Updated: Feb 1, 2019
Traditional media is expensive and results are often difficult to measure. However, the good news is that small businesses can now access affordable and easy-to-track digital marketing avenues to help attract new customers.
So critical is the need to grow your business that you have to find cost-effective ways of increasing your sales and growing your bottom line. As an entrepreneur, you do not have the luxury of lavish marketing budgets such as those afforded by big brands.
Traditional media is expensive and results are often difficult to measure. However, the good news is that small businesses can now access affordable and easy-to-track digital marketing avenues to help attract new customers. But where do you start?
Here are 5 indisputable ways to market your small business on a tight budget.
1.Start writing a blog.
Blogging is one of the most affordable ways of making money or to simply get the word out about your business. A blog acts as a platform to share useful information about your products and services. You can start a free blog on WordPress or Wix and start producing your own dynamic content such as articles, guides, tips and so on. Both platforms offer a host of affordable tools to help create and distribute your content with considerable ease.
It helps to always have a goal in mind when writing a blog post. It could be either getting readers to subscribe to your email list or to contact you to ask about the products and services mentioned in the post.
When you create engaging content, it keeps users coming back for some more. A useful way of marketing your blog is through reaching out for opportunities as a guest blogger. This is a great way to showcase your expertise and knowledge, while indirectly generating positive press for your business.
If overwhelmed, or do not like writing, you can outsource it to freelance writers in different platforms such as Upwork and related Facebook groups.
2. Email marketing
Once you have set up your blog, you can allow subscribers to sign up for upcoming content and freebies. You can also get emails from Sign-Ups on your Social Media pages. Use these emails to send out email marketing campaigns so that you can stay in touch with your audience.
Through these email marketing campaigns, you are able to keep the current customers informed, generate leads that lead to future customers. It helps to create a series of email campaigns to be automatically sent out to new subscribers periodically.
Automating your emails will help keep your brand at the forefront of your audiences' minds without having to spend time crafting new emails each day, week, or month.
3. Free trials and giveaways
Word of " free" travels fast. Today, people are more comfortable purchasing something that they have experienced first. Freebies are a great way to increase demand for your product or service.
If someone has an opportunity to experience your product or service first, it generally increases the chances of them becoming paying customers. Giveaways, like free trials, cashback offers, freemium access, etc. are especially effective for "One-to-many" kinds of services like software-as-a-service, rentals, etc.
One of the best ways to create awareness for your business and build a customer base is by joining professional groups and networking associations. Take some time out of your busy schedule and go meet and greet other business owners and while shaking hands, you get to know each other and the services they offer.
Folks you meet while networking could very well help you land a valuable partnership, provide services that you need at an affordable price, or even become your clients.
5. Offer incentives for referrals
Are you asking for referrals or introductions?
If not, you are missing a golden opportunity.
Don’t be shy to ask for referrals. One of the most effective methods of marketing is word of mouth. Your current customers are your best advocates. They are the most familiar with your services or products and can speak effectively about the benefits of your offerings to other prospective customers.
In some cases, you can offer incentives when you on-board a new client that they referred. This reward could be a discount for future purchases, a free month of service or a physical gift. You will be surprised by the turn-around that will happen to your customers with a little motivation.