"Money, money, money….always sunny….In the rich man's world
All the things I could do….If I had a little money….It's a rich man's world"
If you’re a small business with a limited budget, this ABBA song may strike a chord with you (literally). You want to build and market your business to a high standard, yet everywhere you turn it seems like you need great sums of money to achieve this. However, don't make the mistake of blowing your small budget on one channel. If you don’t have much cash to spend, fear not, because we have some amazing tips to help you market your business on a shoestring.
1. Get Fully Stuck In With Social Media
Social media isn’t going to go away any time soon. So if you’re not using it to market your business, you definitely should. Pete Schauer from Social Media Today argues that “a lot of people get caught up using social media to shove their products and services in front of their fan base, and that can be a definite turnoff. Sure, social is an effective way to drive sales, but you should focus on using your social networks to engage with your followers and communicate with them. Ask them questions, and then use that feedback to put out a better product and improve your process.” Make sure to focus on meaningfully engaging with your followers on social media, that’s what it’s all about.
2. DIY Infographics
Megan Marrs from Wordstream believes that infographics are insanely powerful marketing tools. “They’re visual eye candy, they’re easy to digest, and people love to share them, so they’re a great way to drive up referral traffic and links. Hiring a designer to make you an A+ infographic can hit your wallet hard, but you can make your own on the cheap if you don’t mind a bit of a challenge.” YouTube has tons of easy to understand tutorials if you want to try and make an infographic yourself.
3. Prioritise SEO
There's a lot to think about when you're developing your marketing plan, but one thing you can't afford to let slip is your search engine optimisation (known commonly as ‘SEO’). “As Google continues to make its algorithm changes, it's a necessity that you adhere to those changes and optimise your website accordingly so that you can obtain—and ultimately maintain—your high organic rankings.” For more info about SEO, check out Moz’s beginner guide to SEO: Why Search Engine Marketing is Necessary.
4. Guerrilla Marketing
Forget mass amounts of money, successful guerrilla marketing is all about ideas and creativity. It’s called guerrilla marketing because when the classic strategies aren’t delivering, you send in the guerrillas. Megan Marrs argues that “Guerrilla marketing is a great alternative to traditional marketing and tends to be cheaper, relying on smaller, more localised brick and mortar strategies.” They have a fantastic article on 20+ Jaw-Dropping Guerrilla Marketing Examples if you want to see more.
5. Ask for Referrals
Susan Solovic from Constant Contact is an advocate of the belief that if you don’t ask, you won’t receive! She says, “Don’t be shy about asking for customer referrals. The majority of people say they are willing to provide a referral if asked, but very few take the initiative to do it on their own. Referrals make it easier to get in the door with new customers. If you aren’t asking for them, you are missing opportunities.”
6. Secure a Professional Business Address
There is no better way to market yourself on a budget than by having a professional virtual business address in the world’s capital city. You receive all the benefits of having a prestigious London address without actually having to pay the sky-high costs of renting office space. Not to mention, having a London address opens up a whole world of opportunities (check out our blog here to read all about them).
These six, inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage customers and build relationships. Like Susan Solovic says in her article (linked above), it’s not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, "it’s about the time and effort you put into it and above all, the relevance it has for your customers".