While marketing is a crucial aspect of growing your small business, it can sometimes be hard for small business owners to prioritize marketing or make the most of their limited marketing budget. The good news is, in today’s digital world, there are several cheap (and even some free) tools that can help you market your small business.
Let’s review a few of the cheap, and even free, tools at your disposal:
1. Encourage Online Reviews
You should never underestimate the power of word of mouth. And today’s word of mouth couldn’t be better represented than by online reviews.
Think about it: if you’re thinking about buying a new bike, wouldn’t you Google “best bikes around me” or something similar first? Then you’d find a bike brand that seems interesting. What’s your next step? Obviously, you’re going to read online reviews to make sure it’s good enough.
This happens with every purchase you could make, especially on the internet. It doesn’t matter if it’s booking a hotel, buying a dress, or making a reservation to try a new restaurant, most people will read online reviews before making their decision. This is why websites like Yelp are so popular today: They provide you with an objective look, not only on the products or services you’re purchasing but also on your future customer experience.
So, as a business owner, make sure to take advantage of this. Encourage your customers to leave reviews, and always answer the reviews when they do. You can also hire a professional reputation management software service to handle your online reputation management.
2. Create a Website for Your Business
There are few things more annoying for a consumer than looking up a business online and finding out they don’t have a website. A good website is fairly cheap to make, especially if you only need the basics.
It’s also a perfect way to stay in touch with your customers, through blogging for example (more on that later). Your website should have a logo design and all sorts of info about your business, your products, your services, and a way to contact you. This is one of the easiest ways to help your audience learn more about you without breaking the bank.
3. Start Blogging
Sure, you’re not really in the business of writing (unless you are), and yet, creating a blog for your business is one of the most important steps you could take towards better marketing.
Why? Simply because it gives you a way to show your audience and customers that you know what you’re doing. Setting up a blog and posting high-quality articles on it is the best way to show your future clients that you’re an expert in your field.
A blog will not only help put your company’s name out there, it can also increase your organic traffic and SEO visibility.
Keep your blog content interesting and constant (there is nothing worse for a business than a dead blog on the company’s website). Set up a tone of voice and stick to it, and you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time!
4. Have a Good Social Media Presence
The main point here is not just to have a social media presence, it’s to have a good social media presence.
Sure, updating your Facebook status every single day, tweeting something funny, and posting a picture on Instagram every now and then can seem enough, but it definitely isn’t.
You need to have a social media strategy; one that encompasses everything, from the tone you’re using, to your color palette, to your visual branding design.
Why? Simply because everyone is on social media, including your current and future customers. It’s also the perfect way to create a bond with your audience and develop a more personal relationship with them, which never hurts.
5. Use Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the easiest and cheapest ways of keeping in touch with your customers on a regular basis and reminding them of your brand.
Starting a weekly or monthly newsletter is quite easy and inexpensive, and you don’t need to pay someone else to do it for you! Simply write your email, and then use a free service such as MailChimp to send your automated messages and marketing emails to your list.