How your small business can afford to market itself effectively
If you want your business to succeed, then you need to have a successful marketing strategy. Plenty of small businesses often see this as a problem as they believe that marketing can be costly and that they, therefore, can’t afford it on what may already be a tight budget, but that isn’t always the case.
Marketing and business promotion can work for your small business in a variety of ways. Depending on the methods that you use, you could find yourself able to market for free or pay back the cost of a promotional strategy only once it has succeeded.
Have a look at these ways in which your small business can afford to market itself effectively.
Make the most of social media – it’s free
If you are looking for a way in which you can advertise to 69 percent of the entire population of the United States, often without spending a penny, then here it is – social media. 69 percent of American adults have at least one social media account, and that figure rises to 88 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds. That’s a huge potential client base just waiting for you to get in touch with – and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny.
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Setting up profiles and pages for your business is free. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are probably the essentials, and you can use these platforms to interact directly with clients. You can post updates about products, services or events you have coming up and answer questions directly from customers, giving your business a human element and showing care and concern for your clientele.
Social media also offers paid for advertising which can help your business reach more people. For a small outlay, Facebook can promote your page onto the news feeds of those who share similar interests or who live in the local area. Twitter and Instagram will both do likewise. This form of advertising costs a fraction of the amount of traditional advertising and can even reach a comparable amount of people.
Take out a loan to fund your marketing strategy
Marketing is that important to a business that it can be worth borrowing money to be able to afford to do it properly. This is especially true when it comes to more traditional advertising mediums.
Take the radio for example. Despite advances in technology, people still listen to radio all the time in their cars, their homes, even on their digital devices. As a result, radio advertising can reach up to 93 percent of American adults each week according to data from Nielsen. Having your business’ name and services delivered straight into the ears of so many people in a 30 or 60-second spot in between their favorite Taylor Swift number or one of the most popular Ariana Grande songs is going to get you known and heard.
An online installment loan can give you quick and easy access to the money needed to make radio advertising affordable. These types of loan are offered to those even with bad credit and are relatively easy to pay off – especially when you consider the potential increase in profits that reaching 93 percent of the population could give you. Click here to read about how an online installment loan works and whether it might be good for you and your business.
Run competitions for customers
Everybody likes the idea of getting something for free – and that is what makes competitions a powerful marketing tool. There’s also the added advantage that, rather than paying out money to advertise, you’re giving away one of your own products or services, which means you’re only losing something that belongs to you in the first place which won’t affect your bottom line, making it seem much more affordable.
Competitions not only create goodwill and interest, but they can also grow your client base – especially when run through your business website or social media profile. By having one of the conditions of entry being that participants must like or share an online post you’ve made, you’ll be exposing your business to potentially thousands of people purely because you’re giving away something for free.
Offer discount or loyalty cards
Can you afford to charge 10 percent less for a product or service, if it guarantees that a customer is more likely to remain loyal to your business? The chances are that the answer to that question will be yes; in which case, you should consider offering discount and loyalty cards.
This is a marketing strategy that has been around for years and the fact we’re still using it today tells you how successful it is. Not only does it encourage existing clients to use your company, but it can also help drive new customers to you. After all, if the choice is between two businesses who offer the same service at a similar price, but one has a significant discount thanks to a loyalty scheme, which company do you think a potential client is going to pick?
When you offer discounts, the expense to you comes from the fact that you are possibly underselling your products, but if it guarantees you future sales, you’re going to more than offset the costs of that in the long run.
Market yourself – as well as your business
While the marketing of your business might require cold, hard cash, there is another way in which you can create interest for free – and that’s through yourself. If you run your own small business, then the chances are that you will be the founder, the director, and the CEO all rolled into one.
People love that personality. When you think Facebook, you think Mark Zuckerberg. Think Microsoft, and it’s Bill Gates. Think Apple, and it is still Steve Jobs. By marketing yourself as well as your business, you can create a personal connection with your customers as somebody that they admire and respect and whose services they want to use. After all, it doesn’t have to cost anything for you to be a visible presence and a good person running an ethical and respected business.