For many small business owners it can be difficult to identify the most effective marketing strategies to increase exposure while minimizing the investment required in terms of cash and time.
Here are some thoughts on how to improve your marketing effectiveness with minimal cost.
- Taking advantage of free marketing opportunities ought to be a given. Social media is proving to be a lasting trend that not only reaches far beyond the regular scope of a simple marketing campaign but is also constant, versatile and universally accessible.
- Focus your campaign on your perceived strengths – use this opportunity to give your brand a signature that marks you as different from your competition. Hone in to specifics creating a distinctive message.
- Be your own marketing analyst. With some simple research techniques you can determine what gives you the best return on investment for your business which is vital when funds are scarce.
- Re-evaluate your target or niche markets. Utilize simple strategies that help to distinguish where you need to be spending your marketing dollars.
Once you have identified your key audience and defined your message the next focus is on representation. Employ both direct (more costly) and indirect (less costly) measures to deploy your message.
- Consider running seminars or courses that provide a mutual benefit for your industry, sponsor events or promos that may engage your target audiences or consider a partnership with a non-profit organization that may highlight and be a benefit to both of you.
- Business cards and stationary are a classic but solid method. These days printing costs are very low and this method is one of the easiest ways to gain exposure. Leave your card wherever is appropriate, asking friends, local business owners and colleagues to help you pass them on.
- Your team members may well interact with your target market at times that you don’t expect. Give them their own business cards and encourage them to promote the business whenever they can.
- Join local community groups and clubs. As well as making a contribution to your community you may well find opportunities that would not otherwise be available to you. The cost is negligible and the networking potential is very high. Offer free consultations, trial periods or sample products or even consider putting on a contest that will get your service, product or name out there.
- Asking for referrals should be a normal part of your business but also make sure you involve friends, loyal customers and family.
The main message then is to focus on quality over quantity in all of your marketing efforts. You don’t have to have the biggest marketing budget in your market to be the most effective. Develop an effective marketing message and continually test to find the best way to get that message out to your target customers.
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