The most difficult aspect of any business when it is starting out is the task of getting themselves on the radar of prospective customers and keeping them. The main thing about marketing a product effectively is that it is not only a time-consuming process, but it is a money-consuming one too. There are approaches that small businesses can take to market themselves without needing to burn their resources and not burn holes in their pockets.
Local papers, websites and trade magazines that are local to your area are a great place to start, and while companies would invest in a PR firm which would cost a lot, you can do some research into papers that cover your industry. From there, you can craft a pitch that is in their style to get their attention. Going local doesn’t just mean going via the magazines, try and get out there, see what the man on the street has to say. Using local events to market your business, you can see what type of customer you can gear yourself towards. And the trusty trade show is another method you can use, just be sure to stand out from the crowd by picking a prime location, using vivid colors and getting great designs or marketing ideas on billboards, custom vinyl banners or posters.
Building a rapport with your customers is one of the most important things to drive up sales. Using email to keep customers up to date with the company and what the current promotions are as well as a look into the company’s internal processes are all ways to create a community with your customers. There are free services you can use, like MailChimp, which helps small businesses to send automated messages, target campaigns to customers and send the all-important email.
Use Social Media
It is the most common approach to marketing, and it is completely free! It is usually thought that the more social media platforms you get on, the more followers and potential customers you will have. However, it is better to focus on quality over quantity, and to do this is to identify which platforms will reach your customers the best. If your business is a dynamic one and littered with design ideas, then is Pinterest or Instagram a more suitable channel? Or if you are doing the grassroots approach to business and are looking for allies or partners, is LinkedIn going to benefit you more? The currency in social media is to provide followers with something interesting and shareable. By posting small nuggets a few times a week, to begin with, you will be able to see who your audience is, and as time goes on, you can increase the content to benefit your audience.
Use Your Customers To Your Advantage
A satisfied customer is PR of the highest caliber. By engaging clients through social media or email, you can find out what is good and great about your methods, and by having testimonials, it helps you to sell your story to writers and trades magazines, so the business can build.