Advertising: Big Advice for Small Budgets
Small businesses owners often face big expenses (and the migraines to match). When inventory, payroll, and equipment threaten to put you in the red, the costs of advertising can blacken your mood. But incorporating strategies that are tried, true and relatively new can brighten your brand and your bottom line.
Strong Results for Shoestring Budgets
- Connect with your clients often. Whether they’re loyalists or first-time fans, frequent contact lets your clients know that you’re listening. Formal check-ins, casual texts or email musings that are relevant to their work keep you connected.
- Creatively package your marketing campaign. While you don’t have a million dollar marketing budget, you have a million creative ideas to strengthen your following. Attractive signage, fun promotions and clever copy build brand loyalty quicker than you’d think.
- Get the word out with publicity. While I may be putting myself out of a job here, you can be your own publicist. Connect with local media if your offerings are relevant to their news beats. While this requires research and patience on your part, keeping bloggers and reporters in the loop makes their jobs easier — especially if they cover the local economy. So reaching out (and inviting them to exclusive customer events) is a win-win.
- Leverage existing relationships. Word-of-mouth advertising is a powerful promotion tool, so work those connections! Join (or remain active in) your local chamber of commerce, church, gym, PTA or economic development group. Partnering with a neighboring business on an upcoming event (whether it’s a charity event, trunk show or holiday promotion) casts your net even wider.
- Commit to email marketing. Email marketing is cost-effective, measurable and powerful. Create a succinct “calendar” of email blasts throughout the year, tying into holidays or events important to your clientele. Keep your messages vibrant and value-driven. And be sure to update your mailing lists and evaluate the effectiveness of your messaging often.
- Get social. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn abound with free advertising opportunities. As per above, schedule posts that are brand-appropriate and thoughtful. Don’t overwhelm people with frequency, and don’t underwhelm them with poor images or typos. Your “shares” and “likes” will indicate the success of your efforts pretty quickly.
Brainpower can propel your brand…even without the bucks! For inspiration, connect with me at: Sandy (at) platinumpr.com.