So you’ve got a small business? Great, but do you know how to bring in more business on a tight budget?
Start with the Basics: Take a close look at your website.
1. Would you buy from your website? If you need an updated logo, you can get a logo created fairly economically by finding a designer on Fiverr. Check their credibility by reading the reviews.
2. Make sure all the landing pages on your site are clear and pleasing to look at. Great landing pages increase your chances of converting a website visit to a sale.
3. Set up a “Google My Business” page. All you need is a Google account and a little time to fill it out. Go to Google.com/business to start. Having this information up to date allows people to easily find and contact you when they search for your business name online.
4. Add a blog to your website. Create some articles to help you share your voice via social media. Keep your articles relevant and useful to your demographic. Provide “How-to” posts, points of view and product. Share your content with other bloggers in the same or similar niche market. Try a reciprocal content swap to broaden your audience.
5. Include social media in your arsenal but don’t feel that you need to have a presence on every social platform. Social media can be a big drain on your time and your target demographic may not be on every platform. Know the best social platform for your demographic. For example, an elderly target audience is more likely to be on Facebook rather than Snapchat or Instagram. However, Instagram is a great way to reach a younger or millennial audience.
6. Create social media posts on a regular basis, sharing not only news about your business but relevant articles from your niche market. Keep posts a mix of light, informative and interesting.
Time to get Marketing
7. Networking groups can be a boon for small businesses especially if they serve the local community. There is usually an annual fee, but the incoming business from this source often covers the expense.
8. Find some professional organizations that serve your niche market. These can give you an edge over your competition by giving you more credibility. For example, if you run a local child care center, you could be eligible to join a number of professional organizations like the Association of Child Life Professionals or the Association for Early Learning Leaders.
9. What is your target audience? You already know your business, but how well do you know your clients? Before you start, understand who they are. How old? Are they men, women, families, parents, or single people? What about where they live? Do you provide products and services for only the local community or nationwide? Understanding who you should be targeting will help you get the most bang for your buck with any advertising you do.
10. Set a Goal and a Budget. You should have a clear objective with any advertising or marketing that you do. Your goals might include, increasing foot traffic into your store, sharing the launch of a new product, or driving website visits and converting them to sales.
11. Try email marketing. Create a newsletter mailing list and send a monthly email with relevant and interesting information. Email marketing has one of the highest sales conversions of all online advertising. Try an application like MailChimp, which is free for your first 2,000 subscribers.
12. Facebook ads can be tailored to your target demographic and tracked for conversions via a ‘Facebook Pixel’ which is added to your website. These can take a little time to set up, but if you’re having trouble, Youtube is a great resource for step-by-step instructions for establishing a Facebook Ad account. By setting your own price, you can run an ad campaign that fits your marketing budget.
13. Get creative with video. Facebook video and Youtube are great ways to reach your audience for free. Create some short ‘explainer’ type videos to be not only helpful to your audience, but to position yourself as an expert in your niche market.