How to Market on a Shoestring Budget
Small businesses have many challenges, one of them is marketing on a tight budget. Here are some valuable tips that you can use to market your business on a shoestring budget.
#1 Keep Up Communication
It's easy to keep in touch with current clients by sending them a personal email or giving them a call. They are your most reliable source of income because they have bought from you before. If you have their confidence, they’ll be far more likely to do business with you again or even refer you to their friends and family.
#2 Get Reviews
Good customer reviews and testimonials are a lead gold mine. The internet has made product research and comparison easier than ever which means prospects are less likely to buy a product that doesn’t have any legitimate reviews from other customers. Try incentivising your customers with discount codes in exchange for a review or testimonial on what they bought and remember to always ask them to include a photo of the product.
#3 Focus on Free Tools
Email and social media marketing are essentially free and come with built-in analytics that give you powerful insight into your campaign’s efficacy.
A monthly newsletter is a fantastic way to stay at the forefront of your customer’s minds for free. Try including helpful hints and industry insights into your newsletter to make it more interesting and useful. If you make it 90% informative and 10% promotional, consumers will be less likely to unsubscribe and more likely to read whatever you send them.
Remember every time you email your mailing list a little notification will pop up on their phone with your business’ name. That is extremely powerful! The average Australian will spend 6 hours and 13 minutes online every day so send them anything! Whether it be discount codes or abandoned cart reminders, it all gets your brand in front of their eyes.
You can also try sharing entertaining or informative content in the form of posts or guides on social media to strengthen consumer trust in your brand and transform yourself from a business trying to make sales to a trusted, sought out source.
#4 Get Interactive
Create engaging material like polls, quizzes, free guides and give-away competitions for Facebook and Instagram. The objective is to engage your target audience. If you can get consumers to virtually raise their hands and state "I'm interested," this is a significant victory.
These methods also double as lead magnets. Have your followers input their email addresses or phone numbers to receive the guide or quiz results and use these details later on for emails, leads and advertising.
#5 Tell Stories
If you can tell a story of success to your customers, true or not, you will help them to better connect with what you’re selling. Your story should have a "hero" character who overcomes adversity with help from your product or service.
#6 Get a Google My Business Listing
Many small businesses are unaware that Google My Business is free, simple to use, and helps you to gain exposure and traffic to your website. Google My Business listings allow your customers to find crucial information like your business location, opening hours and website easier than ever.
"Google My Business listings that include more information appear higher in search engine results pages (SERPs)” says IT specialists from Managed IT Experts, “Google My Business listings that are complete with all the relevant information receive 7X more clicks than those that are incomplete”.
#7 Be Clear About What You're Doing
The ability to express who you are, what you do, and why you're distinct is critical for small enterprises to develop their reputation and sales. Even if your product or service is excellent, if the way you communicate its value isn’t, everything else in your sales and marketing efforts will suffer.
#8 Make Prospects an Offer They Can't Refuse
There is an age old saying, the best advertiser is the one who spends the most. Clearly this advice is not applicable to everyone. If you are working with a shoestring budget, you may need to put your money where your mouth is and make an offer so outrageous people can’t refuse.
“One of our clients made an incredible offer to his customers: I will build you a shed and if you don't like it I will give you your money back plus $500” says advertising agency Search it Local, “While this is a massively risky move it completely obliterated his competition's chance”.
“To this day our client has never had to fulfill the offer because his work is quality, but the mountain of leads this simple offer got him skyrocketed his company to success”.
#9 Turn Customers Into Advocates
Improving customer loyalty and transforming them from buyers to advocates is a powerful way to reduce acquisition costs. When someone purchases from you, provide them with some simple tools like a hashtag they can share a photo with or a link to where they can leave a review. This will encourage your consumers to share their experiences with your company on social media and create organic advertisements that are totally free!