10 Marketing Tips for Small Businesses on a Tight Budget
Effective marketing doesn’t always have to be backed up by large investments. New entrepreneurs with limited marketing budgets can rely on their ingenuity, industry knowledge and networking skills to make themselves known and acquire new customer.
No matter how much your product is worth, to convert undecided users into loyal customers you definitely need a solid marketing plan. Every company, large or small, must allocate a significant portion of its capital to the marketing budget. A survey indicates that marketing is a top investment priority for companies, with budgets exceeding 12% of total investments.
If you have a small business, you may not have the budget to make large advertising investments such as, TV commercials, newspaper ads, or paid social media advertisements. But there are other easy, low-cost options you can use to grow your marketing campaign .
Here Are 10 Tips to Put Into Practice Right Away:
Build an Unique Online Presence
If you need to create your online presence, don’t base your decision solely on the availability of the first domain name you find. Instead, choose a name that fits your business idea as closely as possible and then find the perfect domain name on a new extension. With the new domain extensions , such as .TECH, .STORE , .ONLINE , .PRESS , .SITE , .FUN , etc., you have the opportunity to bring creativity into your domain naming process.
Create your “Elevator Pitch”
An elevator pitch is a very short speech, which should not last more than a few floors in the elevator, during which you effectively present the business idea of your company. In today’s world, where time and attention have an added value, one cannot afford to be vague or lengthy without reaching the main goal. Your presentation needs to be short, precise and compelling – enough to engage customers and give them all the information they need to choose your product – all in 30 seconds.
Take Advantage of the Financial Leverage on a Targeted Goal
Taking a local approach to marketing can be the right way to get the product and your company known. Study your target audience, get to know them and understand their needs by finding the best way to offer exactly what they are looking for. Attending local or cultural events, markets, exhibitions and so on could be a great branding opportunity.
Collaborate with Other Companies
What cannot be achieved alone can be achieved in collaboration with another partner who has similar interests to yours. Collaborate with local companies that have a connection with your business in some way (other than direct competition) to participate in activities that will benefit both of you. Collaborative special events, webinars, seminars, co-sponsorships, contests, offers that could reduce your marketing costs and help you expand your customer base.
Expand Your Network
Marketing is all about making the right connections with the people you are interested in, and there is no better way to do it than to get involved by talking and introducing yourself to them. It is easier to get people to believe in your product if you have the opportunity to talk to them directly. The creation of relationships can not give immediate results, but a strong network of reliable people is an added value that can come to your aid at any time, often when you least expect it.
Choose to Speak in Public
Public speaking is a subtle form of face-to-face marketing that can help you gain credibility with customers or potential business partners. Speaking at public events, conferences and seminars, you can introduce yourself as an expert or a leading figure in your field. With compelling content and great articulation, you can convince people that when they buy from you, they don’t just buy a product, they also benefit from your knowledge and skills. Public speaking may not be everyone’s strong suit, but doing so often is likely to yield better results.
Make the Most of References (Referrals)
According to a Neilson study cited by Forbes, 92% of consumers believe in recommendations from friends and family over any other form of advertising. The word of mouth is still a powerful tool, and if you do not use to reach new customers (especially if you are a new business), you lose an opportunity of simple, but effective marketing. Let your current, satisfied customers be your link to new ones by asking for their reviews and comments. You can incentivize them through rewards such as offers, subscriptions, discounts etc.
Build Strong Customer Relationships
If your customers are happy with the services you offer, they are likely to keep coming back to you (and bring other customers as well). Acquiring a new customer is five times more expensive than keeping an existing customer. Make an effort to build your customers’ trust and you will surely be rewarded for their loyalty and good reviews. Try to reach them regularly through sending personalized emails, interacting on social media, and offering impeccable customer service. Investing successfully to maintain contact with existing customers will greatly reduce your marketing costs.
Offering discounts and rewards is an effective tool for acquiring new customers who might otherwise not be persuaded to get in touch with your product. Nobody says “No” to a captivating offer that gives you big savings, so regular incentives to buy through coupons, free shipping, deep discounts on high volume purchases, and free gifts are surefire ways to keep customers loyal without breaking the bank.
Organize Free Product Experiences
Who doesn’t love a gift? Offering free product trials allows you to interact with potential buyers, giving them the opportunity to try what you are selling by helping them understand your sector expertise. Think of it as a way to take your marketing efforts to the next level: you’re not just asking people to buy your product, you’re giving them the opportunity to try it for free.
For a new business looking to get the maximum return on its investment, a small-scale , creative, collaborative and hands- on approach to marketing may be the right way to succeed . This can also be a great opportunity for these companies to really get to know their customers and build meaningful relationships with them.