5 Essential Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners
Patricia Baronowski-Schneider, President/CEO of Pristine Advisers
As a small business owner, marketing may seem like a challenge. Without the seemingly infinite resources enjoyed by larger companies, you find yourself at a loss when it comes to competing with the glossy magazine ads and expensive marketing campaigns that your budget simply refuses to stretch to.
Fear not, intrepid entrepreneur, because with a little planning and creativity, you too can use effective marketing solutions to help your small business grow.
Looking for a little advice? Here’s a few tips.
1) Create your marketing plan
OK, so creating a small business marketing plan may not sound quite as exciting as delving headlong into all the tools and tricks at your disposal, but it is essential if you really want to make the most of your marketing efforts.
Spend some time deciding exactly what you want to achieve, how you plan to achieve it and, just as importantly, how you’ll know whether you’ve done what you set out to do.
2) Generate free publicity from your local media
Just because your marketing budget can’t accommodate for the same kind of dazzling advertisements used by larger companies doesn’t mean you can’t use your local media to publicize your business.
All it takes is the knowledge of one little secret:
Your local newspapers, magazines, radio and TV shows love good stories.
They’re always on the look out for a great story that will appeal to their audience, and your business could be the one to provide it.
Winning an award, celebrating a milestone, working with a charity and setting a record all make for good stories. All you have to do is contact your local media and tell them all about it.
3) Take full advantage of the web
Promoting your business online means so much more than simply putting up a website and occasionally posting your latest offers on Facebook.
Can you use videos to show off your products and services? Run contests via social media? Respond to feedback, both good and bad, on review sites such as Yelp? Offer free tips and advice via blog posts?
Keep up to date with the latest popular tools and platforms and look at how other businesses are using them as part of their marketing campaigns. Can you do the same? Can you do it even better? When it comes to the web, the world really is your oyster.
4) Stay topical
The recent soccer World Cup, national holidays and current events can all provide great opportunities to promote your business. Stay informed of what’s going on locally, nationally and even globally, and ask yourself how your business can get a piece of the action. You’d be surprised at how many ideas you can come up with you really start to think about it.
5) Give it away
People love getting stuff for free, so it makes sense that so many businesses use freebies to attract new customers. Whether you’re giving away information or advice via blogs, podcasts or videos, handing out samples outside your store or finding your own unique way to offer free stuff, make the most of it.
If what you’re giving away is of great quality, people will come back for more and when they do, they’ll be willing to part with their cash to get it.
Are you a small business owner with your own marketing tips you’d like to share? Would you like to see us expand on any of the topics covered above? Do you have any other feedback about this article? We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.