Even on a shoestring, you can market your small business to build your authority, online presence and community of loyal customers. These five tips won’t break your budget or upset your work-life balance.
Start small with a profile for your venture on Google My Business. Add your key business details, opening hours, images, reviews and even your news. A profile lets Google understand what you do, so helps with search engine optimisation (SEO) for customers to find you.
If you have a website, aim to publish your own blogs, but be strategic about it. Look to your customers’ frequently asked questions for inspiration to explain your products and services. Invite customers to opt-in to a regular e-mail newsletter to directly communicate with them.
Think you lack the required writing skill? Upskill with this free short course from Google Digital Garage about promoting a business with content.
Leverage social media
It costs you nothing but time to set up a basic business presence on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, etc. Yet keeping those channels up to date helps you effectively engage with your customers without having to pay for social media marketing.
Rather than open several accounts to start, commit to one platform where you know your customers visit. You can develop your brand personality, plus understand and build your following there. Then, expand to another platform. Find out more about using digital marketing to attract more customers and grow your business here.
Partner with other local businesses
Social media is a great way to network and partner with other local businesses, as are chambers of commerce. You can share one another’s customers, tapping into the same communities. This would create economies of scale with your marketing outreaches.
Add a personal touch
Personalising your customers’ journey with your business is about raising awareness about your business. Once you’ve engaged them, you can then build their loyalty and increase profitability. The aim is to treat each customer as a person, not a sales target or number. Consider how you can personalise your marketing (including emails), sales, and customer support processes.
Use a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to track your return on investment. Excellent examples are the free versions of HubSpot, mondayCRM, or Freshsales.
Create a referral/affiliate program
Word-of-mouth recommendations about your business are priceless. Rewards customers for openly sharing compliments about your business, such as on social media. Also, try affiliate marketing. This is where you let your customers know about another company’s service or product. Should they buy something there, you get a cut, but you have to be upfront about it with your customers. Your CRM can add a unique affiliate link to your content, including emails and blog posts, to help track that customer traffic.
You’re on your way with these five road-tested tips, and here’s a bonus one. Be sure to review and tweak to improve your approaches to learn what works best for your business.