10 Marketing Ideas for a Small Business
The advantages of owning your own business are numerous, starting with time efficiency to maximizing the skills and knowledge familiar to the entrepreneur, but the challenge lies in ensuring continuous flow of customers, even when resources are limited. In fact, small business don’t have a big budget when it comes to marketing, but there are several efficient marketing ideas for a small business which we are discussing today.
1. Use email marketing
Marketing via email is fast and affordable and does not require major investments. The advantages of using this information means contacting potential customers and encouraging them to make a purchase by boosting, creating opportunities and promotions to remind about the company’s expertise to gain customer confidence.
How can we promote via email marketing? Easy: newsletters and promotional e -mails regardless of the activity of the company. Newsletters are an ideal way to communicate information about the company, products and services offered, successful stories of clients who tested the products or services of the company in question. Always ask yourself what you would your customers like to read.
Promotional emails combine informational content with promotions that stimulate the demand for goods and services. A discount coupon, a general discount, a free invitation to test the company’s products or services are examples of this.
2. Be careful with branding
Although many entrepreneurs do not consider branding an important activity for small businesses, the emphasis of this is essential to be recognized on the long term in order to retain customers.
What can you do in this case:
- Establish a series of principles for selling and presenting your business image that you can send to your customers
- Make sure that your image on different materials or presentations is consistent so that it can be easily identified
- Use unified messaging when it comes to communicating with your customers
- Do not make any compromise when it comes to your company values
3. You need a marketing plan
A well-designed marketing plan puts your ideas and actions into place, helps you find out things about your customers and competitors, keeps a record of marketing activities and their expenses and helps you have a strategic influence on sales to get medium and long term results.
4. Try affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great tool for getting yourself known on the market. It works easily and effectively. In affiliate marketing, you are known as an advertisers and those that promote you are known as affiliates. It works like this: you create banners and ads and affiliates use them on their websites or blogs to promote you. If a third party clicks on the ad and makes a purchase, the affiliate will receive a commission from the sale (which you establish). Although it is a useful tool to be used on the long term, you can try it for a limited period (three to six months) and see how it works.
5. Start a blog
We cannot have an article about marketing ideas for a small business without talking about blogs. If your business consists of an online store, then starting a blog is a must. It doesn’t cost a thing (if you develop it on a free blogging platform like WordPress or Blogger) and it lets you get closes to potential customers. People want to know more about what you are selling, they want to read about how other people interacted with your product, they want you to help them make an informed decision when it comes to making a purchase. You cannot do all these things on a virtual store, but you can do them on a blog. Starting a blog is just the first step. After that you will need quality content, consistent content and call to action.
6. Don’t forget about social media
Another important tool for getting your business on the market is using social media. You have a variety of networks to choose from (Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram etc.) and the best part is that you don’t have to be present on all of them. Each of them has a different audience and according to what your business is about, you can choose one of them. As with a blog, you must provide your fans with quality content, relevant for them, content that engages them in conversations (comments), content which is interactive and fun.
Since we are talking about a small business advertising on TV, radio or newspapers will most likely seem too expensive. That is why you need to stick to the online environment. Use Facebook ads, AdSense, AdWords and make sure your image is everywhere. The best part with this type of advertising is that it doesn’t cost that much, if you know how to properly invest and juggle with your budget.
8. Strategic partnerships
It’s not uncommon for small businesses to unite during a campaign and promote each other. Of course, you have to partner up with a company that operates more or less in the same field as you do. For example, if you are selling cosmetic products, establishing a partnership with an online store which sells computer, just won’t work. But if you try ladies fashion, that will be more successful. Establish the terms of the partnership from the very beginning and make sure both partners offer and receive the same.
9. Careful with the budget
The financial topic is certainly a difficult one in any business, not just for small businesses. It is difficult to allocate a marketing budget given that taxes are big and spending priorities are those with employees, raw materials or the operation.
Most times it is very hard to plan an investment in marketing activities and achieve it. For this reason you need to approach marketing investments on the short term. Allocate a portion of your monthly gross (5-10%) for marketing activities and prepare campaigns for the next month.
Try not to choose the months with higher expenses than normal (eg, months in which you have to pay taxes).
10. Every action must be considered in terms of cost / benefit
Because we mentioned the importance of a marketing budget, perhaps even more important its how it is invested. Every marketing action must be considered terms of benefits. When you invest in marketing, you need to evaluate how it brings back because if you don’t do that, you will simply have an unnecessary expense.
We hope you found useful our list of marketing ideas for a small business and if you have other ideas on the matter, please feel free to share them with us.