Ask any small business owner to name three to five main challenges he or she faces and I guarantee marketing is bound to come up more times than not. Even with most small business owners using social media, email blasts, and good old fashioned word of mouth to get the word out about their products and services, marketing efforts can (and just might) fall flat…and at a high cost.
According to a 2017 marketing trends report, 70.8% of small businesses are handing their own marketing. Since the majority of today’s self made CEOs wear a multitude of hats when it comes to running an enterprise, it’s important to highlight a few of the effective and affordable ways that small business owners can market their offerings and earn revenue…without spending a small fortune.
1. Leverage customer testimonials – Quite possibly one of the easiest and cheapest ways to market your small business, the testimonials of satisfied customers can serve as the foundation of any beginning brand’s marketing campaign. Whether you’re sharing these via your business’ website, including them in printed brand content, or you’re getting dedicated brand supporters to share their reviews and praises via their own social media handles, you’re still giving new consumers a new reason to check out your enterprise’s products and/or services. Experts say that positive testimonials and feedback offer insight into the quality of a business and its offerings, so look for ways that you can leverage the sentiments of your patrons in order to score more brand fans.
2. Let shares in the right places get you noticed – While it may not prove beneficial for every small business, sharing content via a site like Reddit can do wonders during those beginning days of business or during a sales slump. Billed as the “front page of the internet”, the site is a digital hotbed for conversations, reviews, and posts related to just about any and everything. With authors and Redditors posting across several niche subreddits and topics, sharing a relevant blog post, video, or product link here could not only drive traffic to your brand’s site, but it can offer a level of brand visibility and recognition you’ve yet to achieve. TIP: Make sure that any content you post on Reddit or any similar sort of site positively and accurately reflects the mission, morals, and values of your business. After all, we’re talking front page exposure.
3. Develop strong partnerships based in reciprocity – A lot of small business owners will tell you that they believe in the power of a strong social media following – especially one that includes popular influencers, brand ambassadors, and celebrities. But how valuable is such a following if no partnerships or opportunities for collaboration exist? No matter the focus of your small business, work to build mutually beneficial relationships with the individuals who drive the pulse of your niche market.
Selling nail kits? Try pairing with a sought-after artist who can support your brand by doing sponsored reviews. All about auto parts and car accessories? Try partnering with a known car guru or even a related small business that can help you market your products and services and vice versa – all while (hopefully) building a stronger, larger following of supporters, followers, and customers for both parties involved. Remember that just like in love, the BEST partnerships place great emphasis on reciprocity. Doing so in business can be a long-term payoff that exceeds far beyond revenue and sales numbers...without having a huge budget to make it happen.
Even if marketing isn’t your thing, these tips should help you keep your expenses down and your brand visibility up. In addition, the team here at Jali Creatives is always ready and willing to help with all of your small business needs – even marketing an emerging brand or business. Feel free to reach out to us and feel free to share your recent marketing wins – or challenges – with us in the comments!