When budgets are tight, marketing may be the first expense you look to cut. But, let me stop you right there.
While traditional advertising methods are expensive and hard to measure, small businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective, trackable marketing tools.
Knowing where to start can sometimes be tricky for small businesses, so we have put together a list of tools to help you out.
1. Research your market
The more time you can invest in identifying not only your target markets but the characteristics that would describe your ideal buyer types, the more you will be able to:
- Focus marketing efforts with laser – like precision
- Focus your marketing messages to attract and engage likely buyer.
And all-star teams don’t just study up on their own game plan, they check out what competitors are doing so that they can look for opportunities to beat them. Going head to head with a competitor in areas where they are stronger or more well-established is usually going to result in a loss. On the other hand, if you spend time analysing the competitive field to look for their areas of weakness or gaps in the market, you can discover opportunities where your business will have the best chance to grow.
2. Leverage your community
You don’t have to think big when it comes to your marketing efforts. Think locally. What’s going on in your community?
Get to know your ideal customers and think about how and where they spend their time. Then search for opportunities to get in front of your customers with your marketing messages.
3. Optimize for crowd appeal
When it comes to making big purchases, 81% of consumers go online before heading out to a store and may spend from two to three months gathering information they need to make a purchase decision, according to GE Capital Retail Bank.
Even when it comes to low-ticket items or the type of small businesses a consumer is likely to buy on a daily basis, the internet is often the starting point that leads to a buying decision.
4. Build Relationships
It is a lost loss expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. That’s why establishing strong relationships with your customer base is crucial. One of the ways you can do is by keeping in touch with customers through email marketing.
Ask customers for their email address when they visit your store or website. Then, make your communications informative, helpful and professional – something your customers will look forward to receiving.
These inexpensive strategies will help you engage customers, build relationships, and ultimately keep your brand top-of-mind. 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, how relevant your efforts are to your target audience.