Marketing For Small Business
Starting a business is hard work and the stress of finances can be overwhelming. Marketing for small business can seem like an area to downplay due to not only the investment but the uncertainty of the return on investment.
But there are avenues you can pursue that cost little to no money and even make money on their own (outside of directly driving sales).
Marketing Ideas for Small Business
Local Business Directories
Utilize all of the local business directories and fully register with Google My Business. This is an extremely effective and free way to make sure that people can find your business in the first place.
Make sure you include your address, phone number, website, hours of operation…oh and make sure you claim your business. If you don’t, there is a possibility that someone else can, which means that they can edit your information.
Most people already know this one. Social Media is free and a very useful tool. Make sure you choose which sites make the most sense for you and your business. Many are targeted to a specific demographic or have specific usage scenarios. So, for example, while you may think something like Instagram or Pinterest is a necessity, if your business doesn’t really revolve around imagery, you may want to spend your time elsewhere. Just remember, you don’t have to be on every social media platform.
And while we are on the topic of time, social media may not cost money, but it does take time and effort. Plan out your month, plan out your year and stay on top of your industry. Develop a calendar based on seasonality both for the general public and your specific industry. Layer in things of interest you plan on doing (promotions, contests, sponsorships etc.) and then make sure you know what is going on in your community/country/world and speak about relevant matters.
LinkedIn falls somewhere between a local listings directory and social media. It is a good idea to have a LinkedIn page, especially if you are looking to hire people. If you have a business page, take the time to add your ideas, posts and blogs here as well as people are utilizing LinkedIn more and more as a career social platform.
Blog for Small Business
Blogs are a great tool for developing content to drive traffic to your site. With each additional post, you can expand the topics relevant to your business to broaden your potential consumer database. Take the time to make sure your blogs are optimized for search engines to maximize the amount of people you reach. There may be a small fee for the cost of the WordPress template (and hosting if you only have a blog and not a website), but after that it is just the time to write the content. Anyone can do it, but it often takes practice and some tools for optimizing your copy. Companies often offer support for writing blogs in hosting packages. If you aren’t comfortable writing blogs or you don’t have the time, this can be a good option and often isn’t overly expensive.
Blogging is one of the areas where you can even make money. If you post often and have good content, you are likely to gain followers and see many visitors a month. Other brands pay to have their advertisements on high traffic sites and there is opportunity for affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is where brands pay you to promote their product. This may or may not be right for your business.
These are just a few of many free to almost free ideas to drive some awareness for your business. What else are you doing to get people to notice you?