Low Cost Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses – As we close the door on another calendar year, it’s time to start thinking about effective marketing ideas for small business owners in 2018. One of the best things a small business owner can do for their business is take time to develop one. A small business marketing plan that will set them apart from the competition.
Before we get into marketing strategies, it’s important to have the right tools before marketing your business. To beat the competition, it’s important that your business has the right tools to help provide the best customer service and stay on top of business operations. In addition to a secure payroll processor, employee scheduling software can help streamline your operations and keep track of changes. It can track breaks, holidays and forecast work. Find out how to make your life easier so you can love your business again by starting your free 30-day trial below.
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Your story can be an effective marketing tool. Get the word out on flyers, your website, social media and emails about how and why you started your business. Create an emotional connection with your customers, so they know why they should support your small business. While people are looking for a bargain, telling a story that resonates (along with a good deal) sets your business apart from the retail giants.
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Add some facts about the impact of small business to your story. Tell your customers that small businesses make up 54% of all sales in the US. Also remind people that small businesses like yours have a positive impact on their local economy as they provide 55% of all jobs.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) found that more than half of holiday shoppers bought an item recommended by a retailer online. Create a gift guide to give your customers options and help cut through the noise. Designing a gift guide doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. Your gift guide can be as simple as a blog post with a list of gifts, descriptions and links. You can also hire a designer to create a gift guide for your website and print.
Find inspiration from ‘Oprah’s Favorite Things’ where Oprah showcases items from various businesses. Use this principle to add your products to the gift guides of popular influencers and bloggers. For a small commission, some bloggers are willing to help small businesses promote their giveaways to their audience.
Tap into the curiosity of the unknown by keeping a mystery in your marketing campaign. If you have an email list, send your subscribers an email offering various discounts or gifts. Your call to action should take your customers to a landing page with one of your offers. You can get a little more technical with your mystery offers by using a tool like Zambula, where your customers digitally ‘scratch’ their screens to reveal a mystery prize.
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If you don’t have a website or email list, take your mystery offer offline. Let customers choose a mystery offer in store by spinning a wheel or drawing from a hat.
Give your customers a free gift after spending a certain amount. Drive foot traffic from your email subscribers by asking them to print the offer or show it on their mobile phones in store to redeem their free gift.
Take advantage of this opportunity to promote your business by offering useful branded items such as calendars or pens. Or, offer a rewards or loyalty system to customers who create an account with your store. This will encourage customers to collect points if they are given a prize or coupon after reaching a certain point.
Urgency makes people work quickly. Once you create an urgent campaign, start announcing the promotion via email, social media platforms, and even physical banners around your store. The announcement continued with the final call promotion. This tells your customers that the offer is about to expire and they need to act fast if they want to get the best deal. Reminding customers that time is running out raises the level of urgency and compels action. It is a way to move customers out of the dormant stage and into a state of action.
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A 2017 BrightLocal study revealed that 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as well as personal recommendations and 73 percent of consumers say positive reviews increase their trust in a business. More people than ever are looking for reviews and almost every consumer has researched a local business online at least once this year. In fact, according to data from the same study, 7 out of 10 users will leave a review if asked to do so. Many businesses struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors, so having a positive online reputation is essential to help customers make a choice.
Set up profiles on multiple review sites to make it easy for your customers to leave reviews and be sure to stay active by thanking positive reviews and answering questions.
The NRF survey found that 6 out of 10 respondents would be happy to receive a gift card. Capitalize on the popularity of gift cards by building a marketing campaign around gift cards. Offer plastic and e-gift cards to give shoppers more options. Your marketing campaign might include a percent off gift card or a free gift card when customers spend over a certain amount in store or online.
Get customers to interact in store by setting up a scavenger hunt. You don’t need to have a big store to make this work. Give customers a short list of items to find in your store and ask them to submit pictures of the hidden items at checkout to claim the discount. A scavenger hunt is a great way to get customers to look around your store. Hide some items in the back to encourage customers to browse around the store. Limit the scavenger hunt to a few items and make it a short game, so customers don’t lose their excitement.
Low Cost Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses
Send your customers directly to your in-store markets using foot stickers that stick to the floor. Be creative with the type of footprint you use. If you are a women’s shop, use high heel prints or if you are a pet shop, use paw prints. Search online for companies that specialize in floor graphics to order your custom footprint.
The numbers are stronger as they compete with larger companies for sales and customer loyalty. It makes sense to network with other local small businesses to increase your marketing power. Team up with several businesses to spread advertising costs to reach more people.
Consider cross-promoting your products with compatible local businesses. For example, if you own a shop, you could work with a coffee shop owner to offer a ‘buy one, get one free’ coffee to everyone who produces a receipt from your shop. In return, you offer a discount to coffee shop customers at your store.
Partnerships are important and should be part of your small business marketing campaign. Since 91% of consumers want the products and services they use to support a cause, consider incorporating an element of giving back into your marketing campaign. Be sure to find a way to involve your customers in your charitable efforts.
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If you’re promoting your local food bank, why not encourage your customers to leave non-perishable items in store? On the other hand, you can choose to set aside a percentage of your profits for a charity of your choice. Announce your fundraising goal and let your customers know the difference their donation will make.
Hosting an event at your store is a great way to promote brand awareness and connect with your customers. A well-executed event is a great source of publicity and customer acquisition for businesses – and it doesn’t have to break the bank to be effective. Offer freebies like cookies, and place your cookies in strategic places – such as near discount items or gift cards – to attract attention. As a small business, you probably stock items that larger stores don’t, so make your unusual and unique pieces front and center to grab customers’ attention.
Videos of your product or service on YouTube can help promote your business and brand. Showcase new products, offer tutorials and talk about relevant (and interesting) things going on in your industry. Create useful content for your audience, such as tutorial videos, to help them better understand your product.
HubSpot predicts that video traffic will rise to nearly 80 percent of all Internet traffic by 2019. In this digital age, moving into video marketing will give small companies a competitive advantage.
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Use social media to create sweepstakes. Use tools that help create quizzes, contests, sweepstakes and coupons on social media. Most tools have pre-made templates that you can brand with your business colors and logo.
Ask social media users to provide their email address for the opportunity
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