Growing your small business requires hard work and persistence. You have to expand your staff, your production, and your bookkeeping, all while managing your cash flow. On top of that, the most essential requirement for growth is an expanded customer base, which requires marketing.
Healthy and sustainable growth relies on juggling these related elements at once. It’s easier said than done, and it doesn’t sound easy either. You can spend all the money you want on marketing, paying for all kinds of advertising, and you might not even see any results at the end of the day.
To manage this, you have to keep your business lean and efficient in these different areas, especially in your marketing strategy. Fortunately for you, it’s possible to develop a truly effective marketing strategy without wasting massive amounts of money.
Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
Marketing is essential for business success, but you don’t have to hire an expensive marketing firm to build a plan for it to be worthwhile. There are all sorts of simple and affordable ways to improve your advertising exposure without breaking the bank.
Effective marketing means getting information about your brand directly to your targeted audience. Good marketing is specific and targeted marketing, which doesn’t depend on an expensive marketing plan. When it comes to budgeting for marketing as a small business, it’s more about how you spend and not how much you spend.
5 Free and Low-Cost Marketing Techniques for Your Small Business
Here are a few tips for developing your marketing without throwing your money away on paid advertising that may or may not bear fruit. You can get started expanding your brand at little to no cost!
1. Maintain an Accurate Google My Business Profile
Google My Business is a free online tool Google offers for businesses to provide accurate information directly to possible customers. If your business has a physical location, you can verify your identity with Google and start to curate your own free business account page.
It’s very possible your business already has a public-facing Google page, whether or not you know it. This is often the very first stop for people searching for your business online. If you don’t claim ownership of the page with a Google My Business account, then you have no power over the information provided there. You want your potential clients to get high-quality and accurate information.
This page also provides a great marketing opportunity! Develop your brand by including photos, adding text, responding to reviews, and more.
2. Post and Engage Regularly with Customers on Social Media
Marketing is about expanding your reach and building connections with your audience. And now, with social media, you can do that without spending any money at all!
Put in the time to build your audience on social media platforms and develop the unique online personality of your brand. Make regular posts that give people online a real reason to follow you and respond to your content. When people start conversations in your feed, respond! Remember that you’re representing your brand with every interaction.
3. Post Useful and Relevant Blog Content Consistently
Content marketing is a great way to make connections with your audience. You want to produce quality content that reflects the identity and values of your brand and drives engagement. You don’t need to constantly be talking about your products and services!
If you’re going to have a blog and use content as a primary means of building an audience, you also need to be deliberate about how you do it. You need to make content and keep making content. But more important than quantity is the regularity. Post content on a consistent schedule. If you set up particular expectations for your potential readers or viewers, then you need to follow through.
4. Reward Loyal Patrons with a Referral Program
Encourage connections among your client base! Asking for referrals from customers can be an incredibly effective marketing tool. Offer benefits or discounts to satisfied customers if they refer you to their friends or colleagues.
If your customers value your services, then the referral process will deepen their brand loyalty and help to spread your services through positive word of mouth. It also obviously gets you leads with potential new customers.
If nothing else, this is a way of expanding your online mailing list. You can grow your business with email marketing by engaging customers and offering them deals over time. Take care of your existing clients, and they’ll continue to support you.
5. Team Up with Other Local Businesses
Along with customer connections, you should be cultivating connections with other businesses. Working with other businesses in your area is smart as a networking tool, and it also creates opportunities for collaborative marketing!
In order for your collaborations to be effective, they need to be carefully considered. Think about your target audience and their interests. What other kinds of goods or services target that same audience?
You want to find companies to work with that will expand your brand and your audience. If putting your name next to theirs is going to increase your competition or distract customers from your brand, then that business isn’t the right marketing partner.
Get Advice from the Professionals
If spurring small business growth while managing your budget is a challenge, consider consulting a professional accountant for guidance. The experts from 1-800Accountant can help you plan for the future and chart a path toward sustainable growth.
Marketing is crucial for extending your reach and building your company a broader customer base, but you have to plan to be sure you spend carefully on your way there. Rely on professionals to help you with efficient budgeting and financial planning.
This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. 1-800Accountant assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.