Marketing and Promotion are important areas in every business. These are the departments that make your sales people work more efficiently. But many businesses do not have enough funds in their budget for Marketing and Promotion. They assume you need large expenditures in advertising to effectively promote your business. In truth, you can promote your business with a low budget. Here are 8 effective ways for you to consider.
#1. Build a Website
If you want to maximize exposure for your business on the Internet, you must have a website. The Internet has 3.3 Billion users every day; each one searching for relevant information or content. The website is your business address on the World Wide Web; this is where potential customers will find you.
There are free downloadable website templates but your best option is to hire the services of a professional website designer. The cost of a basic website would range from $500 to $800. But you can be assured of customized design and fully functioning features.
#2. Optimize its Pages
For a website to be effective it must be mobile-responsive, have fast download time and accessible via multi-browsers. But all of this will be useless if your website cannot be found. For your website to be found its pages must be optimized.
Search Engine Optimization or
#3. Publish Content
A good way to promote your business is to publish content which you can post in your website and offer as a free giveaway. E-books and newsletters are effective tools to highlight your expertise to your target market. In order to save time, you can hire a content writer to create e-books and newsletters.
If you have writing skills you should consider joining blogging communities and publish content there. You could also contribute content to websites that are engaged in your industry.
#4. Use Search Engine Directories
The Internet’s largest search engines; Google and Bing offer free listing services for local businesses in their search directories.
Listing at Yahoo’s Localworks is not for free. It will cost you $29.99 per month but it will get your business listed in 50 directories. These directories include Yahoo Local, Yelp, White Pages, Bing and MapQuest.
#5. Create a Blog Page
Ask you website designer to include a blog page on your website. Blogging is one of the most effective ways to promote your business. These are just a few of the statistics in support of blogging:
- Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links
- 92% of companies that blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer
- 61% of consumers have had their decisions to purchase influenced by a blog
- Small businesses that blog generate 126% more leads
- B2B marketers generate 67% more leads through blogs
Your blog page is your virtual platform to promote your business. Every business regardless of industry will benefit from having a blog page. Your business could be retailing furniture, but as Decor Clad proves, there are still benefits from blogging.
#6. Utilize Social Media
Of the 3.3 Billion people who are searching on the Internet on a daily basis, 2.3 Billion are on social media. If you want your business to gain traction, you must be involved in social media.
There is no cost to opening a social media account. Here are a few tips to consider before getting into social media:
- Research on all the social media networks. Each one functions differently and has advantages over the other in terms of targeting consumers, acquiring markets and distributing content.
- Identify 3 social media platforms for your business.
- Create a unique, interesting and professional business and personal profile.
- Maintain a regular posting schedule.
- Join focus groups that are related to your business
- Engage with your community frequently
- Constantly work on building your network
- Link your blog page to your social media accounts
Social media is an effective way to generate inbound links to your website.
#7. Attend Forums and Events
Earmark relevant business forums, trade expositions, conventions and networking events and find time to attend them. If you know anyone of the organizers, ask if you can present your business to the audience.
Business forums and expos are great venues to network within your local market. Make sure you have the following items before going to these events:
- Calling cards
- Marketing brochures
- Corporate or Business Profile
Many of these events are sponsored which mean there is no cost to joining them. Often times all it takes is to know someone from the organization and ask for a referral.
#8. Introduce a Referral Program
A referral program is effective because it gives your business credibility. A customer would not refer you to another customer if he or she did not like your product or service.
Food retailers particularly coffee shops use the referral program to great success. The proprietor gives the customer a referral card. For every 3 to 5 new customers he or she gives the business, the referrer gets a special gift in the form of free product or discounts.
Businesses in the services industry have also benefited from implementing a referral program. In effect, a referral program gets the customer involved in your marketing and promotional strategy. Your cost here can be credited as marketing and promotional expenses.
Three new paying customers can easily render the free gift to the referrer only as a small, insignificant percentage of total sales.
Marketing and promotion require a great level of creativity to succeed. In the same manner, you should be creative in finding ways to promote your business without breaking the bank. By combining the tools and processes available online with traditional marketing practices, you can have the means to promote your business effectively while staying within your budget.