Guest Post submitted by Jake Moreno
If you have ever owned or managed a business, you probably understand how difficult it can be to determine which investments will be worth it and which ones won’t be. The thing is, for most investments, you can have a pretty good idea if they will be worth it or not, but you won’t know for sure until you’ve tried them—at which point, it’s often too late to turn back. Especially for smaller businesses, one bad investment can be devastating to the company, which makes choosing your investments even more nerve-racking.
Of course, there are plenty of ways to reduce the risk of making investments, including doing research and making smaller investments. I want to talk about the former option, specifically in the realm of marketing. Some marketing methods are quite expensive, and others are quite cheap and often equally as effective, which are great for making the most of your budget. If you’re looking for some cost-effective marketing tips for your small business to minimize risk and maximize return, you might want to check a few of these out!
Social Media Marketing
We’ll start with the most obvious one first: social media marketing. Having a free marketing platform that generates leads, establishes new connections, and strengthens brands is every small business owner’s dream, and that’s exactly what social media marketing is. Social media marketing is one of the most effective forms of advertising, and it’s free, so it’s the first one you’ll want to start with. Start with the two main platforms (Instagram and Facebook) and then consider branching out into other areas such as Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and more. You’ll be glad you did!
Billboards have been around for ages, and they’re not going away soon. Why? Because they work! When people are driving, billboards are often one of the only interesting things people have to look at, so they do. For a relatively cheap price, renting a billboard can get your company access to millions of people who perhaps otherwise wouldn’t have known about your company. Especially if you’re trying to attract a local audience, renting a billboard is usually a sound investment to make.
Teaming up with other local businesses is a great way to get new customers and strengthen your brand loyalty. Local collaborations are great because they usually are on a favor-for-favor basis, meaning the other company will promote your company if you promote theirs. That way, you’re developing new relationships, reaching new customers, and building brand loyalty—for free!
Market to Existing Customers
When people think about advertising, they often focus only on reaching new customers. While that is definitely an important aspect of marketing, there is another side to it: marketing to existing customers. Your existing customers are already fans of your brand; they already trust you and enjoy your products and/or services, so all you need to do is give them a nudge here and there to encourage them to become repeat customers. Whether you’re sending an email, social media message, or even a text, all of those small (and free!) things can generate a profit by getting more customers through your doors.
The best thing about sidewalk signs, banners, and other forms of advertising that are near your place of business is, well, that they are near your place of business! Anybody who sees those signs is already minutes or even a few feet away from your store, so all they have to do is take a small detour. And if your sign is appealing enough, it can generate a lot of foot traffic that you otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. Perhaps the best part is that all of those things are very cheap and easy to make, so you know you’re getting a great deal!
Customer Referral Programs
Everybody knows that the most effective form of marketing is word of mouth marketing. People will always trust their friends and family more than they will any business, so when peers tell their peers about a new store they love, that new store just hit the jackpot. Of course, bribing people to speak highly of your company is not the best way to go, but many companies have customer referral programs that encourage their frequent customers to spread the word about why they enjoy shopping there. And when that happens, it’s a win/win for everybody: you get new customers, they get rewarded for spreading the news, and more people get the benefits that your company has to offer!
Let’s Chat > Have you used any of these cost saving marketing tips? Leave a comment below.