The only way a business can grow and stay alive is through a healthy stream of sales, and in order to create this stream of sales, you need clever marketing.
While most books on finance and business schools will teach you how marketing is done by the big corporations, they won’t tell you much about what you can do as a small startup to get your name out in the market and draw customers to your business.
In fact, a lot of small businesses end up going out of business because they spend all their time and money on marketing through channels that aren’t creating any results.
Just because a certain style of marketing worked for someone else doesn’t mean that it will work for you, even if you are in the same business.
One of the most important things to know in order to make your marketing successful is to know where your customers are and how you can get their attention.
Here are a few ways that businesses of all sizes can use to gain a lot more traction in their markets without having to spend a lot of money.
This is possibly the cheapest way that you can generate leads and also the most effective, though it can be difficult to generate.
Research shows that referrals are the most convincing form of marketing that customers can have. Having your products or your services referred to other potential clients almost guarantees sales.
2. Branded Items
More than just your actual products or your business assets it can be really effective to have branded products that you can give employees and customers.
You have probably seen a pen with a hotel’s name on it or a cap with a company logo on it, in the same way, adding a logo to a water bottle helps you get your name out there through an item that is commonly used and is easily seen by people.
While pens and keychains are great, these are small items that people usually have in their pockets. A water bottle is more easily spotted as people carry it in their hands and it’s a good conversation starter.
3. Social Media
This is an option that you could use either completely for free or you could spend money on it. Though what makes social media marketing an attractive option is how precisely you can focus on the people that you want in your audience.
Rather than spending money on open-ended mediums like radio, through social media, you can identify exactly the kinds of people who you want to see your ad.
In line with digital marketing strategies is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you are using content marketing, whether that is video, written, or even a podcast, you will need to make sure that people can find it through online search queries.
With the internet being a main source of traffic, it is incredibly useful to have solid SEO.
5. Personal Branding
One of the best ways to sell your products or your services is by marketing yourself as an expert in your industry. People are far more likely to trust someone who is an expert and buy their products rather than use the products and services of someone they know nothing about.
This is going to be especially useful if your products are under your name or if you are selling services, however, it also works great with stand-alone products.
How you establish yourself as an expert really depends on how you like to market yourself and what works best for your situation.
6. Email Marketing
Again this is one of those options that you could invest in by buying email lists but the most effective way is to organically build an email list that you can reach out to from time to time.
Not only is this a cheap marketing method but it is very effective and has to compound returns over time. Though it can take some time to develop a good email list, the time investment is well worth the returns.
You might notice that the theme with cost-effective marketing is that most of the strategies are focused on the internet and are digital in nature.
The internet has over 4 billion daily visitors and many of these people are on there to buy products or services.
Being online is essential to any business in the modern-day and without it, you are restricting yourself and your business. If you aren’t already online, get on the internet, it’s a great place to be and there are a bunch of very economical ways to market yourself through it.