How to promote your business on a budget
From social media to visual branding and word of mouth advertising, there are lots of creative ways to market your business without breaking the bank.
Marketing is an essential part of any business – after all, if nobody knows you exist, you’re not going to sell anything. However, for many small businesses, budgets are tight, especially when first starting out, and there is not always a lot of money available to spend on flashy marketing activities. Luckily, there are lots of creative and effective ways to promote your business without breaking the bank.
Word of mouth
Word of mouth advertising, where satisfied customers tell others about your product or service, is by far one of the most effective and credible forms of marketing – people are 50 times more likely to buy something if it is recommended by friends or family.
To capitalise on this, you need to make sure that you go above and beyond to satisfy your customers and provide a fantastic service at all times. You can also encourage customers to leave reviews, and use any testimonials from satisfied customers on your website and marketing materials.
For a small business with a limited budget, social media can be an invaluable marketing tool, helping you to build your brand, engage with potential and existing customers, and dramatically increase your reach. However, it is not enough to simply set up some social media accounts and hope for the best.
In order to utilise its full potential you will need to create regular and engaging content that is relevant both to the platform and to your target audience. You will also need to think about what social media networks suit your brand best – for example, a business to business venture may wish to use LinkedIn, whereas, for a travel-based company, Instagram could be a better fit.
Despite what many marketing experts predicted, email marketing is far from dead, and is still one of the most reliable and effective ways of communicating with customers. However, to avoid your messages being deleted or, worse, being marked as spam, it’s essential that the content you send is targeted, customised and useful or interesting to the person receiving it. Your emails should also look professional and be consistent with your branding. There are lots of free services available to help you manage your mailing lists and create and send effective marketing emails.
Public Relations (PR) is a great way of raising brand awareness, and there is so much more to it than writing and sending out press releases (although this certainly has its place if you have something interesting and newsworthy to say). Identify the publications and websites that cater to your target audience and pitch an opinion piece, feature article or guest blog – it may not promote your business directly but it will get your name out there and help establish credibility.
Fleet vehicle branding
If your company has its own vehicles, why not use these as an extra branding platform? Ok, so this isn’t technically free, but for a relatively small initial outlay, fleet vehicle branding can offer long term benefits, turning your cars or vans into permanent advertising boards. This marketing method can dramatically increase your reach and visibility, with up to 3000 people per hour seeing your brand. What’s more, your vehicle is usually the first thing a potential customer sees, so it’s a great way to create a professional image.
The best marketing methods for you will depend on the nature of your business and your target audiences. However you choose to promote your business, make sure you are 100% committed, always on-brand, and keep your end customer at the centre of all you do.