Almost every small business struggles with finances in its first few years. You probably know that by now if you’ve started a business yourself, but the question is – how do you get noticed as a small business when you don’t have the money to invest in expensive ads and marketing techniques?
For a lot of businesses, it might seem impossible to pull it off, but in today’s day and age it’s probably a fatal mistake to underestimate the importance of social media and the internet. There are marketing tactics that don’t cost any money, and a lot of small businesses have managed to get noticed and drive sales without spending any big bucks.
If you want to know more about those marketing tactics, keep reading!
Be Careful About the Content You Post
If you’re posting on social media and want to grow your accounts organically, be careful about the content you’re posting. More specifically, care about the quality of your content and about the first impression you’re making on new viewers.
Knowing how to create and edit content is one of the most important things you can have as far as marketing goes, and it doesn’t hurt to know how to edit photos and fix up small problems. If not, you need some work to do. For example, you can learn how to fix shadow in selfie photo with a simple google search.
Why are selfies important? Well, the latest data and statistics all point to the fact that photos with faces in them do significantly better on social media and Instagram than photos without any faces in them. Photos like selfies get more likes and comments, which eventually grows your Instagram’s engagement and reach.
If you have the right kind of business, it may be the ideal platform for you to focus on as your primary marketing avenue.
Other Forms of Social Media
There are countless social media apps out there except for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you exploit the potential in apps like Reddit, you can generate some pretty solid leads.
Let’s take Reddit itself for example – it contains thousands of societies called “subreddits” for different topics that people who are interested in them follow. If you’re making hand soaps, there’s probably a whole community of people who are interested in soap making for you to market to. When you post on that subreddit, you’ll gain access to them and be able to spread the word about your new soap making business.
There are countless other examples of communities and social networking sites you can target for your marketing. Another great place for you to market your products can be Facebook Groups. You’ll have to do some work to figure out which ones allow self promotion, but you don’t even have to actively “sell” your products. If you’re an expert in a particular field, you can offer advice and insight. Naturally, this will make people curious about your own business, which is when you can swoop in and tell them all about it.
SEO is Key
Even when you do have a large budget for your marketing strategy, SEO is one of the most important things you need to be doing. This is how businesses rise to the top, and it may be your chance to make your mark in the world of business.
Things like regularly updating your website, and tweaking the URL and metadata of the page are things you can do yourself, and they’re completely free. If you’re thinking about taking it a step further, you can invest in link management and custom domain services like Rocket Link to reach audiences you haven’t reached before and otherwise would not have. It costs as little as $19 per month, and you’ll be able to get insights about your links that would help you plan your strategy for the future.
SEO isn’t always about the technical stuff. Sometimes it’s all about establishing authority, and being useful to your readers. The more people share your content, the more people spend time on your website, the better Google will think your content is, and hence decide to put it up top.
One of the most popular ways to grow your business is through email marketing. It gives you the chance to speak directly to your consumers, tell them about what you’re doing, what new events you’re planning, if there are any exclusive discounts coming up for your shop and much more.
This is why many marketing experts consider it one of the most important things in their marketing strategy, and why businesses continue to invest in it. If you think you have something to say to your audience, or if you want to add value to their lives and improve your brand image, consider this marketing method.
Create a Referral Program
Small businesses often rely on word of mouth to help their business spread, so why not take that a step further? If you want your customers to tell their friends and family about what you do, develop a referral program with some sweet perks. It can be a 20% discount on their next purchase, or a free meal or cup of coffee.
Be careful though – your plan may fail if you don’t know what your customers want and are unable to motivate them. On the other hand, if your product is awesome enough you might not even need a referral plan and your energy could be better spent elsewhere.
If you’re looking for something that helps you stand out and create a buzz on social media, consider this option. With the right permits, things like a flash mob in a public space or unique graffiti on a popular intersection can get people asking questions and looking you up on social media.
Once your marketing builds up momentum, keep the public’s attention by giving them the answers they came for, and continuing to wow them – but this time with your products and services.
The Right Packaging
Two things come into play when you think about your product packaging. One, if your product’s packaging is unique enough it can get people curious about what’s inside, and seeing the custom packaging at someone else’s curb or a friend’s place might make them curious about you.
Two, people are obsessed with unboxing videos. The phrase alone has been looked up millions of times in the past years, not to mention how many hours of watchtime these videos have gathered on YouTube. If you want in on some of these views and some of this action, consider investing some energy into your product packaging and see what the results are.
At the very least, it will cement your image and identity with your existing customers, and give them something to look forward to every time they make a purchase.
Be Active in Your Community
Make an effort to stay involved and active in your community. Host fundraisers for things that your people care about, offer classes for those who want to learn from you, attend workshops and seminars and make sure to go there as the face of your new business, not as an individual.
Not only is this a great way to make yourself known among more people, but also a chance to do things that matter to you and your new business. You’ll also need to take your brand identity into account when planning how to be an active member in your circles, but make sure it comes from a place of genuine desire to be helpful and not just for the sake of marketing your product.
Some of these marketing tactics will need your dedication and hard work to make them work. Things like making the right product packaging and growing your reach organically needs consistency even when you think that these methods aren’t working. So once you’ve gotten started on it, keep going.