Archive for the ‘Small Business’ Category

Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

The economy is still under turmoil, and thousands of small businesses across the United States are trying to cut their marketing expenditures. People are consistently looking for the low cost, but effective small business marketing ideas. Growing a small business in such an economy is really hard. But let me tell you that you don’t have to sell an arm and a leg to collect money for your marketing budget.

Marketing doesn’t always require big money. Your capacity to plan and execute the right marketing strategies can generate sales, even with the low cost methods. Use the following strategies to grow your business with minimal investment.

Don’t Advertise Like a Big Business

Large companies advertise to create brand recognition and generate future sales. As a small business owner, you can’t afford to do that. Instead, go with direct response ads…the ones that can generate sales now. Make an offer in each of your ads, so that the prospective customers can respond to it.

Another idea is to make customers a second offer. For example, a customer purchases a jacket from your clothing shop. Within a couple of days, send them a handwritten note to thank them personally and inform them that if they come back with “this letter” they will get a private offer, such as 10 percent or 20 percent off their next purchase. Don’t forget to mention a time limit, it creates urgency.

Try Buddy Marketing Campaign

If you didn’t guess it right, I am talking about joint promotion. Talk to other non-competing small businesses that serve the similar customers in your locality. Tell them, you can publicize their offerings to your customers if they agree to return the same favor. Such cross-promotions can yield great returns for a little expense.

You want an example? Let’s say you want to send out brochures to promote your own business, and you include a leaflet/business card of a non-competing small business which has agreed to return you the same favor. This way, you explore a new territory and get the word out to more people about your business.

Reduce the Size of Your Ads

Success of an ad doesn’t always depend on its size. You’ll be surprised to know that many of your shorter ads can generate more business than the longer versions. People today don’t have enough time to read all the ads they come across every day. They read postcards when the message is brief.

Therefore, reducing the size of your ads can allow you to run more advertisements in the same budget.

Advanced Marketing Tips For Small Business – Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most economical ways to reach your potential customers, promote your products and services, and boost brand recognition. But it takes time. First, you have to build an email list of people interested in your products. Once you have collected the email addresses, send specific and targeted messages, and track the response.

During an email marketing campaign, remember not to cheat your subscribers. Tell them what they are signing up for, promise them not to share, sell or distribute their email addresses, and show them a simple process to unsubscribe in case they do not want to receive future messages.

Use Social Media

If you don’t already have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, you are already losing market to your competitors. It is an extremely cost effective method to reach and stay connected with your target audience.

Perhaps you have already seen that businesses are using social media to get the word out there about their offerings. Start a Facebook business page if you haven’t already.

Apart from Facebook and Twitter, there are other ways, too. You can start a blog to engage potential buyers, list your small business on Google Places, create a Pinterest account, record videos to provide useful information to people and upload them on YouTube.

First, you should create a business plan and clearly outline the purpose of your social media outing. That will guide you on how to use these platforms and tools. If you don’t have a clearly defined goal or strategy, no quantity of tweets and likes will help your business grow, says Danny Iny — Co-Founder and CEO of Firepole Marketing.

Give Something Away

Who doesn’t like getting something for free? So, offering a sample or freebie is a wonderful way to promote your products or services and attract new customers. You can give targeted people such freebies in a number of ways. Give away samples or coupons when customers sign up to your email list. Run a contest and award the winner with your product. Conduct a free webinar, local workshop or teleconference for your potential customers.

You should keep certain things in mind when doing this. Make sure that the samples you are giving away are of high quality, useful and relevant because you want to leave a good impression of your business. Also, do not give away too much. Just give customers the “taste” of your offering such that it increases their appetite for your product or service.

If freebies don’t fit into your business model, try to donate your time in such a way that helps promote your business. Organize a charity event, sponsor a local sports team, or donate your expertise/time to a non-profit.

Take Advantage of Your Existing Customers

Your loyal customers, the ones who know you and trust you, are your best asset. They are your repeat customers….they are going to buy from you again and again. Make some special offers just for them.

They can also be your excellent markets. In today’s hyped market, people believe their friends and relatives more than any advertisement. The word of mouth publicity by your loyal customers will bring in more new customers.

Additionally, organizations like SBA can help you start, manage and market your small business.

As a small business owner, what are you doing to get more orders? Have your strategies been effective?