Starting and operating a business is an increasingly popular way to make a living. This is especially true for the younger generation. While it is great to control your own destiny, be your own boss and set your own hours, operating a small business isn’t all sunshine and roses.
In fact, only about half of all companies will make it past their fifth year of operation. One of the most difficult parts about successfully running a business is marketing. This is especially true if you are on a tight budget, as some marketing efforts can cost a ton of money.
But if you learn how to market it effectively and affordably, that doesn’t have to be the case. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at a couple of different ways to market your small business on a tight budget.
Create Your Own Content
Creating content is free other than your time, and it is incredibly useful. Your blog or website videos will often be a foundational piece in your marketing. This content can be articles, videos, audio clips, infographic and several other things. People will visit there often, develop connections and hopefully become customers. The content should meet the interests, needs and wants of your target market.
When creating content, do your best to provide as much value as possible to your readers. While you don’t need an exact schedule, you should do your best to post in a predictable manner. If you go from posting twice a week, to once a month, people aren’t going to be able to follow then new content will be coming out.
Attend Local Networking Events or Conferences
Whether you are in a huge city or someplace a bit smaller, there is a good chance there are a fair share of events or conferences taking place nearby. With any luck, some will be in your industry. Attending these and developing relationships can go a long way in getting your name (and the name of your company) out there.
While some of these events can be expensive to attend, many are free or incredibly affordable. If you do go, do your best to get as much face time with customers, competition and potential collaborations. Always do your best to make a first impression, as you never know who you’ll meet. Having business cards on you to hand out is also a good practice to develop.
Consider Guest Posting
In addition to creating content for your own site, consider doing it for other sites as well. Guest posting involved adding content to the website of someone else. It is a great way to reach a new audience who could eventually become your customers as well.
Of course, be sure you are also offering value to them (both the readers and the site owner) or this effort will be for nothing. Also, be sure to leave a link to your site or socials in the post, if allowed. These types of collaborations and cross-promotions can be incredibly valuable to your business, and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Utilize Email Marketing
While email has been around for decades, it is still one of the best ways to effectively and affordably market your company. Sending customers or potential customers emails with content, deals or other valuable information can have a very high ROI. Of course, to have a successful email marketing campaign, you need to have a strong email subscriber list.
Have calls to action on your site for people to sign up, and be sure to offer a deal, discount or freebie if they do. When you send your subscribers emails, make sure they are valuable and you aren’t sending them too frequently. If people are constantly getting your emails that are overly salesy, they are likely to unsubscribe.
Hold a Contest or Competition
If you hold a contest or competition on your site or social media page, it can drive a ton of engagement your way. Sure, you will have to pay for the prize of giveaway, but even something small can still garner a ton of interest. With any success, you could have dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people enter.
After the contest, be sure to lead with your best foot forward and be sure not to squander your opportunity to be in front of all those eyes. Of course, this isn’t to be relied on as something you do all the time, but certainly has value if done every now and then.
In conclusion, the information within this article should be able to market your small business well without spending an arm and a leg.