When a business is small or just starting out, budgets can be extremely tight. Often, marketing is one expenditure that is overlooked when a company is pinching pennies. However, some entrepreneurs don't understand that marketing can make or break a business. Even if cash flow is tight, investing in marketing can have a significant positive impact on your business. Following are 6 budget-friendly ideas of how to market your small business even if you don't have much budget to spare.
How to Market Your Small Business for Success
1. Give It Away
Giving your products or services away for free might seem counterintuitive if funds are sparse. But, if you give your target customers the chance to experience your offerings, chances are good that they will want to purchase more. This is especially important for discerning consumers who are more comfortable purchasing something they've tried first.
2. Use Social Media
It is totally free to create social media accounts for your business on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and more. Post useful information that's interesting and easy to share. As your number of followers starts to increase, you will be able to tell what kind of content they like best, and what types of posts convert into sales. Once you get the hang of it, you can decide to boost posts or use other paid options to catch the attention of your current and would-be customers.
3. Review Your Data
It's been said that marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed. Take a look at any data you have about your customers, and consider how you can better target their needs and desires. If you don't have any data on your customers or target market, consider gathering some. A survey is a simple and cost-effective way to collect data.
4. Make Your Existing Customers Happy
Sometimes, happy customers are the best form of marketing. Go above and beyond to make sure your existing customers are delighted with your product or service. If they truly value what you offer, they will likely refer your business to friends and colleagues.
5. Be Sure to Network
Networking is a great option if you're wondering how to market your small business for no money at all. You can attend local business networking events or simply reach our to other companies or individuals in your community or targeted industry. Don't be shy to shake some hands and talk about your business. The more people who know who you are and what you do, the more likely you are to get a new customer referral or even land a partnership.
6. Crank Out Good Content
Providing useful articles or videos that are relevant to your business and interesting to your audience can be a great marketing vehicle that costs little more than an investment of time. Start out by posting content to a company blog. Send emails to contacts letting them know to check it out. Once you have a bit of a portfolio, you can start pitching your content to other websites or publications that reach your target customers. Contributed pieces in trusted media outlets can have a huge amount of clout with potential consumers.
No matter what marketing methods you choose, know that even a small expenditure of time and money can go a very long way in securing new and existing customers, thereby growing your business. Though many marketing methods are free, if you choose to outsource marketing or pay for a sophisticated campaign, small business loans can help put those options within your reach.