It is so hard to know where to spend your money when it comes to marketing your business. There are more ways than ever to reach your potential clients – but before you start spending money out of fear or desperation – it is important to ask yourself; what is the goal of my marketing effort? How will I measure my success?
To help you get started, here is my short-list of ideas to help you frame and prioritize your marketing efforts.
- Nurture your current customer. This should always be your number one priority. It is FIVE TIMES harder to find a new customer than to retain and grow business with a current customer. No matter what business you are in, consider loyalty programs, special offers and bounce-back coupons to keep your current customers and clients happily using your product and promoting your business.
- Make a video. There is nothing more compelling than a short video about your product or service to market your business. No website or print piece can convey emotions and provoke reactions in the way a video can. If you are thinking of spending money on your business in the coming year, hold off on print advertising or direct mail and consider spending that budget on a 5 minute (or less!) professional video for your business. If you don’t have the budget – use an editor and create the video yourself. If you can’t edit, consider using Facebook Live, or just setting up a tripod for your phone and filming that way. Here is a sweet little guide from HubSpot about how to do just that. Email subject lines with the word “video” in are more likely to be opened, videos stream automatically on social media platforms, and video content is more likely to be shared by your fans and clients than any other marketing piece.
- Embrace social media. Small businesses cannot afford to ignore the power of social media. This free advertising opportunity allows brands to operate their business pages as mini-websites, sending out content and business promotions (with a personal touch) out into the world. Social media can become a lot for some small businesses to manage, so I recommend starting with one or two channels to get things going. You can read about my advice on that here.
- Focus on word-of-mouth marketing. If your product or service is as great as you think it is, people won’t be afraid to tell their friends about it. But, sometimes you have to ask. Use social media as a tool to build engagement with your audience and don’t be shy about asking for reviews or testimonials. When you receive a great testimonial, be sure to share it everywhere that you market your business (website, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) Give incentives for referrals and first-time customers. Offer partner or affiliate marketing opportunities with like-minded local businesses.
Takeaways: You don’t need to be spending tens of thousands of dollars a year on marketing your business, and your marketing pieces do not have to be perfect. Focus on building upon what you already have as far as clients and customers, networking, and taking advantage of what social media and video can offer your business for very low cost.