It’s a position similar to being between a rock and a hard place trying to decide how to allocate your budgets as a small business, Well worry no more – there are plenty of tactics you can deploy that won’t blow your budget. Here are 13 marketing ideas for small businesses working with small budgets.
1 – Be everywhere. Having a blog, YouTube channel, and podcast on iTunes in addition to social media makes you more well-known and credible. Expand beyond your website to get more traffic and leads.
2 – Set up a PPC campaign. In most cases you can get a free $50 voucher from Bing or Google. If competition is not fierce – you’ll be driving more sales soon.
3 – Business Cards. Get yourself some snazzy business cards, then give them to every person you lay eyes on. Every handshake should come with a business card. The more people who find out about your business, the better – even if it’s just a quick glance at a business card.
4 – Host an Event or Class. Plan an event or class to host, then print out flyers and post them on community bulletin boards (libraries, coffee shops, local colleges and adult ed centers). While most community bulletin boards won’t let you post business advertisements, they’re often more than happy to post a flyer promoting an educational event or class.
5 – Publish Great Content. I don’t think I even need to say this, but it’d be neglectful not to mention the importance of kick-ass content. If you can create it yourself, all the better (isn’t free always better?). Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting someone on your team to crank out some articles for your blog. Try top 10 lists, tip collections, best practices for your industry, etc. I shared a bunch of creative content marketing ideas here, and Elisa recently rewrote the rules of content marketing for small businesses.
6 – Speak at seminars and teach workshops. You’ll get publicity from marketing the event and from the event itself. Besides, you’ll look more professional in your customers’ eyes.
7 – Give New Life to Old Data. If your marketing budget it tight, you might not be able to always afford content writers to whip up content for your blog. If you’re in a dry spell, instead of making something new, breathe new life into something that already exists on the web. There are a ton of data studies and stats available on the internet. While some of these studies may get initial traction, many often go unnoticed.
Find a study that relates to your industry and polish it up. Highlight the most important or interesting parts of the study, add images, crank out some charts, and make your own thoughts and predictions based on the data.
You don’t need to be a master writer for this strategy – the data will do most of the heavy lifting for you. One man’s throwaway data is another man’s content success story! Just be sure to cite your sources and give credit where it’s due.
For government data, check out data.gov or The Census Bureau. Global statistics can be found through UNICEF and the World Health Organization. Ultimately, you’ll have to find source data that relates to your industry and audience interests.
8 – Ask for testimonials and reviews. This includes online reviews on websites like Yelp, recommendations on LinkedIn, and rave comments through any channel. Create a testimonials page on your website and use the best reviews in as many promotions as makes sense.
9 – Create Instructional Videos. Video content is really valuable, and while it can cost big bucks to get professional YouTube videos produced, there’s nothing wrong with giving it a shot yourself or hiring a film student off Craigslist. Wistia offers a great video tutorial showing you how to shoot expert-looking footage on your regular old iPhone!
10 – Use Social Updates to Write Blog Posts. Take your most popular tweets and Facebook posts, or the ones you feel most passionately about, and use them to develop blog posts. You don’t have to write three pages; you don’t even have to write four paragraphs.
Seth Godin is one of the most successful bloggers in the marketing world, and he writes in two- to three-sentence paragraphs. He’s a master at expressing ideas that are thought-provoking and easy to read. People are pressed for time these days and content can be overwhelming, so make it valuable and easy to read.
11 – Write a book or ebook. Books have more value than most other types of content and establish your expertise. You can sell them or offer them for free in exchange for email addresses.
12 – Answer questions on forums and answer sites. Help out people with free advice on topics related to your products and services. You’ll gain their trust and will look more professional.
13 – Deliver Content Consistently
One of the best ways to grow your following and increase engagement on social media is to be there consistently. The first step is to put the right systems in place to keep your posts relevant, interesting and valuable for your audience.
Enter Edgar. I found out about Edgar a couple of months ago and love the platform.
Edgar allows you to create your own content categories so you can keep track of the specific types of posts you’re releasing; this ensures you don’t overwhelm your followers with the same types of posts over and over.
Manage content categories and avoid repeat posts with social media scheduling tool Edgar.
You can also schedule repeat posts indefinitely, so your content schedule never runs dry. Plus Edgar allows you to upload custom images for your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts.
As you build your content library, update your schedule with the categories you want to release and when. Then let Edgar take care of the rest.
Build a content library, update categories and schedule posts in Edgar.
Leveraging a social media scheduler like Edgar has saved me time, helped me grasp the big picture when it comes to my social media marketing strategy and allowed me to stay on top of my game when it comes to delivering valuable content to Fire Nation.
John Lee Dumas, founder and host of Entrepreneur’OnFire.
Whichever tip, trick or tactic you choose, let us know how it works for you and don’t be afraid to share.