Mention marketing to anyone who is thinking of starting their own business and they will almost immediately start thinking about Google and Advertising Campaigns. Quite often this is followed by frantic calculations trying to estimate exactly how much it will cost to start a comprehensive PPC Campaign and how long their savings will last them if the eagerly awaited orders or sales aren’t forthcoming.
Marketing doesn’t have to take up large parts of your working capital and in fact if that capital is restricted to start with then even more the reason to be creative and careful with what monies you do have! Some time spent researching trade journals, industry blogs or commentators in your industry sector could provide you with a potentially useful outlet for marketing opportunities, but you’ll have to be creative.
Media sources are often looking for content – email, call, skype or chat online with these companies or individuals to build up an understanding of what it is they require for their readers or customers. By understanding their needs you’ll be better placed to create content or articles that will not only be interesting or useful to the companies and their audience but more importantly, will be written in a way that will be engaging, informative and engaging to the reader. Press releases in the form of interesting and relative content on a relevant ( industry specific ) website or journal will normally far outweigh paid advertising both in terms of reach, longevity and reaction.
Creative content placed in the right, and relevant, websites and / or journals is not only free but often carries a far greater impact than conventional marketing, either online or offline. It’s not a substitute, in an ideal world with finances allowing you would always do both, but when starting out it’s an innovative and cost effective solution to get more out of your marketing budget.
Have a look at some more marketing tips below:
You’re an Expert – tell people!
As we’ve mentioned above, articles or free workshops can be a great way to introduce your company to the masses. Whatever you decide to do, this is a fantastic way to create brand awareness and increase your credibility and standing amongst potential customers or clients.
Piggy – backing.
If you are working alongside existing businesses either as a customer or a supplier, look to utilise their existing marketing channels to spread the news. If you are discounting their products or have chosen their company instead of their competition then this could be something they want people to know about as well. When seeking PR opportunities always consider what the other party will require from an arrangement – there has to be something in it for them!
I couldn’t have done this without…………..
We’re not suggesting that you start preparing your winners speech just yet but entering Industry awards can be a great PR exercise. Even if you don’t win, entries are often displayed and even the runners up will also glean much needed publicity as well as the winners. It’s also a great exercise in ‘selling your business and / or services.’
When Targetting – be specific!
Most magazines, journals, papers etc will have a free media pack that is full of information for companies that are looking to advertise. Spend some time researching the media outlets that best match your target audience.
We’re giving it away!
Running competitions can be a great way of informing potential customer’s about your company. These can be run for free from your own website or quite often you can pay a small fee to ‘partner’ with a media outlet who will organise and market it to their audience.
This can be an excellent way to increase exposure – make sure the audience is right for your business and if the prize can be related to your business, services or products supplied by you, then all the better. A follow up piece from the prize winner reviewing the service or product that they have won will be further exposure and increase credibility.
We hope this helps or inspires you to think more creatively about your marketing and how you can get more ( exposure ) for less ( money). We’ll finish the post on Monday with the final suggestions regarding marketing for small businesses.