If you could ask Santa for a special gift this Christmas, it would probably be a way to create a sound marketing strategy for your business on a small budget. We are not Santa, but we think we can help you with this. We are aware that some of the advice and tips we shared in previous articles are more adequate for companies which have reached a certain maturity and have more freedom to choose effective marketing strategies from the point of view of costs.
But we have not forgotten about one of the largest groups of loyal readers of our website: home-based and small business owners. This is why, as a holiday gift from us to you, we will share some of the most cost-effective and affordable marketing strategies you should adopt in 2018.
Maybe you are already applying some of them, or maybe you will find better ways to implement our recommendations. Without further ado, these strategies will help you reach your marketing goals with a high return on investment:
- Cross Promotions with Other Businesses
Strength is in numbers – this principle is very true for small businesses. Lacking large budgets, local entrepreneurs find ways to support each other through barters, partnerships and cross promotion. The secret is to find a company which is not your direct competitor, but whose products or services are complementary to yours. The classic example is the partnership between an online fitness trainer and a small business selling healthy and bio food and drinks.
By promoting one another, each business gains access to a brand new audience, either for free or for a small fee. In time, you can even develop joint offers with the other company and thus increase both your sales.
- Become a Member of Professional and Business Organizations
The local Chamber of Commerce and other professional and business organizations are extremely powerful venues for entrepreneurs to promote their small business. There are always public events, fairs and conventions where, as a member, you can put up a stand, or post your company website and logo in a visible place.
One-on-one interactions with potential customers or partners/investors are just as effective now as they were decades ago. Plus, as a member of a business organization, you have huge opportunities to expand your network and obtain mentoring from more experienced entrepreneurs.
- Guest Post Everywhere You Can
Surely, we do not mean on EVERY website out there – just those which your prospects are most likely to read frequently. Guest posting is not always for free, but it is a very cost-effective marketing strategy.
As a part of the deal, you get access to a larger audience than you could reach on your own, and the right to post a link to your website. The higher the reputation of the website linking back to yours, the higher the page rank given by Google to your own site.
- Do Not Discard Print Marketing Materials
Print marketing materials do not have to be expensive – you can design your own flyers and business cards, for instance, using affordable online graphic design tools, such as Canva. As for printing, for simple paper flyers you can use your own office printer.
In a world full of online ads, print marketing has fewer adepts – but this is exactly why you should not abandon this concept. Be honest, how many promotional emails do you receive every day versus printed promotion in the mailbox? Less competition means greater chances for your flyer to be read and result in a sale.
- Invest in Local Press Releases
Most certainly, your main customer base is in your local community. So, why should you want your ads and press releases to appear in national or international websites? Invest smartly in press release packages offered by media companies for your local community websites. These are the websites your prospects are most likely to browse on a daily basis, and their advertising fees are certainly more affordable than those of large news and media websites, with a very broad audience.
The key is to know how far you want your marketing messages to spread, geographically speaking. Unless your products are digital and can be purchased by anyone from around the globe, your area of interest should be the one you can physically cover with deliveries.