Most start-up businesses tick along quite nicely, and you may feel you’re doing okay being able to turn a small profit – but how do you drive profits up and make more return on your budget? The answer is through marketing. Most of us think of marketing as something that requires a significant budget that we just don’t have – but that’s not true. There are more ways than ever to spread the word about who you are and what you do.
Share Your Knowledge
Becoming well known as the experts in what you do is essential in attracting new customers, and you can tap into this by sharing knowledge. First, of all get to know who else is out there and what they’re offering with some competitor intelligence tools. Then, look at what you can offer that’s unique and work out how to share it, Hosting a Meetup group, or a webinar can allow customers to come to you with any questions they have and learn more about what you do. Also, consider finding specialist threads on sites such as Quora where you can directly answer queries and position your brand as the leaders in the field. You could also consider creating custom video content to host on your website and social channels, giving a behind the scenes look at what you do.
Guerrilla marketing is fun, practical and usually low or no cost – you just need to think outside the box. There are some great examples of effective guerrilla marketing out there to be inspired by, from creating stunning chalk art promoting your business to spontaneous, real-world product demonstration and even using flash mobs to draw attention to a new launch. Consider who your target demographic is, where they are likely to be and what things they enjoy, and work out how you can connect to that.
Find Low-Cost Channels
Advertising doesn’t have to be all expensive billboard spreads and flyer drops – targeted digital ads are much more measurable and get your message through to the right customers with no waste of budget. Check-in and optimize them as you go along with the best results. It’s a fact that the best sales are repeat ones too, so look carefully at your existing channels to see how you can promote to people who already know about you. If you have a holding telephone message, record some ads to play back while customers are waiting, use the real estate on your emails to include your latest offer, start a regular programme of e-newsletters, and if you have a physical space set up a calendar of promotions to display in the windows,
Work With A Partner
Are there other small businesses in your area that have a complementary offer to yours? If so, approach them to scope out how you can work together for mutual benefit. For example, you could produce a joint piece of direct mail to go out to both parties’ mailing lists or start up a referral rewards programme. Just make sure you’re working within the parameters of the law when it comes to data and that you have permission to use it from the customer.