3 Cost-Effective Ways to Market Your Business
In a tough economy and competitive global market, many new businesses and entrepreneurs have to be very cost-conscious to keep their doors open. Marketing and advertising expenses must be controlled for the highest return on investment possible. Fortunately, with Internet and social media there are always new and inexpensive ways to promote brand awareness and build your business.
3 Ways to Market Your Business on A Budget
Get a Business Website
Even if you’re a one-person shop, a business website is a necessary business tool today. Social media is an important low-cost customer service tool in small business marketing, however, be sure to establish a company website. Websites serve as an essential “home base” for all marketing and communications and act as a secure anchor for both customers and vendors to get-to-know your company, products and services. Start with a low-cost basic website and add on as your business grows. A business website helps you develop your business “personality” and establish relationships with your customers, as well as giving you an effective reach far more extensive than you could get without an online presence. If you’re not yet ready or able to develop a website, start with an online presence similar to Joss & Main on LinkedIn. This will give your customers and vendors a way to connect with your company online.
Know Your Market
Do you know where your customers come from? What are they looking for? Who are they? The answers to these questions are important to know when you’re in business and can be answered with market research. You can pay a lot for someone to do market research for you, but you can also do it yourself for free or very low cost by simply asking your customers. If you’re curious about consumer feedback, start by using Google tools. Google offers consumer surveys, trends, and alerts that let you gather the information you need quickly and easily without hiring an expensive marketing team.
Craft a Clear Message
The best way to market on a budget is to have a clear message in all of your business communications. Andrea Hammer, Editor-in-Chief of Big Mouth Local, recommends simple language for marketing messages and energized descriptions with vibrant verbs. Hammer advises crafting key points about your company so that customers instantly know what your products and services are, how you’re different from the competition and how your customers will benefit from doing business with you. Plan a budget for marketing from the start. Try the simplified and free online budgeting app Mint to keep your business marketing budget on track. According to small business expert Caron Beesley, not allocating a large enough marketing budget is a big mistake for even the smallest businesses because you need marketing to drive sales. If you don’t have a fiscal marketing budget, be sure you have a social marketing budget and dedicate regular time each week to promote your business in social media with posts, blogs and announcements
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