More Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget
Every small business knows that they must have marketing to keep their prospect pipeline full. Unfortunately, this does not always happen because they lack the time, skill or money to invest in the process.
Here is how to further develop and execute a marketing strategy on a limited budget and get the sales results you want:
- Create a brand promise prospects will remember. Every company makes an implicit promise to their customers whether they know it or not. It’s the first thing that comes to a customer’s mind when they think about purchasing from that company. It’s the most important thing that consumers expect when they work with your business. For example, at Verizon, consumers think about clarity of connection because of the successful “Can You Hear Me Now” Campaign. Your brand promise should be something you explicitly promote, not a default left to your customers. For me, I help “small business owners get unstuck”. When people see me, they call me “The Unstuck Guy”.
- How to choose the most effective way to systematically market your business that attracts your specific prospects. For most small businesses that want to do marketing on a shoestring budget, the easiest way to stay in front of small business prospects is to consistently showcase their expertise. This is now called content marketing. It’s not selling your product or service, but instead involves sharing expert knowledge on social media, through websites, video or by sending emails. This means that on at least a weekly basis, the company sends single subject emails solving a problem prospects may encounter. In addition, get involved in conversations on social media where that advice is also offered. Unfortunately, many small businesses spend too much time on social media every week without a clear strategy. It is also important to measure your results. Email marketing tools like Infusionsoft and Mail Chimp, and content marketing tools like Buzz Sumo will help.
- How to choose the one social media platform that works for you. Your company should not even try to be everywhere on social media. What is important is that you are consistent on at least one tool daily. Choose the social media platform where your prospects and customers participate the most. Companies can determine this by putting the major problem they solve in the social media’s search engine to determine the level of conversation by users. Try tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social to automate the posting, replying and measuring the success of your social media efforts.
- How to test online marketing to attract audiences instead of just buying keywords. When small businesses get started in search engine marketing, many spend a lot of money buying well known Google keywords (like “Chicago plumber” or “remodeling homes”). Many companies don’t have the marketing budget to sustain such a campaign. Instead, try social media tools like Facebook or LinkedIn where you can target your perfect audience instead of keywords. For example, you can target women aged 35- 55 if your market is home remodeling for the best chance of success. Any type of paid search marketing is a series of tests to find out what works and what doesn’t so the campaign can be improved. Have a budget of at least $500 a month to get measurable results.
- What you can learn from your Google analytics to know your marketing results. Too many people don’t connect this free tool to their website to find out how visitors behave. It is critical to do this and check the reports at least weekly. The most important reports to check are:
Audience: Review the overview report to see who the visitors are (new and returning)
Behavior: Review the site content report to examine where people go on your website and how long they stay.
Acquisition: Review the overview report for how visitors get to your website (direct, search, social media)
Acquisition: Review the all traffic/channels to see in detail where the traffic comes from.
Want to learn more? Want to learn more? Attend my webinar sponsored by Verizon on February 13th