Marketing strategies for small businesses often pass for a growth strategy as well. With limited resources, be it the funds, human resources or infrastructure, optimizing is the key to function as a small business. There are no magic marketing strategy or a one-size-fits-all formula, but you need to try and test what works for your business and then take an informed call.
Before you attempt to test, consider a few things:
- Who does your product cater to?
- What is the demographic of your potential customer?
- How do your customers generally look for your product?
- What is their online activity like?
If you do not have the above answers, it is recommended that you do. This helps you chalk out or pick strategies that will be more effective than others because let us be real. Not every idea may work for you.
Here we are with 7 Stellar Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses that one can start with testing:
First and foremost, develop a nice digital footprint with a website in place. Use all social media platforms and register as a business by having a page on multiple platforms, especially the popular ones- Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use Google for business and Linked in as a business-centric platform. Make sure you have crosslinks, that is, have the links of your social media pages on your website and vice versa. Also, explore e-mail marketing and start with a small database and free tools (like mail chimp), instead of bulk or mass mailers.
Get registered on deal websites. Websites that are popular among consumers as promotional websites often have a good foot-fall. Make sure you keep updating the information on the deal websites as well lest they promote deals or discounts that have expired.
We emphasized in a previous blog the importance of having a good visiting card (read here). Use every opportunity to market your brand/product organically. Your letterheads, invoices, email signatures, visiting cards etc. all are a part of organic marketing techniques. It also helps to have your employees spread the good word about your product. If the employees take pride in their organization and products, it projects a good image and generates interest.
Forming alliances helps to amplify the effort of promotion. Alliances like Vconnect, not just help you in marketing via blogs, ads, TV segments etc. but also connect you with relevant customers.
Have people try your product for free! We do not mean give it out to everyone. Perhaps you can have a raffle incentive or an online contest. Going to residential/office complexes and having a booth that lets people know about your product helps a great deal. You can use this opportunity to collect information and offer special deals/product trial etc.
Your employees are also your potential customers. Every employee has a circle they can effect. Their friends, family, acquaintances etc. Imagine the number of people you can reach by just letting your employees enjoy your products and services. Roll it out as an incentive program that rewards the top performers with free products/trials.
Look at niche options
Niche options of print, broadcast or online media are ignored because of the small group of people they reach. They can cost you lesser and actually the exact kind of target group you intend to make customers. While you do the exercise suggested at the beginning of the blog, try to chalk out marketing mediums that resonate with your TG. It will help you to work out the platforms you can invest in.
We hope the 7 techniques help. Like we said, not all may really apply to you, but there is merit in the application of these techniques for the small budget organizations. For small businesses to grow into big businesses, investment in marketing will help a great deal.