Not every company can afford to hire Ogilvy or even a local marketing agency. Everyone has to start somewhere, and there’s nothing wrong with DIY marketing. With a little finesse and a spot of helpful tweaking from Clock Tower Insight, you can not only keep up with your competitors, but blow them out of the water.
Small business marketing on a shoestring may seem like a stressful idea, but if you remain calm and follow a few actionable steps, you’ll find yourself at the front of the pack.
You Can Handle Marketing Development In-House
The difference between marketing success and failure is nothing more than knowledge and execution. Just because you don’t have the budget to hire a major marketing firm doesn’t mean you have to miss out on leveraging yourself.
Arm yourself with the tools your business needs. Taking your time to learn how to do things the right way and following through with best practices can ensure you don’t miss out on new opportunities or squander your hard-earned relationships with existing customers, hurting your business’ growth potential.
Don’t Forget Established Customers
Do we need to say it again?
It’s cheaper to keep existing customers than to find new ones
Trying to earn a new customer can be six to seven times more expensive than working to keep your existing ones. That means that you should actually put in more effort into marketing aimed at keeping your existing customers loyal.
According to Forbes, “60-80% of customers who describe themselves as satisfied do not go back to do more business with the company that initially satisfied them.” Leveraging your social media channels is more than just trying to foster brand awareness. Put in some effort to develop retention campaigns reminding existing customers of the great value you’ve provided them to keep them coming back for more. Pay close attention to your metrics and use them as a guide as to what is working for you . . . . and what is not.
Learn to leverage social media if you haven’t already given it much thought. It’s an affordable effective, and very appealing option for small businesses looking to obtain awareness. As long as you remember to keep your message and voice consistent, there isn’t necessarily a lot of expertise required on your part to find ways to engage your audience. You’re looking to post shareable content on various channels so you could easily do a little research on the subjects that’ll help to keep your accounts appealing to online consumers.
While the old-fashioned White Pages are a thing of the past, if you’re not already utilizing the benefits of business listings, you’re being left in the dust. Anymore, Google is inserting itself between you and your consumers on a more regular basis, so you’re not going to show up in regular searches unless you’re doing something to optimize yourself. You need to be seen in places that people are already going to find businesses like yours.
Make Use of Inbound Marketing
One of the first steps toward marketing success is to drive traffic towards your site and gain followers on your social media channels.
First. Not Final.
Granted, you need to have visitors in order to get the conversions, but window shoppers aren’t what you want.
Most people these days aren’t up to seeing in-your-face advertising. 93% of people who see advertising online view it negatively and over half of the population utilizes ad blockers, so they don’t even see any ads at all. They’re looking for quality content that lends value to their day.
Audiences are more likely to engage with content marketing. It helps people recall brands better and develop relationships that encourage purchases. Content marketing costs about 62% less than outbound marketing, but is able to generate three times as many leads, making it a no-brainer. If you’re not comfortable creating, writing, and editing, there are various companies out there that can affordably provide you with any or all of those services.
When you’re running on a tight budget, but have big plans, a little creativity can really go a long way.
- Self promote! Deck yourself out in attire representing your business, and deck your car with a wrap or magnetic appliques. This is more effective than what many give credit for.
- Stop and consider what other businesses you can run a combination promotion with. Who is next in line with you in your customer’s buying experience? If you’re a massage therapist, partner with chiropractors to pair your services.
- Don’t discount business cards. You can have quality business cards printed inexpensively, but be sure to include a picture so you become recognizable and memorable.
- Offer a freebie. While it may sound counterintuitive if you’re scrambling to stay in the black, offering an incentive to bring people into your store can bring in way more revenue than you lose if done right. One retail store mailed $50 Gift Certificates to people in their town. That drove people into the store, and most spent more money than the $50. Not everyone will come, but those that do will become loyal customers.
You don’t have to have the biggest marketing firm at your disposal in order to launch an effective campaign. Putting together your own strategies can be hugely effective. If you’re not sure about your efforts so far, enlist the help of a consultant to take a look and make sure you’re optimizing your resources. You have plenty of tools at your own disposal, so embrace your core competencies and use them to your advantage!