Small businesses operating on a small budget need to get creative with how they spend their marketing dollars to get the best return on investment. Here are five tips for marketing your business without breaking the bank.
Create explainer videos
Many marketers find that videos garner more clicks than other methods of digital advertising. By making smart, descriptive videos, you can easily get your point across. This is particularly useful if you have to close prospects or leads completely online without them ever interacting with a sales person (which is becoming more and more common in the digital age).
Furthermore, a video can be a much simpler way of getting information across than a wall of text, which can turn off some visitors that are in a rush or simply don't want to read. It can help you to eliminate misunderstandings with your potential customers before they even begin.
For a quick and easy way to get started making explainer videos, check out Kinetogram.me, which helps you make a free kinetic typography explainer video.
Ask for referrals
There are perhaps no better advocates for your brand than people who have already interacted with your company and have had a good experience. Reach out to your clients and remind them that your business thrives on their referrals. Let them know that they can help you grow by sending more business your way. A recommendation from a friend or colleague will often go a lot further than any sales call could.
For a drop dead simple way to reach out to lots of clients at once for referrals, check out MailChimp.
Leverage social media communities
Many companies are on social media, but are not getting the traction that they expect or see their competition gaining from the medium. Unfortunately, success for a small business on social media is significantly more difficult than just throwing up a Facebook page and hoping for the traffic to come rolling in.
It is important to join and be active in online communities that are relevant to your industry. Search for Facebook or LinkedIn groups where you can contribute to discussions. Remember, this is not a place to spam your advertisements; nobody appreciates that. You have to actually add value to the group to get noticed.
Give away a sample or trial
If it applies to your industry, try giving away a free sample or trial version of your product. While it may lose you some revenue in the short term, you are way more likely to garner long-term business when clients can give it a try without spending the money up front.
If you don't want to give your product away for free, you can at least generate some interest by offering coupons. There are plenty of options to target customers with coupons online, but this is also a great method of attracting customers that aren't using the internet. There are literally hundreds of options in any given market, including magazines and newspapers, leaflet mailers, door hangtags, flyers, even on the backs of receipts. Experiment with different options to see what works best for you.