Ideas are more essential than money. Of course, you may disagree with such a statement, but the reality is always the opposite. There are many examples of how millions of budgets were wasted bringing no desired result. And at the same time, you can easily find cases that show how a hundred dollars + a good idea provided a great return for business.
Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, especially if you are running a small business. So, here is a selection of simple and inexpensive marketing ideas for small businesses that you should try in practice.
Idea 1. Offer a Discount for a Recommendation
The word of mouth or recommendations of your services by satisfied customers to their friends and acquaintances are the most effective marketing tool that cannot be compared with any advertising. Why not increase their number by a small reward or discount to both those who recommend and new customers who have come due to this recommendation?
Idea 2. Educate Your Customers
Just selling something and forgetting about your customer is a bad tone and behaviour that leads to a loss in the long run. Especially when it comes to complex and expensive goods/services.
The opposite approach: to educate your customers, for example, by organizing special events for them, offering support services, and creating useful content.
You can see the implementation of the latter option in practice on the example of the Forextime website. Every beginner who starts working in the field of Forex trading gets a chance to spend time at site and find out information on candle-stick patterns, stocks, commodities, and other useful tips that will come in handy for traders from Nigeria, India, China, and other countries.
Idea 3. Find Partners in Related Fields
You can join forces with other business owners who are related to your industry but are not your direct competitors. This can give access to new segments of the audience and clearly have a positive effect on brand recognition. Examples of such cooperation include:
- customer recommendations for related services for a percentage of sales;
- organization of special events with mutual PR;
- outsourcing of non-core tasks for complex project implementation, etc.
Idea 4. Work with Local Media
Unlike large media outlets across the country, small media outlets are always short of information and are constantly looking for additional sources of funding. Try to use them for your own purposes. For example, you can offer quality content for publication (report, research, insight, or interview), sponsor a series of publications, a report, or an offline event.
Idea 5. Participate in Industry Activities
Even in small towns, they are held regularly, not to mention megacities. For example, participating in competitions not only attracts attention to the brand but can also help to receive various awards that will be an additional argument for potential customers in the future.
Also, pay attention to various fairs, exhibitions, and other similar events. If we talk about conferences, the greatest return can be obtained by being a speaker or by becoming one of the organizers of the event.
Of course, you should not be limited to the above five ideas. Here are some other possibilities to promote your business:
● Ensure your Presence in Communities
In almost every niche, there are communities in which there are people interested in a certain topic. For example, a construction forum, a club of car owners of a certain brand, a topic group on Facebook, etc. By talking about different topics and answering questions in which you are competent (without direct advertising), you can also draw attention to the company.
In forums, after a certain number of posts, it is usually possible to put a link to your site in the signature, which almost always helps to get targeted conversions.
● Offer to try your product for free
In many niches, the business owner has the opportunity to provide samples of their products (or trial period of the service) free of charge, after which the customer can pay the full cost.
● Hold a competition
An effective and inexpensive marketing move that allows you to draw attention to your brand – to hold a competition among your target audience. And as a venue, thanks to the high coverage, social networks are perfect.
● Try gift certificates
People can use them not only for themselves but also as a gift for some important occasion. And, according to research conducted by foreign agencies, 7 out of 10 respondents would be happy to receive a gift card instead of a specific thing.
As you can see, there are plenty of possibilities to experiment and implement various ideas. Combine them, define effective ones for your business, and resort to such ideas regularly.