If you’re a small business owner, you probably don’t have big bucks to throw at marketing. So what can you do to get your message out there? The good news is that there are plenty of options to spread your message. You just need to know where to look. Here we’re going to look at some of the latest methods for getting your business noticed, both on and off-line.
Publish Unique Content
Google is a search engine, and it loves keywords, references, and links. But that’s not all it takes to build a great online presence. It also takes great content. Content is what drives people to your site. Content creates value in its own right, and it makes people want to stay on your site. And it also helps your domain list higher on search rankings. If you’re not all that confident with writing yourself, find somebody on your team who is. Ask them if they’d be willing to crank out a couple of blogs per day. At first, stick to the most generic titles, like top 10 lists and best practices. And make sure that the content you’re producing is relevant to your products and services. With a little luck, your blog should start generating follow-on business in no time.
When infographics were first invented, few people knew how powerful they would be. But the combination of data and graphics has worked a charm. And now marketers all around the world are building them to increase their online presence. One of the cool things about infographics right now is that they are instantly marketable. Anybody can approach a blog with an infographic and start receiving referrals. Infographics are also easier than ever to make, thanks to new online builder platforms. Designers cost around $150 per graphic. But, if you fancy a challenge, you can make your own for free.
Branded Corporate Gifts
The first person to think up the corporate gift was a genius. Corporate gifts help expose people to your brand on a daily basis. What’s more, they are not intrusive, like so much advertising today. Instead, gifts can be outright useful. Among the first corporate gifts were things like pens, mugs, and paperweights. But the market has since diversified into practically every type of consumer product you can imagine. Dynamic Gift stubby holders, for instance, keep drinks cool on a hot day. You can also get branded NFC tags, mouse mats, and playing cards. When somebody uses a product with branding, they get familiar with your enterprise without even knowing it.
The Business Card Fishbowl Gambit
Small businesses are forever looking for ways to build their email marketing lists. But creating those lists can be difficult, especially if you don’t know who to reach out to. Here’s an idea: start a competition. Ask people to leave their business cards in a fishbowl at the place where you work. Tell them that if they leave their cards, they’ll be put into a prize draw. Once you’ve got their emails, send them a note telling them that they’ve not won this time. Then use their emails to send them further marketing information in the future. Remember, emails are essentially free. So even if there is a small chance any of your emails will convert, you’ve not lost anything.
Strut Your Stuff On LinkedIn
As a social media outlet, LinkedIn tends to be underused. That’s probably because most businesses think that they’re doing enough if they post on the big three. But LinkedIn is still a great place to build your profile and connect with people. On LinkedIn, there are groups and opportunities to share your blog posts with others. There are also plenty of opportunities to share your ideas and build a better brand. If you’re new to LinkedIn, you’ll need to invest a little time sprucing up your profile.
Develop Your Own Referral Program
Getting new customers is the hardest part of doing business. That’s why smart companies set up their own referral programs. They know that word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool in their arsenal. New customers are likely to value word-of-mouth far more highly than the company’s own marketing material. Referral programs offer existing customers a financial reward for sending new customers their way. Many companies, for instance, offer what they call a “finder’s fee.” It’s a payment paid to existing clients who evangelize about your brand. And it can make a real difference.
Hold Online Contests
The bad news is that if you want to hold an online contest, you’ll have to cough up the money. The good news is that online contests often generate loads of new leads. If your budget is really tight, you often don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive prizes. Just think about the type of prize your audience would most appreciate. If you’re not sure how to organize an online competition, check out tools like Rafflecopter and PunchTab. These tools can be used to embed competitions in your blogs and make them accessible to your members.
Apply For Business Awards
Business awards are an excellent way to show your customers that you’re a high-performing and genuine business. What’s more, these awards are essentially free. Even applying for awards can hold some merit for your company, especially if the reward has a runner-up category. Newspapers, like the Guardian, also offer awards. The Guardian currently operates its “Startup of the Year” award. Again, just being a runner-up on this award carries a lot of prestige, so it’s worth entering for that alone.
Host A Class
Hosting an event or a class is a great way to get you in front of people and quickly. If your business offers expertise, think about who would benefit. Then hand out flyers explaining the class and what people can expect. Most community bulletin boards don’t let businesses place direct adverts. But they’ll usually be happy to promote a class that is educational. You can find bulletin boards on college campuses, coffee shops, and supermarkets.
Did we miss anything? Let us know.