The number of small and medium sized businesses has increased globally and here in Canada they make up 42% of our GDP. One of the biggest challenges that small business face is how to facilitate growth with limited funding. You can get creative and do some small business marketing on a budget.
Here are the top four ways to create better visibility.
Master digital and social networking.
You just can’t get by in the 21st century without some kind of digital presence. Service based business such as event planning, or catering means it is crucial to build your brand. For most of you it means having a website built, your social media pages and in some cases incorporating eCommerce. Building your website is the first step but social media and SEO will be ongoing efforts.
Using and posting to social media regularly helps create greater visibility and build relationships with customers. You can have live discussions with customers at any time. Social media marketing gives you the added benefit of being very specific when targeting potential customers. There are different platforms that work well with different audiences, Snapchat is where you want to be if you’re marketing to millennials. If your product is best served by a visual medium then Pinterest and Instagram may be more effective.
Look beyond brick and mortar
It’s 2016 and having just a storefront isn’t enough anymore, you can’t wait for customers to come to you anymore. Almost all brick and mortar stores maintain an online presence, big retail giants rely on website traffic as much as they do foot traffic and so can you. You can keep regular customers shopping at your store long after the doors have closed for the day.
Guerilla marketing was built for small business. It means getting highly creative and using unconventional tactics that capture your audience’s attention quickly. Check out this video for some guerilla marketing ideas.
Reward the regulars.
Coffee cards have to be the most cliché thing ever when it comes to marketing, but they work. Offer your customers discounts for large volume purchases, give them something in exchange for a referral. It can cost you very little upfront but the rewards in the end are huge. This builds loyalty and your customer base at the same time. Win-win!
Along the same lines is an effective way to promote your brand is through non profit organizations. Donating time, money or a service to a local non profit puts you in touch with business leaders throughout your community. You can take this idea a step further and run promotions donating all proceeds to the non profit, it motivates everyone to refer your business in the community.
Small business marketing is a lot more affordable and accessible than it was a decade ago. Having a passion for what you do, hard work will and a little help every now and then will get you to your goals.