Unlike large corporations, small businesses mostly cannot afford their own in-house marketing department. In many cases, the business owners are not only handling day to day operations, but also responsible for promoting new products and services.
If you are strapped for money and you do not have a big team, what are your best options to promote your business? Let’s take a look at a few useful ways that can help you enhance your small business marketing.
Content Marketing and Social Media
Many like to think of social media as just another extension of their products or services catalogue. They are, however, overseeing the key word in social media, which is “social.” Users of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram don’t visit their “walls” and “feeds” day in and day out just to be exposed to another advertisement. Instead, they want to be entertained or informed in a social, interactive environment.
This does not mean that you cannot use social networks as a promotional tool. Quite the opposite – you should most definitely take advantage of it. However, in order to effectively communicate with those audiences, you have to learn to speak their language.
Instead of just posting a picture and description of a new product, consider posting a “meme” with an inspiring or provocative quote that captures the feeling or essence of what you are offering – ideally something that is interesting enough for users to share with their social media followers.
You could also start a blog on your website with valuable tips and tricks that relate to your products. Blogs are widely accepted as interesting form of content among social media communities; and catchy headlines make for a great Twitter or Facebook post with a high audience response rate.
The main goal is to be creative. Don’t think like an advertising agency, but rather like a social media user and what you would like to see if you were in their position. Instead of asking for their attention for your benefit, provide value for their benefit with entertaining and informative articles, videos, or podcasts, which ultimately lead them to your product.
Brand Image and Customer Service
You might be operating out of a warehouse or maybe even your garage. Either way, your location does not necessarily provide prestige value or enough room to hold meetings with potential customers or business associates. In many cases, a “neighborly” address or warehouse location can hurt your credibility and overall professional image.
Also, even though you might be trying to do everything on your own, you probably don’t have enough time to adequately address all of your customer concerns.
The good news is that you do not have to set up expensive offices and hire a full-time assistant to fulfill those needs. Davinci Virtual Office Solutions offer you a prestigious address, a team of virtual receptionists who can help you with customer service for a monthly subscription fee that is much lower than office rent and much less hassle than a long-term office lease. Davinci also offers meeting room services for your needs to meet with a customer in a professional setting.
Actively communicating with your customers to solve their problems as well as being able to put a prestigious business address at the end of a letter or email are both important factors in marketing your small business successfully.
Stay in Touch via Email
Speaking of emails… you should consider implementing a monthly, if not weekly newsletter featuring interesting updates on your products and services as well as other related content that could inform and entertain your customers.
Staying in touch with your customer base via email keeps you on their radar in a non-intrusive way and increases your chances of building returning buyer relationships, especially if your offering grows with your customer base over time.
Finally, a great way to kick start word of mouth and create awareness for small businesses is to give away free products or samples in locations or at events that are most likely to attract your target audience. You could even enter into strategic partnerships with other small businesses who would benefit from giving away your free samples.
Make sure, however, to have enough products ready when your giveaway marketing effort kicks into gear, because the last thing you want is to run out of samples just when people are starting to talk about you. If you do run out, you can use Shopify’s free purchase order templates to get your inventory back on track.
As you can see, there are many affordable and effective ways to promote your small business both online and offline.