When it comes to marketing for your business, it can become very frustrating and costly. However it can also be fun and inexpensive when approached correctly and by using the proper methods. Here are a few low to no cost strategies for marketing and promotion no matter what business you have. Whether your company offers a product or a service, you can expect incredible results. These tricks of the trade are simple and work across the board. Just by incorporating a bit of planning and creativity you can successfully obtain the leads and sales numbers you’ve been looking for.
1. Business Cards are one of the most useful and yet overlooked marketing tools. Be sure to use double-sided cars to benefit fully from your purchase. Be sure to include all the important information needed to draw in customers as well as the means for them to contact you. Carry your business cards EVERYWHERE! This way you can disperse them whenever the opportunity arises. Be creative in designing and distributing your cards. Create a card that pops and that is memorable to those you give it to. Pass them out at restaurants, retail stores, your gym, your coffee shop… wherever you may go. Also when you receive from others, be sure to send them a short email after meeting them to keep your name fresh in their memory.
2. Taking pictures or documenting moments in your business is a great way to make you and your company memorable. Take photos when you make a sale or ask your online customers to send in photos of them with their new purchase. When a substantial purchase is acquired take a picture of the customer with the business owner, this looks great for your customer service. Don’t forget to use quality photos as well. You want any pictures you use in marketing to be clear and vibrant.
3. Associations within your market are great resources to further your business’ reach. You can literally find associations for any industry or business type. All you have to do is a quick web search and you will see the abundance of availability. Joining an association in your field creates a great opportunity for networking and making presentations. In turn there the possibility for publications. When doing a presentation, often times you be mentioned in the association newsletter, e-zine or website. You may even be offered the chance to write an article for their publication or website. This will lend to promotion for you presentation and increase your credibility. Use these tools within your association to create more marketing opportunities; newsletters, internet listings, links to your website, discounts on advertisements, networking, business referral, special events, education seminars, committee involvement & business directories.
4. Contests & Raffles are fun way to create more interest and an incentive to use your company. With contests you can generate hot leads for frequent customers or even create new ones. Be sure to market your contest or raffle extensively leading up to the event and even after the prize is given via your social media, website, and whatever other resources you have available.
5. Cross-promotion is one of the cheapest and most beneficial marketing tool. By joining forces with other companies that compliment your own you can reach twice the audience and at half or none of the price. You can agree to offer advertising for each other through your own company or even partner up on deals. If you have a wine business you could join with a pastry baker in offering coupons for each other with a purchase from your own store, or you could even give samples or sell your product in each others’ shops… the possibilities are endless.
6. Customer bonuses are another way to create incentive for your customers. For example if they spend a minimum amount they receive a discount on their next purchase. You could also create a mailing list where the customer receives a percentage off of their first purchase when signing up to receive your newsletter. This way you not only entice them to make a purchase but also have a means to continue your marketing towards them. Another way is to offer a discount when they refer another customer. This again is at little cost to you and will ensure a great return.