You started a business, but do your potential customers know it exists? Television spots, billboards, radio and magazine ad costs can add up quickly and are out of reach for most start ups and small businesses. So what is a small business owner to do? Here are 6 ways to promote your business on a budget that can help.
1) List Building
List building is developing an internal list of your customers’ contact information so you can contact your customers outside of the confines of your store or website. Every interaction that you have with your customers is an opportunity to collect their contact information. Once you have a list of your customers’ contact information you can cultivate a relationship with your customers through email by publishing a monthly eNewsletter.
2) Public Relations
Public relations, commonly known as PR, is the act of promoting your business by sharing interesting noteworthy stories in hopes that the media will pick up and share your story to a broader audience. You can hire a PR Agency to help you tease out what stories to tell and write the press releases and distribute them to the media or you can identify the stories, write the press releases and distribute the press releases on your own. If you choose to write the press release yourself, here is a list of paid and free press release distribution services that you can choose from.
3) Guerrilla Tactics
Guerrilla marketing tactics are connecting with customers in a non-traditional and likely unexpected way. It’s a great way to break through the clutter and get noticed. However, be careful in how you use guerrilla tactics. You want to make sure your tactic is strategic and matches your brand identity, otherwise there is a possibility it will come off “SPAMMY”. Guerrilla tactics include: chalking, flyering, signs, street marketing, etc.
A Partnership can be defined as establishing a symbiotic relationship with another business or charitable entity. Developing a partnership with a complementary business or charity can benefit both parties. It gives you an opportunity to expand your business’ reach to a complementary group of customers and potentially increase sales.
5) Social Media
According to whatis.com, “Social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction and collaboration.” More commonly known as the names of the communities that make up the definition of social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Social media is a great avenue of promoting your small business. It’s free and easy to set up, but it does require a strategic plan and time to manage in order to do it well.
Search Engine Optimization is also known as SEO. SEO is the discipline of affecting natural search engine ranking or visibility of your website. Small businesses can positively affect SEO through crafting their website to focus on targeted keywords. Learn how to improve your company’s visibility from this SEO 101 webinar by our parent company, Deluxe.
Originally written for Bags & Bows Online.