It is truly astonishing how many ways there are to market without spending money if you are willing to spend some time. Of course, when some businesses say they want free marketing it means they want someone else to do it for free. They just need to remember that everyone’s time is valuable and in general, people do not like working for free. Consider a trade, consider what you can do for them, find a way to compensate others even if you are cash-strapped and you will find people more willing to help you. Doing it yourself is the intent of these articles on marketing without a budget but if you can get help, go for it. Of the methods on this infographic, I like YouTube. It’s the worlds second largest search engine and can find an audience that other platforms can’t match if you do it right.
Let’s get to the meat of it. How do you market without a budget? The simple answer is by spending time on your marketing. The less money you spend the more time you will have to spend on getting your message out there. Content Marketing is a great method for establishing your brand voice, gaining credibility and getting your message out to your target audience. Of all the methods in the Infographic below, I am partial to Networking. It has done the most for my business in terms of time spent to dollars earned. Of course, each industry is different but I am of the opinion you can’t go wrong with networking as you explore the methods that work best for you.
This week we will be talking about how to market your small business. We will discuss Guerilla Marketing, Traditional Marketing, Content Marketing and how to do it all on little or no budget. One truth I have found in marketing is that when you spend less money you have to spend more time, it’s a tradeoff. When you feel you shouldn’t spend money on marketing your business ask yourself what your own time is worth. It might be more expensive in the long run not to hire someone. Of course, you can learn to do it all yourself, just make sure that’s the best thing for your business.
In Content Marketing, remember ABCD! Always Be Capturing Data. Every bit of information you collect can be useful. Click through rates, shares, page views, every single analytic your platforms give you should be tracked. What info you monitor varied from platform to platform. Blogs track page views, Twitter tracks views and shares. Make a habit of at least capturing a page view of the analytics page of each platform you use. Monthly tracking is the minimum but you really should be tracking by week for better analysis. Even if you just find a convenient way to store it until you can have an analyst take a look at the data for you, make sure you are collecting as much info as possible. Having too much data is an easy problem to fix, not having data is impossible to fix. If you don’t need all the data you collected you can ignore the parts that are extra but if you need the number of page views for each day and that information isn’t available, there may be no way to retrieve it later.
What are the different types of Marketing a small business can use? (Not an exhaustive list). These can be combined for more effectiveness or used singly depending on your business.
Marketing Tip – With such massive buying power at their disposal, most businesses want to reach the Millennials, here are some tips.
When was the last time you received a personal thank you from a purchase? My guess is that it has been a while. Handwritten notes are rare and a way for you to stand out from the competition. I see people saying that personal notes are “All the rage” but I still haven’t ever gotten one and neither has anyone I asked. There are companies out there that do it with great success but they are few and far between, so here is a way for a small business to really stand out without a lot of expense. Here are some tips to make your thank you note campaign stand out.
- Really make it personal – Address it to the purchaser “Dear Steve”. and include details so the customer knows it isn’t just a form letter. “Thank you for buying the blue hat, it is my favorite color and was fun to make for you.” These little touches tell the customer you really do appreciate your business and aren’t just sending formulaic thank you cards to everyone.
- Leave out the business card – Or at least carefully consider it. This tip goes against instinct and against my feelings that everyone should have my card. If you include your card it diminished the note. It goes from a genuine thank you to a branding effort. Of course you make sure they can get back in touch with you, address embossed on the card or written on the back, but there is no need for branding efforts here. The thank you is the point.
- Make it a surprise – The first purchase a customer makes should have a thank you card in it, after that, make it random. If they expect a card each time it is no longer special. This keeps the card as something they hope to get, but don’t expect. It also reduces the burden of how many cards to send. If you are set on sending a note with each purchase make sure to look at the next tip.
- Don’t make it a chore – If you have to write too many cards, this is a good thing and a bad thing. Don’t let it burn you out of become a dread, it will be reflected in the writing. If you just have too many cards to write consider hiring someone to help with it or outsourcing the process (yup there are services for everything). Don’t let this powerful tool bog you down.
Use these tips to stand out from the crowd. Almost no one does personal notes, so it is an easy win and a powerful tool for creating customer loyalty. Feel free to send me questions or comments below.
Grow your email list by offering a birthday or an anniversary club. People that sign up get something special that month and you get access to a potential customer. People love free things and if they sign up, they probably like what you are giving them. This means that you will have a list rich with people who are your target audience and rich lists produce more sales. Use your email list segmentation (you had better be with a service that has it) to manage those lists. Then you can send out the special promotion to the right people. Make sure what you give is worth them signing up but not so good it breaks your bank.
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