A strong marketing strategy is absolutely essential to any business, even one that’s been around for some time and has grown substantially. A successful entrepreneur is always looking to find new customers and keep them coming back, and marketing is the key to bringing money into your business.
You don’t need a huge marketing budget to build your brand and get the word out about your business. Try some of these cost-effective marketing techniques and watch your business blossom.
1. Use keywords. Once you’ve built a great looking website for your business, make sure you’re making the most of it. You don’t necessarily have to be an SEO expert to build your website’s potential- just make sure you include the sort of keywords people will use when searching online for terms related to your business.
2. Get on social media. Social media is one of the best free tools around for marketing your business. Make sure that your business is active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and anywhere else you can set up an account- then use it as much as possible. Don’t forget the hashtags!
3. Blog regularly. Another important thing to remember when considering the content of your business’s website is to update consistently with lengthy, informative blog posts. These posts are more likely to bring new customers over to your site, and could lead to other sites linking back to your page, improving your web presence and strengthening your brand.
4. Reach out to the community. Sponsor a local sports team or charity event- it’s an easy way to help out with a worthy cause and get your business’s name seen by a wider group of people.
5. Offer your story. Speak to local magazines and newspapers about sharing your entrepreneurial journey with their readership.
6. Networking. Networking is one of the key elements of any marketing strategy, no matter how big or small your business is. Get out there and talk to as many people as possible- particularly those who are involved in your line of business. Shake hands, exchange numbers and build a large network of contacts. It’s a long-term commitment but it almost always pays off.
7. Sent out postcards. Flyering may seem like an old-fashioned marketing technique, but it’s popular because it works. Send out neatly designed postcards telling people in your area about the services you offer, and watch the new customers pile in.
8. Get support. If you’re struggling to market your business by yourself, call in a consultant or specialist who can support your business with a new, invigorating marketing strategy. If you’re on a tight budget and can’t make room to splash out on a specialist, consider organising a barter or employing an intern or student specialising in marketing to offer advice.
9. Word of mouth. One of the simplest and most effective ways to grow your business is through referrals. Ask your customers to tell their friends about your business if they’ve had a positive experience. If you offer strong customer service and do your job well, they should be more than happy to spread the word at no additional cost to you.
10. Offer coupons. Sending out coupons and special offer deals is a surefire way to get new customers into your business- just ensure that their experience is good enough that they want to come back again and pay the full price.
11. Email marketing. Ask customers to sign up to a mailing list and send out regular newsletters and special offers to keep them interested in what your business has to offer.
12. Create customer loyalty cards. A loyalty program or discount card is a great way to keep your existing customers happy and ensure they continue visiting your business.