add Instagram in there too if your business is image-oriented.
6. Stumble Upon Advertising. If you want to try some paid advertising but you’re not looking to break the bank, Stumle Upon’s Paid Search Discovery could be for you
7. DIY Infographics. Infographics are insanely powerful marketing tools. They’re visual eye candy, they’re easy to digest, and people love to share them
8. Give New Life to Old Data. If your marketing budget it tight, you might not be able to always afford content writers to whip up content for your blog. If you’re in a dry spell, instead of making something new, breathe new life into something that already exists on the web. There are a ton of data studies and stats available on the internet. While some of these studies may get initial traction, many often go unnoticed.
9. Lounge About on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a major social media site that is often under-utilized. Don’t just add network connections and sign out – join groups, enter into dialogue with connections, and share your blog posts.
10. Recycle Your Content. Just as you can repurpose existing data studies, you can rehash your old content into new creations as well! Turn a webinar into a video tutorial
11. Develop a Customer Referral Program. Offer existing customers a free product, free month of service, or some other reward for referring new customers.
12. Online Contests. You’ll need to cough up some dough for a prize, but the number of participants and new potential leads you get will be well worth the price
13. Industry Partnerships. Team up with a business related to your industry (but not a direct competitor) for a joint project.
14. Apply Online for Business Awards. Most industries have business awards you can win, providing you with an online badge you can place on your website. Badges like these can boost credibility, and as a result, increase sales.
15. Awesome Business Cards. Get yourself some snazzy business cards, then give them to every person you lay eyes on. Every handshake should come with a business card.
16. Guerilla Marketing. Guerilla marketing emphasizes creativity over budget, and strategies are often cheap and easy to implement, especially when localized. Broadcast your Twitter handle with sidewalk chalk, use an abandoned storefront as a canvas for street art, or plaster custom stickers on urban décor that makes those who stroll by look twice.
17. Host an Event or Class. Plan an event or class to host, then print out flyers and post them on community bulletin boards (libraries, coffee shops, local colleges and adult ed centers). While most community bulletin boards won’t let you post business advertisements, they’re often more than happy to post a flyer promoting an educational event or class.
18. Business Card Drawing. Put a fishbowl at your place of business with a sign asking visitors to drop their business cards in for a chance to win something from you
19. Email Marketing. Email marketing is a great way to get new visitors engaged with your business, as well as maintain relationships with your existing customers.
20. Car Magnets for the Company Car. Slap a magnetic sign on your company car to build brand awareness as you drive around town (just be sure to obey traffic laws). Bumper stickers and window decals work as well!
21. Give Away Balloons at Local Events. Get a few hundred custom balloons printed with your business name, rent a helium tank, and watch the smiles roll in.
22. Join in on Local Contests. Consider donating a product or service of yours as a prize in a local contest or event.
My Marketing Plan
Using these ideas I have put together a basic marketing plan for 2018:
For the first part of my marketing plan I am unable to fill out the events section as this is to far in advance but here in the future I can events I will be attending to promote the event such as:
‘Business Show London’ and ‘Small Business Saturday’
“Sales Event and Promotional Eevnts”- These includes events such as the ‘Business Show London’ and ‘Small Business Saturday’. My sales events will be where I hope to secure more customers and sponsors. I haven’t filled out in this section as this marketing plan is for 2018 and It is too far in advance to know dates for these events and others. But as soon as an event did come up I could note it down on my marketing calender.
“Charity”- As Dummy.com says in CLEVER IDEAS TO MARKET YOUR SMALL BUSINESS working with a chairty can be a great way to get your name out there into the community and also build a stronger social capital. So i have put down that I will be looking to support on one chairty event per season.
“Workshop Event”- Both Dummy.com and wordstream.com in their articles in my reseach state you should host or attend public events. While most shops wont put up promotional material for businesses they will put up promtional material for workshop events they host or are local. So you get some what free advertising and you get to intergrate with the local community.
“Networking Events”. These events are not so much for promotion of my buisness but to meet other people within the sector who may help production or offer support be it financial or advice. As this plan is for 2018 when i would start up my venture I cannot. To find out more about my plans for networking click here
“In Store Marketing” will be where we are open to the public to come to talk to us, open appointments so they can meet the team and we can disucss with them how our services will help them and what membership is for them. This also helps build a strong and trusting customer to business relationship.
“University Scouting” Is when myself and my team will travel to a number of the Universities discussed in my business plan in order to recuit content writers. This will also help us spread our name throughout educational establishments and even if people don’t want to work for us we may interest other young entrepreneurs who want to use our services.
“In Store Events” I hope to host one social media workshop a month. During these work shops I will help give advice to people who are members to the site and also give exclusive tips and tricks of the trade. I will also open it to people who struggle to understand social media and want help simply setting up a Facebook page or understanding how social media works. This would be increidbly useful if I wanted to help local elderly people.
“Sponsorship” A main source of my income will be through sponsors so here I have set myself the target of securing two new sponsors every month. This will allow me to create a wide variety of sponsorship material but also bring in a steady and some what reliable source of income. To read more about my sponsorship plans click here
“Webinars” Exclusively for members I will offer them acess to our webinar sessions where we will be giving live tutorials and answering questions live. This will help boost our connection with our customers but also help create a buzz around our name. People look forward to events and this will be away of bringing back customers over and over.
Hootsuit offers a platform to host Webinars but also helps you promote them to people who are interested in this subject field and or just want to be a part of the webinar community.
“Social Media” and “Online” These two sections are completly blocked out because these are our two main points of contact and content creation. We will be using these sites daily in order to interact with our customers and share our new and exciting content. No day will go by without some sort of game plan for our social media pages.
“Advertising” In terms of advertising I want to prodomotley use social media for the most part due to its ease, small cost and it is easy to target your audience. But I would be looking to secure some form of radio advertising be it be a small advert or an interview to talk about the project. I am in connection with a lot of local communtiy radio stations which I know would happily support me in this idea. Other forms of advertising will be print: posters to go around Universities, job centres, small local shops etc.
“Market Research” It is important to constantly be checking up on your market research as things can change such as financial issues, govermental changes, technological advances etc. So conducting a survey and impact study allows me to keep up to date with the market and also get a better understanding of my customer and how they are finding the site. It will help me make changes on a monthly basis and keep customers happy and interested in my project.
“It is a chance to get into a customer’s head and get to grips with their purchasing decisions”
“Markets and trends move fast these days with products and services go in and out of fashion quickly; becoming the latest trend within a matter of days and consequently becoming old news just as fast.”
Here is some marketing material I have produced as an exmaple of what I will be using and what I am able to create individually without spendings hundreds on someone else to design it for me.: