So, your business is going well, everything’s ticking along nicely, you’re feeling comfortable, you know what you’re doing, and your customers are happy with you…so what now? Now it’s really time to grow your business, market it, promote it, raise awareness, spread the word, whatever you want to call it, it’s time to rechallenge yourself and get to the next level. Like most businesses, you’ll probably have a limited marketing budget, but don’t let that deter you, here are a few ideas to get your mind whirling and get you excited…
Guerilla marketing is a great way to get noticed and get people talking. While business owners often want to see the direct conversion from marketing activity to sales, sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture, have some fun and use your creativity, imagination and originality – it doesn’t have to be expensive. Creating some eye-catching artwork on your office building, organise a flash mob or create a Youtube video. There are loads of great ideas online so do some research and get creative.
Make the Most of Social Media
Whether you use it in your personal life, like it, or don’t like it. Social media is fantastic for business, and yours needs to be on there. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, Google Plus or Snapchat, each of these social media platforms are unique in their own right and require novel ways of engagement. Rather than try to master it all at once, choose a few you like and try to learn those first.
Networking is key, and customers love a personal touch and love to see the faces behind a company. Get out to exhibitions and events, get yourself a 10×10 exhibit booth, get some promotional materials and have a chat with people. You’ll be surprised how many people you meet and the opportunities and learnings that come from being at an exhibition or networking event.
Make the Most of the Media
It’s free marketing, so all you need is a good story, a reason for the press to want to feature you. Try creating a publicity stunt, or do something for the community, and send out a press release before the event. For example, some innovative hairdressers have offered free haircuts to the homeless. You could also sponsor an event by donating your products or services as giveaways or prizes or host a contest or nominate yourself for a business contest or award. If you win, even better! Introduce yourself to the media and offer yourself as the expert in your field. If they ever need someone to interview or quote, make sure it’s you who they come to. There are ways you can seek out opportunities like this by signing up to an email list like Help A Reporter Out.
Content, Content, Content
Potential customers love great content and even better, so does Google. There are many ways to share information — blogging, creating videos, hosting podcasts, designing infographics or submitting articles to online authority sites. If you create great content for your business, you will gain authority as an expert and as well as that you’ll get free traffic. You don’t have to produce the content yourself as there are plenty of options for hiring freelance writers, graphic designers and personal assistants through websites like Upwork.
Competitions and Prizes
Everyone loves a free gift, so if you can give away desirable or fun items, it will get you noticed, it will get your posts and links shared, it will build brand awareness and enable you to connect with potential customers as well as gathering data. They don’t need to be expensive prizes, online ebooks, white papers and checklists don’t cost you anything but your time. You could also promote your products through Facebook groups where members agree to try your product for free or a discounted price in exchange for an honest review. Physical gifts with your advertising on it such as balloons, smartphone wipes, key chains, fridge magnets, pens and notepads are always a favourite too.
Make sure that all of your marketing should is of some use to your audience. Make sure you provide them with useful information, assistance by being available to answer questions posted on forums and websites like Quora and direct your audience to your site for more information; then finally entertain your audience. Make them laugh or cry. Think of the funny and touching ads that you see and how quickly they are shared