Growing a small business or startup takes ingenuity and gaining attention within your target customer base. An important factor to ensure success is how you approach your marketing plan.
Being savvy and aware of all the tools available marks the difference between success and struggle for new entrepreneurial opportunities. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to outsource or spend thousands on extending your brands reach.
With a low budget and minimal experience, reaching your marketing goals is attainable.
The best place to start is where most of your customers are–online. Focusing on digital tactics to build your brand can maximize your investments, both financial and time. While mixing in some offline strategies with your online strategies will maximize effectiveness.
All of these marketing tactics are available for free or extremely affordable and will help you connect your brand to your target audience.
Use these resources to launch your brand efficiently:
1) Build Your Online Presence
Creating a website offers a convenient and quick way for your customers to learn about your business. Using this strategy is also helpful to share your brand, build credibility, and gain more visibility. Think of it as your digital storefront.
By using a website, you’ll be able to house all the information that you want your customers to know about your business in one spot.
Providing your business hours (if there are any), contact information, pricing, etc, are all elements to keep in mind when building your website. The more readily available information is for your business, the better your chances are of making a sale.
Micah Pratt of Business.org notes that “56.1% of the world’s population is connected to the internet. If you have a minimal budget, build a website for two reasons.
- You can get free customers/visitors from search engine optimization.
- You can start a referral program, in which you pay trusted sources to send you traffic as well.”.
There are tons of online resources to learn more about how to maximize your search engine optimization in order to help customers find you.
If using a referral program doesn’t fit into your budget, you can always start your own referral program within your own site. This would allow customers who enjoy your product to share your brand with their friends.
Most website providers offer a cost-effective platform to host and build your website.
And there is no need to worry about having any web design skills since you can use layouts that are easily edited to fit your needs.
2) Harness the Power of Social Media
Using the reach of social media to extend the awareness of your brand is optimal for business owners who need a marketing tactic that is easily maintained.
According to SalesForce, over 41% of millennials use social media as their channel to make purchases. Reaching this audience is important to not only sales but also maintaining attention on your brand.
With helpful (and free) apps like Buffer, you can set your social media accounts to make timely posts for when the most amount of traffic will occur–ensuring the success of your efforts.
Instagram, in particular, allows businesses to create shoppable posts with up to five products tagged in the image. This gives your posts an advantage by referring your customers to a product page directly on your site. After creating 9 shoppable posts for your business’s Instagram, you will enable the “shopping” tab on your profile to quickly convert visitors to paying customers.
Another perk of utilizing social media is that it will allow you to have timely interactions with your customers and see how they are engaging with your brand. Social media platforms are an easy way to also provide customer service and answer any questions that people may have about your business.
This marketing solution is not only easy to implement and maintain, but it can be a free investment that grants access to an unlimited customer base.
3) Connect using Email Campaigns
Using email campaigns might seem outdated or unrewarding especially with how inundated our mailboxes can be. It’s important to focus on the difference between what’s spammy and what’s useful when it comes to email campaigns.
Make sure you are offering your readers pertinent information surrounding updates, promotions, and opportunities they can benefit from.
A great way to build up your mailing list is by enabling visitors to subscribe to your website. This will help compile your emailing list efficiently.
Marketing is a long game–the more often people are exposed to your brand, the more likely they are to become a customer. The best part of emailing…it’s free! There are some emailing services that will require a membership fee, but you can use applications like MailChimp and MailerLite without spending a penny.
This is a great way to keep your small business relevant in the eyes of your customers and expand your exposure to ensure people think of you when they’re ready to make a purchase.
4) Enable Facebook Ads
Facebook ads allow you to take more control over who are reaching on social media.
The best part is that Facebook allows you to set your budget so you don’t overspend on your advertisements. You can outline a daily budget to ensure your business stays on track while trying to execute its marketing plan–keeping you in control of your costs.
You can also personalize your objectives and priorities so that Facebook’s algorithm can capitalize on the audience that is more likely to be interested in your post. There is ultimate freedom in how you create your advertisement, as you can use text, images, videos, and slide shows in order to catch the viewer’s attention.
This marketing option is optimal for controlling your budget and your message on an easily managed platform.
5) Reach Out to Your Community
Sometimes you need to get back to the basics. With most marketing tactics being online driven, it’s easy to overlook the importance of making a connection in your community. Reaching out to local businesses will provide awareness and encourage conversation around your brand.
Creating and maintaining these relationships can open the door to free advertising (yes, flyers are still a thing). The more people that are exposed to your brand–regardless of the medium–increases your chances of converting those people into customers.
To take this one step further, you can get your business involved in local events. Volunteering and maintaining an active role in the community helps you gain brand awareness with the customers literally within reach.
It can even be helpful to reach out directly to your neighborhood. If you have a new project, storefront, online business, etc, then old fashioned door-to-door pitching is free and easy. Most people want to support local business owners and appreciate the opportunity to meet the person who is spearheading a new endeavor in their community.
Networking is a free resource and extremely powerful in helping you reach your goals.
Marketing a new business can feel overwhelming. Feeling confident and knowledgeable about the resources at your disposal is the first step to setting your marketing plan in motion.
More importantly, you don’t need to set aside a large budget in order to effectively market your business. Maintaining a healthy budget and staying in control of the message you are sending your customers is essential to growing a successful start-up.
There are plenty of low cost or free tools that you can take advantage of without needing much experience. The money and time that you save while using these tactics will allow you to spend more time focusing on all of the other needs of your business.
Establish your audience and goals, and get going!
Hopefully, these tips help you gain the confidence and skills to manage your own marketing tactics to launch your new project.
Have any low-cost tips that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!