Promoting a business can be challenging, especially when resources are limited. Whether you’re launching a new business, or you already have one, you are constantly looking for ways to build awareness and increase sales. Many businesses understand the need for marketing activities but are often afraid of the associated costs. However, the reality is that it is possible to increase awareness and sales without breaking the bank. Marketing can mean many things: advertising, publicity, promotion, sale….
Before investing in marketing activities, be sure to get the basics right. The key is to understand your target audience and what makes your product or service unique. Once you have a solid foundation, you can explore cost-effective marketing strategies that can help grow your business.
Here are some effective, inexpensive marketing ideas that you can implement to build awareness and increase sales:
Online Marketing Tools :
According to the recent Digital Report 2022 from Hootsuite (LINK), 62.5% of the world’s population, so 4.95 billion people, use the internet and the average amount of time spent using the internet everyday is 6h58m. So, if you don’t have an online presence, you’re losing out! Even if all your website does it present the who, what, where and why of you business, it gives you a presence on the web and a chance of being found on search engines.
- Building a company website
- Create a free Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) account
- Engage on social media.
Content Marketing and SEO
Implementing content marketing and SEO strategies to improve credibility and visibility is a cost-effective way to bring in new leads. Sharing valuable and relevant information with your audience will help build credibility and trust but will also help showcase your expertise and improve your SEO efforts. Of course, content marketing will require some time and effort but can offer an excellent return. Your SEO strategy will depend on your business – If you’re a local business, you’ll need to focus on local SEO (local keywords, local online directories, specific locations…): but for international products or services, you’ll want to get as much traffic as possible for relevant search terms.
- Publish great content
- Tell a story with data or milestones
- Post helpful videos or video tutorials
Social Media Marketing
Leveraging social media platforms is a great way to reach a large audience and drive traffic to your website. If you focus on the right platform and post good content, social media is a powerful tool. Make sure you’re regularly active on your social media accounts. You don’t need to be on all the social media platforms – determine where your target audience is and use that platform. It is better to be active on one platform rather than having multiple accounts that you don’t use.
- Create an editorial calendar and vary your content
- Drive traffic to your blog and website
- Tag people and brands
- Use hashtags
Building relationships with industry leaders, encouraging word of mouth and referrals, and creating referral programs are incredibly powerful and one of the best ways to market your company for free. People are more likely to trust a business if it is recommended by their friends and connections. Encourage friends, family and customers to recommend your products and services. Build relationships with leaders in your industry. These may seem like basic concepts, but they can reap great results.
- Create a referral program
- Cross-promote your product or services with other businesses
- Attend industry/networking events or conferences
Utilizing email marketing to connect with customers and promote new products or events is another great way to connect with customers. Be sure you have permission before sending emails. You can use emails to advertise new products and services, upcoming events, achievements and more.
- Encourage e-mail signups with opt-in on your website
- Send regular e-mails to your email list
These are just a few examples of how businesses can market themselves on a budget. Whether it is on-line or off-line, by being strategic and creative, you can effectively promote your business and reach new customers.