Check out these affordable and cost-effective marketing ideas for your small business.
Small businesses are under more pressure than ever to operate competitively and lean. There has probably never been an easier and more affordable time to launch a business startup or go out on your own as a solo entrepreneur. Yet, whether you are just starting out, are just trying to hold onto market share or are striving to break through a plateau and make a small business into a big business, it often all comes down to marketing. That typically means having to find cheap marketing ideas that you can scale while getting the most out of every marketing dollar. Check out these seven ideas to put into play and start getting more sales.
1. Ringless Voicemail
Ringless voicemail technology is perfect for startups and growing businesses. It is used by big organizations as well, but offers critical advantages for those who want to stand out in their industries with great service. Ringless voicemail drops can be used in small batches or at great scale. They can be used from initial prospecting to follow up, maintaining higher conversions in the sales process, and as part of customer loyalty programs to keep users coming back and referring their friends.
2. Direct Mail
Direct mail may not be as cheap as ringless voicemail campaigns, but it is still pretty affordable on a per piece basis. They key is not only sending a great copy to highly targeted lists, but sending large enough batches of mail on a regular basis to generate predictable results. Get even better direct mail results and ROI by using ringless voicemail campaigns to follow up with leads and close the conversion gap.
Online classified listing sites could be a fit for your product too. If your business is more service oriented then get listed on review sites and make sure you are showing up on Google maps. Craigslist is free to post in for many categories and locations. If your product is a fit and your ideal clients are on there looking, then it is definitely worth a shot. It is limited in that you can only do so many ads, and you are only likely to get action while your ads are still at the top. That may only be a few minutes if you are in an industry like real estate. Facebook also has its own Marketplace too. Just look for ways that you can stand out from all the junk and scammers. Use AI and IVR phone systems to help handle inbound leads, and ringless campaigns to follow up afterward.
4. Start a Blog
Every entrepreneur and small business should have a blog. It’s a powerful tool that can produce both short term and long term results. It is the hub or heart of your business which pumps out life to all of your SEO, SEM and SMM and email marketing efforts. Starting a blog is cheaper and easier than ever today. You could drop more than $10k on a custom blog site and start investing in great photography and quality copywriting. Or you can start for less than $200 and build your own with WordPress. The great thing about a good blog is that it can also be monetized and become a source of multiple revenue streams by itself.
5. Social Media Marketing
Social media is often thrown around as a “free” form of small business marketing. It may be cheap and offer some great ROI, but getting results with social typically isn’t free. At least not predictably and at scale. There are millions of small business pages on Facebook alone today. There are a lot more coming. Do use whichever social media platforms fit your brand and customer profile. That could be LinkedIn, Snap, Twitter, Google+, Instagram or something else. Just expect to have to make an investment in great graphic design, help creating and publishing regular content and running some paid ads. There are several ways you can see the benefit of using social media for business.
6. In Person Networking
In person networking can be very powerful. It provides real-world connections and the ability to build real relationships where online marketing can’t. Do factor in the cost of gas and travel, clothes, entrance fees and memberships and any materials you’ll give away. Though if you like social interaction and talking about your brand, you’ll find this is a great way to have fun and promote your business at the same time. Networking and exchanging business cards don’t have to be restricted to dedicated events either. Network and pass out your business cards everywhere you go. The gym, bookstore, and waiting for your oil change or gas station are all viable options. Save money by considering printing one postcard and use it for direct mail campaigns, as oversized business cards, and as flyers to leave at your local coffee shops around town.
7. SMS Marketing
Text message or SMS marketing carries many of the benefits of ringless voicemail campaigns. They are highly versatile, cheap and easy to implement and scale. They are brilliant for reaching individuals on mobile devices, gaining higher open and response rates and reaching leads you can’t with cold calling or other mediums. As a part of a smart and automated sales funnel these messages can be used to funnel leads to the best sales people, targeted landing pages and online stores, or convert them into live appointments.
Finding effective but cheap marketing ideas for small business can often seem like a challenge. There are lots of options. It’s about being realistic about the cost, ensuring your mediums are really a good fit for your best customers, and being diligent about being consistent and turning each lead into a real sale.