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10 Marketing Ideas for Small Business Owners

by on July 2, 2021 in Uncategorized

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These 10 low budget marketing ideas for small business owners will help you get your brand out there, improve public awareness and generate sales. Most are available at little or no-cost, making them ideal for growing businesses operating on a shoestring.

1. Harness the power of social media

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Becoming a savvy adopter of social media means utilising social platforms to best effect, but not becoming a slave to the possible distraction this medium also brings. You’ve got plenty of other tasks to tend to, so whilst ensuring you touch base with social media each day, try to limit the time spent scrolling a never-ending stream of wall posts.

Find the right social platform for your audience

It is also now an expectation of your customers that you will actively maintain some form of social presence. But don’t waste time trying to cover every social network out there. Instead, maximise your inputs to one or two key channels.

Broadly speaking, if you have a consumer audience you might choose to focus on Facebook and Twitter. Whereas a B2B audience might sway towards LinkedIn. On the other hand, if your service lends itself to high impact imagery, then you might wish to harness the power of Instagram. Use your time wisely, as social media management can quickly grow from a few posts a week to a full-time job if your audience engages with you via this medium.

Go viral!

Social media is a wonderful way to amplify the reach of your content. Crafting engaging content that encourages individuals to ‘like’ and share with their personal network can deliver an immediate boost for brand awareness – so get those thinking caps on!

2. Sort your website out

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Your website is the number one source of information for your clients. It is the first port of call when consumers or businesses research a solution to their problem. And yet, so many small business owners put off the redevelopment of a tired website in favour of other tasks they are more familiar with.

But who can blame them? Website design can be a confusing arena, filled with baffling terminology.

But it really isn’t that hard to get to grips with the basics, our source a professional to help out.

3. Publish compelling content

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Continually publishing engaging content is a valuable means to build public trust with your brand.

Great content offers your target audience a way to interact with the individuals that run your business and digest their knowledge. This builds confidence that, frankly, you know what you’re talking about! After all, you’re supposed to be the expert in your field. If you can’t write or speak confidently about the subject, then why should they buy in to your offer?

Content comes in many forms, but you might consider:

  • E-books and whitepapers
  • How to guides
  • Blogs
  • Webinars
  • Vlogs
  • Audio files

4. Use videos and animations

Our attention spans are short. We skim read constantly, seeking out the highlights and hunting for the solution to our problem. So why not utilise the power of video to deliver the key selling points for your business in 60 seconds? Or perhaps you might wish to deliver bite-sized guides to assist your potential customers?

Videos and animations can be crafted for much less than you might think. By using pre-prepared stock footage, animators can now deliver basic explainer animations for less than £100.

5. Seek out free PR opportunities

You don’t need an expensive PR agency to get your business noticed. 

Research local online publications or magazines specific to your industry. Whilst much of their content may be ‘pay-to-play’ there are still marketing opportunities for small businesses. Consider the following:

  • Promote an event you’re hosting
  • Celebrate an award win
  • Offer your expertise on guest contributor blogs
  • Pitch story ideas to journalists
  • Do something for charity
  • Review up-coming features lists and offer commentary as an expert in the field
  • Run a competition

6. Network, network, network

Networking requires a considerable time commitment and it’s unlikely to provide an instant return, but a strong network can pay dividends over time through referrals. An expansive network is one of the biggest assets any businessperson can have, so get out there, shake some hands, and get to know people.

7. Leverage community events

What’s going on in your community? Could you sponsor a 5k charity walk/run or local hospice event? 

Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time. Then search for opportunities in the local area to get in front of these individuals. If nothing else, this will demonstrate that you are contributing to the community in which you are building your business.

8. Consider industry events

Industry events can come in many forms, and you might wish to consider:

  • Taking a stand at a trade exhibition
  • Becoming an expert speaker
  • Attending seminars with pre-booked meetings
  • Networking a conference
  • Hop on a webinar

Unlike the other ideas listed here, the costs for such events can quickly mount up into thousands, so be incredibly careful when booking. Start small and build from there. Attend an event as a guest and talk to fellow attendees before booking your slot the following year.

Events can deliver a decent return on investment, but they can equally be a monumental waste of time and budget due to the typical cost of a stand. A single stand at a trade expo can set you back thousands, and this is money that could be ploughed into other activity. Therefore, I’d recommend doing your research thoroughly and maximising free networking opportunities before taking the plunge.

9. Carefully consider advertising

Placing banner adverts on websites or publishing ads in a printed magazine are areas probably best left to businesses with larger budgets.

As with events, the average cost of placing an advert can add up to thousands, so you must be sure your investment is a wise one. Banner advertising has been widely criticised for it’s lack of ROI and it is notoriously difficult to measure a return from ads placed in printed publications.

If you do wish to consider advertising, then we’d recommend starting with Google or Facebook Ads. Here you will have all the data you need to make an informed decision about the success of your campaign. It can also be extremely targeted in the way ads display and you can of course turn it off at any time. But be careful not to waste money on adverts that try to cover off too broad a search term.

10. Seek out affordable suppliers

Skilled freelancers can be found on online and can help you with:

  • Social media marketing
  • Website design
  • Animations and videos
  • Data cleansing
  • Telemarketing

Get your business cards and flyers printed through online sites, rather than through a costly printer.

Don’t get ripped off by a big advertising agency that wows you with pretty pictures! What you believe is going to attract your audience to your product or service may not be the reality. You must keep budget aside to test the waters with different mediums, so avoid paying over the odds for a single campaign. If you come unstuck, then consider hiring a small business marketing consultant to provide valuable steer.

Try these marketing ideas for small business out today

If you don’t have a fortune to spend on promoting your business but want to drive sales all the same, then why not try a few of these marketing ideas out. These are just some of the possibilities open for small business owners to adopt, but they’re a good starter for ten.

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