Marketing and Networking for Small Businesses
When you have a tight budget, it might be tempting to cut the marketing budget first. Wait, though, you really might not want to do that. Yes, the more traditional methods for marketing can be quite costly and difficult to measure, but now you have options. Small businesses now have access to marketing tools that are both trackable and cost-effective.
The thing is, with the abundance of digital marketing tools available, where should you start?
Most people start with the tried and true email marketing because the average return on it will be around $38 for each dollar that is spent.
But, email marketing is just the beginning. Here is a quick look at some of your other options that can assist you in marketing your business on a small budget.
Going to conferences and events is a good way to market your business. What can you do with a single booth at an event, though? DoubleDutch is an event app that can take your conference presence to an entirely new level. It makes passive attendees more interactive. You can use it to get feedback from the attendees of the event, to present them with surveys to gather data that can be highly relevant, to answer questions that attendees may have and even more.
Tools for Social Media Management
There are quite a few tools that can be used to manage the social media accounts of your business. These tools can allow you to save quite a bit of hard work as well as time. These tools will also allow for your marketing campaign on social media to be incredibly more effective. Some of the tools that you can use include:
- Spout Social
Small Business Administration
The SBA is also a great resource for finding ways to market a small business on a budget. They offer training for marketing and they also let you know all of the do’s and don’ts of it. They will let you know how to comply with all of the various advertising laws and what best practices are. They can also guide you when it comes to email marketing, product labeling, advertising specific products and laws regarding telemarketing.
You need to be marketing no matter where you are – this includes when you are in an elevator. For this reason, you need to develop an elevator pitch. Research has shown that the average adult’s attention span is only about 8 seconds long, so that is exactly how long you will have to grab their attention. If you manage to engage them successfully, you will only have a bit more than a minute to truly sell them on your service or product. It is worth your time to create a boss elevator pitch. You will get a return on your investment that will bring massive dividends when it comes to creating new business opportunities.
Use Your Community
You don’t always need to think big in terms of marketing. Think about your locality. What is happening right now in your own community? You might think about sponsoring a 5k charity run or even a Little League team. Consider printing bookmarks and leaving them at your local library. Think about your ideal customer. Where and how will they spend their time? When you discover that, find opportunities to get your name in front of them along with your marketing message.
Get together with a group of non-competitive, synergistic businesses in the community and agree to cross-promote. Use things like social media platforms, bundled promotions, reciprocal website links, fliers and coupons. When you collaborate with other businesses, you will be able to expand on your customer base due to the fact that you will be reaching new people.
You know, there really isn’t a better way to build your business than to get out there and get to know people and shake their hands. Networking does require a commitment of time and no, it will not get you instant gratification, but it does happen to be one of the best assets that any business can have.
These cost effective strategies for marketing will assist you in engaging customers, building relationships, and keeping your brand on everyone’s mind. Marketing doesn’t have to be about the money that is spent, it is more about the effort and the time that goes into it. Above all, it is about making sure that your business is relevant to your customers.