You may have watched television ads go viral over the years and lamented you own small (or nonexistent) marketing budget, knowing that kind of exposure is way out of reach. However, creating an efficient marketing plan is a cornerstone to building up your organization’s success. Marketing, unfortunately, sometimes can be costly, particularly if you’re running a lean operation and just starting out. Thankfully, there are a few affordable PR and marketing tips and tricks which may offer your small business a cost-effective way to successfully increase sales and grow your consumer base.
You may have an excellent product or service, but if nobody has knowledge of it, generating sales might be difficult. Effective marketing includes proactive methods for you to spread the message to your market and attract potential customers and clients. It’s about discovering methods of reaching your targeted audience–these potential customers and clients who possess an interest in and possible necessity for what you are selling. The public relations component of marketing includes obtaining positive press and publicity in regard to your business concerning its most recent services, brands, and innovations.
Of course, there are important differences between big businesses and small ones, and what works for one often won’t help the other. However, there are definitely some big business strategies that smaller businesses can take advantage of. Here are some of them.
Make it personal. Tailoring your message to individual customers or groups is a powerful way to stand out among the noise. Personalized promotional emails and personalized online advertising techniques are among the top tactics for prompting consumers to purchase. Look at Coca-Cola, for example. After 10 years of slumping sales, the company decided to take a new approach this summer with its “Share a Coke” campaign. By simply putting popular names and labels (i.e. friends and family) on the bottles, Coca-Cola made its product jump out at consumers scanning the walls of teas, sodas, juices, and energy drinks. And the company increased sales by more than two percent in the process.
Follow up with customers through email. Email includes a reasonable method of keeping customers apprised of new products and developments. Because of the high quantity of spam out there, you must make the email communications informative and interesting (as well as making sure that the email is CAN SPAM Act compliant). Beginning a month-to-month email newsletter which targets the different segments of your base of customers may assist your small business in marketing new products or attracting new business.
Harness power of social media. Inviting consumers to participate in creative social media campaigns can forge personal ties with your brand and keep you at the top of their mind. Plus, they’ll look to you for thoughtful and entertaining content down the road. Being the manager of your own social media includes a highly valuable method of promoting your company. Social media provides your customers with a platform for engaging with your business by giving feedback and asking questions concerning your organization’s products. Social media websites like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube all are economical methods of networking and advertising your company.
Maintaining and building your own website also increases your customer base and visibility. By utilizing SEO techniques, your company may appear at the top of the ranks as possible investors and customers look for services and products that your company offers. Additionally, linking to other sites provides your company even more exposure.
Build brand through blogging. Blogging may get the message out to prospective investors and customers. Establish a regular blog on your site to promote the business, and become a featured guest blogger for additional like-minded sites. This will increase your exposure since your blogs are likely to receive lots of positive comments and social media shares.
Maintain relationships with journalists. The relationship with the media should not cease after you have had your company’s news covered. How a brand engages with media outlets or journalists after a story has been reported may hurt or help future outreach as much as the first pitch does. A brief email that thanks the journalist is polite, as is sharing the post (and additional posts) with your social media networks.
Let photos speak for you. An impactful photo can communicate a thousand words. The next time you’re driving down the interstate, take note of the billboards that draw you in and those you gloss over, and ask why. Likely, the photos used on the billboard elicited a strong emotion or prompted you to think about a topic in a new way. This likely took less than eight seconds.
Keep it simple. Your advertising and marketing efforts ultimately boil down to the first eight seconds. In these crucial moments, consumers decide whether they’ll buy into your brand or move on. After that, engagement drops drastically. The good news is you don’t need a massive marketing budget to get your message across in a flash. Keep it short and sweet, and relate to your target audience on a personal level. Once you defy the attention span odds working so adamantly against you, you’ll be able to market to any distracted consumer.
When implemented properly, economical, non-traditional techniques might show to be just as efficient as expensive traditional techniques for reaching your targeted audience. Need help getting started? Give us a call. We’d love to help.