Every business owner has to market their business. No matter what type of business you have, you can’t build it and expect people to come to it if they don’t know about it. That is where marketing and advertising come into play.
Most small business owners have a budget they have to consider, so deciding on their marketing mix really depends on their budget. Most small business owners report that they did not set aside enough money for initial advertising costs and if they could do it over again they’d allocate more for advertising than they did.
There are plenty of marketing methods that a local business can use that are inexpensive. You don’t have to feel pressured into running expensive radio, TV and print advertising. Instead, try some of these inexpensive methods to get the most for your advertising budget.
Make a big deal about your grand opening. If you’re a member of the Chamber of Commerce (and you should be) they will do a ribbon cutting without any additional charge. Make the most out of this opportunity by sending out a press release and talking about the grand opening on every medium you can, such as your blog, social media accounts and so forth. Be open for business at the grand opening with some great sales, freebies, and more.
Local Shopping Club
Once you get your business going, consider starting a local shopping club. Get other businesses involved with the shop local movement with a pledge that you all, as business owners, will look local first before buying elsewhere. Kick off the local shopping club with a big event such as a scavenger hunt where customers can win prizes. Of course, send out a press release, and blog about this event.
In your community there will be many small business groups; find the ones with the most members and join them. Definitely join the Chamber of Commerce and participate in their events to help your business get known by the local community. There are also women’s business groups, veterans’ business groups and more. Join a couple and fully participate. By participating you will become the go-to expert in your niche.
We’ve mentioned blogging in the above marketing ideas, which is part of online marketing. To embark on online marketing, the first thing you need is a website with a blog. A website alone will not do anything but sit there, but with an active and often updated blog it becomes a search engine draw. Blog regularly – three to five times a week.
In addition, participate in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and other social media as you discover them. Don’t just make profiles; really participate for the best results. Just like offline events and networking, if you don’t participate there is no point in joining.
Before spending a lot of money on traditional advertising such as print ads, TV ads, and radio, try these methods to see if you can save your budget but still get excellent results for your time and effort.