Small Business Marketing on a Budget

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http://www.strategyand.pwc.com/perspectives/2015-retail-trends

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Guerilla marketing

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.

  1. 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.

 

How Does Lead Generation Work?

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How Does Lead Generation Work?

Many business owners are under the impression that lead generation is easy.  The reality is quite different and that’s why many small business owners are using lead generation sources.  There is a lot of groundwork in developing leads and setting up your own funnel, it’s a slow process that takes a lot of time, energy and money.

So how does lead generation work?  Here are some of the strategies lead generation companies use, you can apply them to your own businesses.

Database marketing

Most lead generating agencies buy or develop enormous databases that have business and professional information for potential customers.  This allows them to target campaigns for very specific demographics.  This is a complicated process that small in house marketing teams will struggle with.

The sheer volume of contacts on the database allows lead generation companies to streamline campaigns and quickly convert leads into sales.  After the initial contact with a prospect, there is lots of follow up and lead nurturing techniques that take a person from a line item in a database to a qualified lead with buying intent.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is done with the objective of converting or influencing customers to buy your product or service.  It’s take content, such as blog posts on your site and syndicating it through other channels.  This is intended to drive customers and web traffic back to your site.

Content marketing involves regular blogging and partnering with other bloggers and having them post to their blog and news feeds.  Each blog that you partner with needs to be scrutinized to look at the readership and the demographics of the blog.

Email is also used to distribute content and find leads.  Building an email list is integral to content marketing and email marketing is one of the most effective methods for generating high converting leads.

Telemarketing

Telemarketing has a horrible reputation in both the consumer and business markets.  You can’t discount its effectiveness especially in the B2B market, it is more effective than social media marketing and most inbound campaigns.  Telemarketing campaigns differ in scope but they all have a specific aims…to generate leads.  They are very effective at it, talk to any telemarketing campaign manager.

Inbound Marketing

Some lead generation firms also use inbound programs to bring a potential client to a buying decision.  Getting a lead with detailed contact info makes it much easier to turn them into a buying customer.

These are some of the ways that lead generation companies work to deliver leads to your business.  Some of these methods you can develop in your own organization.  Work with an experienced digital marketing company to fill your sales funnel.