We all know and understand the value of quality marketing. Anyone who has ever started a business was faced with the tough task of attracting clients and customers, and anyone who has ran a business for a longer period understands that maintaining clients is just as tricky of a proposition, if not even trickier.
Still, when it comes to actually spending money on promotional efforts, many of us are reluctant to spend big. With so many other expenses to deal with on daily basis, advertising usually ends up being the least of concerns.
Yes, the money is short, and there’s never enough to finance and see through all of our plans and ideas, but your promotional efforts need to be continuous, because for every second that you’re standing still, your competitors are gaining on you.
What to do, then, when the money is tight and you cannot afford a traditional, sustained promotional campaign? The short answer to that question is “make do with what you’ve got”. You will find the longer answer, at least my version of it, in the following lines.
Let Your Work Speak for Itself
Even with all the various ways marketing has changed and improved over the years, there’s still great value in the good old “word of mouth” promotion. Happy clients and satisfied customers are willing promoters of your business, so you need to hold yourself and your employees to the highest standards.
Make sure that your product or your service are as good as they can be, and be quick to answer every query or complaint. Having a functional website that’s easy to use and navigate can be of great help too.
Engage the Audience
Social networks provide you with a direct line of communication to thousands of current and potential clients and a great platform to try and engage the community in ways that will make them take an active part in building your brand. The key here is to be creative and find ways to capture the public’s attention.
Social networks are also free, which is a great luxury and a great opportunity to get good results with little or no investment. The nature of your business and the profile of your desired clientele should play a big role in formulating your message, but there are always many options to choose from.
Got a social cause or a core value you’re passionate about? Let it be heard and provide the community with a call to action that will motivate them to rally around a cause. Have a dilemma about an aspect of your business? Ask the community to give suggestions or design a contest. If possible, try to make it fun and engaging. You can even organize a social event, like a charity race or a giveaway, or support promising young talents. The goal is to align yourself with certain values and have the public talking about you and your business.
Spread the brand
The visual representation of your business is an aspect that should not be neglected. Ideally, your logo or your slogan should be striking and catchy, and the goal is for it to become commonplace, as if it was always there.
While the chances are that you don’t have a sufficient budget to plaster your logo around the entire city, there are still creative and effective ways to spread your brand. Consider spending some money on attractive promotional goods (not necessarily expensive, simply interesting). If you have time to spare, you can even come up with something of your own – in this day and age you can pretty much customize anything, from sticker labels on water bottles to golf balls, knives, or anything else you think of.
When you don’t have a budget to cover all the areas you need to think a bit outside the box and try to surprise people.
Which of these methods do you use to promote your business ?