Just a few years ago, your options for advertising your small business were pretty much limited to telemarketing, mailers, and expensive ad buys on billboards, TV, or radio. But with the advent of internet marketing, it’s possible to market your business without ever sending out one brochure or paying for one advert. Even better, most of these marketing methods are really easy to implement, so why not try:
Of course you can buy ad space on social media platforms, but you can do a lot of effective marketing through non-sponsored content. The key is to get a really good understanding of the conventions of the channel, to post much more non-sales content than ad content, and above all, to bring some humanity into the interaction.
Contests and challenges
Giveaways and contests are great ways to get some attention for your business, and it’s really easy to spread the word about them through your social media platforms. You can also do challenges, like our Cycle to Work day, where we asked customers to cycle to work and post a picture of themselves as they were biking in to work that day.
Blogging has become a whole industry in itself, and for good reason — having consistently interesting, valuable content on your website not only helps with your Google rankings, it acts as a portfolio for your business, establishes your expertise, and it helps people develop a relationship with you and your business. While most people immediately think of blog posts when it comes to content marketing, remember that you’re not tied down to that: picture posts, videos, whitepaper reports and infographics can all be great too.
Along the same lines, try doing educational events like webinars or even live classes if you have a brick and mortar business. This gives you the opportunity to show off your knowledge, skills, and products, and can help you build rapport with your customers.
Great customer service
It may sound like an unusual form of marketing, but making sure that every person who comes into contact with your business has a great experience is hugely valuable. After all, how often do you get the chance to have direct, focused contact with customers? If you can get this right, you can build very profitable, long term relationships with customers who will market your business for you via word of mouth.
Getting your business covered in the media, even if it’s just local papers, can be a very effective way of getting in front of your target market, and it also gives you a chance to show off your business’s personality. Make sure to send out press releases for any events, new product releases, or other big events that you would want your customers to know about.
What are your best tips for marketing your small business? Tell us in the comments below!