How to start marketing your business
Marketing your business is no easy feat, especially if you are starting a small business owner on a shoestring marketing budget.
You may have a great product or service to offer, but the correct marketing plan can make or break a business. Although word of mouth is still the best way to promote your brand, you can no longer rely solely on this to gain potential customers. Before you even begin setting up your business, it's a good idea to sit down and develop a marketing strategy.
There are many ways for new, small businesses to get their name out there; sometimes you need to think outside the box a little. There are so many different and creative ways to approach small business marketing whether it be social media marketing, influencer marketing or using Google AdWords. You certainly do not need a big budget to spend on marketing these days.
This is by far the best way to reach your target audience. Here are some online marketing activities you can try:
- Collecting an email address off all of your customers for a competition to send out a monthly newsletter
- Create ads on the Google Display Network. You can set all of this up and manage yourself, even on a tight budget
- Create accounts on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram and regularly update with engaging content your followers will enjoy and interact with
- Write a blog or newsletter monthly to email to your customers. Include links and encourage readers to click-through to your landing page
There's no doubt creating an online presence with your brand is more advantageous so if you can, try some of the tips above. If you can't afford to hire a marketing agency or employee right now and you're not quite sure how to begin, try reading up on some tips here. There are also many free or very affordable short courses you can take online on platforms such as Udemy or LinkedIn Learning.
Of course, there are different ways you can put your marketing efforts to good use such as:
- Liaising with other businesses in the area to help each other cross-promote - perhaps even a partnership
- Networking events
- Sponsor a community event, sports team or disadvantaged group - build awareness for a cause close to you to help spread awareness for your business
It's important to remember to think like your customers and understand what makes them tick. Knowing what they want and then making sure your business delivers this is the key to successful marketing. It's good to think more along the lines of how you and your product/service can help your customer rather than what you can sell them and how much money you could potentially make.
If you have friends or family members who have successful brands, don't be afraid to ask them for help and advice. Everyone must start somewhere and what better way to learn than to speak with someone who has done it all before? Just remember not to jump into anything without careful planning first. You don't want to blow your small budget on the wrong marketing strategy straight up!