Marketing is not something you can afford to ignore. If you don’t make an effort to market your business, it is going to be difficult to attract new customers or build your core business. But for a small business with very little money in the kitty to spend on marketing, it can be tempting to do things on the cheap. So what are your best options if you want to combine online marketing with a more traditional marketing strategy?
Online Versus Offline Marketing
A lot of businesses assume that social media channels and paid advertising on Google or Facebook is the only strategy worth bothering with, but this is a huge mistake. Just because a huge number of people live their life online, it doesn’t mean you can ignore the benefits of offline advertising. If you do, you run the risk of alienating a huge section of your customer demographic, i.e. all of those people who shun social media or who don’t have internet access.
Have some leaflets printed and get them distributed in the local area. It’s a great way of reaching local people who might be interested in your products or services. It is also worth building an existing customer contact list so you can target them with promotional offers through the post.
High Street Coupons
If you’ve got the kind of business where people are likely to walk in off the street and purchase your services then you can hire somebody very cheaply to walk around the vicinity and offer a coupon or deal to buy a product or service that day. This angle uses the scarcity tactic because the coupon is only valid for that one day so it works well with people who like to impulse buy. I have a friend who runs a whole bunch of botox clinics and frequently uses this technique to give new clients very cheap taster sessions. If they like the service they come back every couple of months for another treatment so it’s very lucrative.
Got a fantastic deal? Want to reach as many people as possible? Pay for billboard advertising on a busy intersection and feel the benefit. As long as your advert is eye-catching and the message is compelling, people will take notice and remember your brand. This is one example where sex definitely sells: an alluring image of a scantily clad lady will definitely attract attention, although it could potentially cause an accident, too.
Window Banners and Signs
Branded window stickers, banners and signs are useful for the workplace or retail outlets if you have customers visiting. Placing prominent signs and advertising material everywhere helps to reinforce the brand message.
Newspaper advertising can be very effective at reaching out into the local community. It is relatively inexpensive to buy advertising space in a local news publication, and if your target demographic is largely local, this marketing method is well worth trying. Buying advertising space in a national publication will be a lot more expensive, but it is useful for reaching a wider audience.
Promotional gifts such as branded mugs, mouse mats, pens, t-shirts and hats are inexpensive and always worth the investment if you attend events where you are likely to meet potential customers. Hand out promotional gifts at sales meetings or give them away at charity events. The more useful the products are, the more likely people will be to hold on to them and remember your business’s brand.
For best results, try a number of different marketing strategies and see which one works the best for your business.