Being one of many small businesses in a world of business sharks can bring on a plethora of challenges. Working on a small budget is never any business owner’s ideal situation, but it happens. And, knowing how to promote your business and it’s awesomeness to the world is important if you want to get your name out there. You may be wondering, “Okay, but I don’t have a lot of money. How can I compete with the big guys?” Well its actually a lot simpler than you thought.
There are tons of great ways to brand and market yourself without spending thousands every month. Some of the greatest content and marketing strategies are born from the simplest of ideas. Below, we’ve compiled some marketing ideas for small businesses trying to get their name out there and promote themselves.
Top 6 Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
Now, there are definitely more than just six marketing ideas for small businesses. But here, we’re focusing on a low budget, quick, and easy ideas to get your business where you’re going. Stick with these marketing ideas for small business tips and you’ll be an expert in no time. You may even be coming up with your own ideas!
1. Always. Produce. Content.
Now, this should be a no-brainer, but baby steps, right? Producing and publishing great content is literally going to be your best friend and one of the best marketing ideas for small businesses. I mean it. If you don’t or can’t put content online for your business, there is no point in trying to market your business. Even if you aren’t the strongest writer, someone on your team is capable of cranking out a few blogs or articles a day, week, or month relating to your business. And the blogs don’t have to be lengthy or heavily researched every time. Take a hint from BuzzFeed; they just might be the king of all things “listicle” (take this post for example). People love shortlists and fun content they can relate to. Stay on top of trends and what’s happening in the world around your business and fill people in!
2. The Wondrous Beauty of Interns
Now, not to get all personal here, but I myself am an intern. And I’ll let you in on a little secret – Interns will do anything (within reason obviously) for experience or credit just to impress you and get experience. Internships can also be offered as school credit, which means you can pay them if you want (and are able – remember this post is about low budget small businesses), or you don’t have to. So, hiring a college student interested in marketing, writing, or business is a great way to have extra help around the office producing content. Have some interns write some catchy blogs or post on social media. We are currently in the age of the Millennials and Generation Z who are all over the social media scenes. Let them take over (again within reason) especially if you’re a younger, trendier business. You’ll end up loving their work, and they’ll love you for the great time and great experience.
3. Video Marketing is Calling Your Name
Video content is one of the most valuable assets for small businesses. You just have to do it. And, what’s so great about making videos you ask? Literally everything. They are fairly easy to produce and don’t cost as much as you’d think. While it is beneficial to invest in a decent camera and maybe a green screen, you can make usable and interesting videos just using your phone. Short, online videos are the way to reach people – especially on social media. The average attention span has decreased significantly, so short 1 to 3 minute videos are perfect. Get creative and start reaching out to your followers!
4. Social Media – If it’s Free, It’s for Me
Okay, let’s be real here. If you own a business and you’re not already utilizing the free platforms already available to you (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest), you might as well quit. Okay, that may be harsh, but someone had to say it. These social media platforms typically cost nothing to join and it is the easiest and fastest way to get your amazing content to the public. They are also great platforms for marketing campaigns and consumer reach. Everyone loves getting a reply from a post they commented on. Interact and build a personality. Sign up for all you can and keep all profile information, pictures, and posts consistent. That is the best way to build a brand and familiarize followers with your business. Starting a website is another great way to increase your online presence. There are many free or really cheap website creation sites you can manage to fit your own business.
5. Link Up on LinkedIn
If you’re already using LinkedIn, fabulous! If not, what are you waiting for? Get going! LinkedIn is absolutely a great way to connect with fellow business and increase your knowledge about competition. Many small businesses go on LinkedIn to promote themselves and you should too. Don’t just connect with people though. Join conversations, post blogs, join groups, update your profile, and build your network. And what’s even better? IT’S FREE (head back to number 4 if you need a refresher).
6. Don’t Sizzle…Pop!
I’m talking about having clever, interesting, and up-to-date branding materials. Sure a plain white business card with black Times New Roman font is “professional,” but it’s 2017. Splurge (a little) on a good designer or get your creative juices flowing with some great business materials. I’m talking business cards, flyers, coasters, t-shirts, chapsticks, buttons, letterheads, magnets. If you can print something on it, do it. This works especially well if your small business is centered around a trendy industry (like a hipster coffee house) or fun name. Plus, having a tangible, well-design product to distribute literally puts your business into the hands of a client. Find what works best for you and your brand, run with it, and run far.
People love what other people are passionate about. So, needless to say, if you’re passionate about your business and it’s a success, people will love it too! Marketing doesn’t have to be difficult. Chances are, you already have an awesome team behind you to help every step of the way. Follow these tips and mold them to your business’s personality if you need to. The world of business and marketing isn’t always cut and dry, but knowing the basics to get started is a great place to start.