18 Smart Marketing Ways On A Low Budget.
Why Pay For Expensive Marketing When It Is Possible With These Tried & Tested Ways That Can Drive Great Sales?
Methods Used By Myself And My Clients Successfully Over Many Years.
"I Have Achieved Well In Excess Of £100 Million In Sales In My Businesses, Using All Of These 18 Smart Marketing Ways"
With business budgets being squeezed, you as a business owner should be looking for savings. Marketing is one area where it can be achieved by using these 18 proven smart marketing ways; many of which I have used in forty years in business to great effect.
Marketing can be very complicated, and many articles or blogs online can over-complicate how marketing for a small business or a startup can be executed. Furthermore, many of the methods described by so-called experts can be very expensive and simply not applicable for a small business.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs can be put off by the complexities, leading to many not bothering to market their businesses fully and effectively, especially as they see some of the methods involving large costs.
In this article, I include some simple but smart marketing ways that I and many of my clients have used for many years to drive some great results and, importantly, all on a very low budget.
1. Know Your Market And Your Target Customers
Good marketing that works relies on you putting your stuff in front of the eyeballs of your target customers.
To achieve the best results from your marketing, it is imperative to understand your trading market well and, in particular, you must know well the target customers who you are trying to attract into your brand; the better your knowledge and the better the understanding, the better you can reach them and the better your results will be.
There is much to know about your target customers, such as:
Who are they?
What are their wants and needs?
What problems do they have?
How are they looking to improve their lives?
How much disposable income do they have?
Are they married or single?
Do they have families?
Their age group?
What would they want from your products?
These are just a few of the things you need to know about them.
"The Better Your Knowledge Of Your Trading Market And Your Customers, The Better You Can Market Your Business"
2. Ensure Your Products Are Right For Your Target Customers
Your marketing will only succeed if there is a high potential demand for your products from your target customers; this means a good matching of your products to their needs and demands, etc.
In other words, give your customers what they want. If they do not want your products, the best marketing in the world will not change that.
Only a comprehensive understanding of your customers will allow you to provide the right products.
"If You Are To Achieve High Sales, Your Target Customers Must Want Your Products"
3. Work To Build A Strong Brand
Strong brands and strong branding convey trust in the marketplace. For customers to buy your products they need trust, and they need to feel confident that promises made in the marketing will be fulfilled.
New customers, in particular, are more likely to be attracted to trusted brand with good reputations, especially if they see people similar to themselves buying the products.
Building a brand takes time but can be achieved by securing an army of loyal customers who keep returning to buy repeatedly.
"Strong Branding Will Create Trust In Your Products And Services. Trust Will Encourage Customers To Buy From You"
4. Use Free Social Media
Free social media marketing is an amazing tool for getting your brand image across to your targets. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are obvious platforms but, if your customers are other businesses (B2B), LinkedIn could be a good choice.
The key to good results is understanding your targets and understanding where they hang out and what they want to hear from you. It is pointless using Facebook, if the majority of your targets do not use the platform.
To get the best from social media marketing, you just need to follow some simple rules:
Focus on just one or two platforms and do this well.
Post or share good and relevant content consistently two or three times a day, each and every day.
Restrict your selling to 20% of posts with the remaining 80% being other information that you think your targets will be interested in.
Check your interactions each day.
Respond to interactions and try to get to know your customers and let them get to know you too.
Encourage people to visit your website or subscribe to your email list with some of your posts.
Do not spam your social media feeds.
Aim to attract in excess of 2000 followers per platform. This is when you should realise good traction from your marketing.
When people follow you, follow them back and respond to ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ of your posts with a simple ‘thank you’
Comment on other people’s posts, to create awareness for your brand.
Encourage customers to leave reviews on your social media platforms.
Create stories about yourself, your brand, your employees and your customers and use these in your post
Use Social Media groups such as Facebook & LinkedIn groups
The key to social media marketing is to not just post but to engage fully too with your targets; that is when you will achieve good results.
"Why Pay For Advertising, If You Can Successfully Use Free Social Media Marketing?"
5. Use Mailchimp Free Email Marketing.
Mailchimp will allow you to email up to 2000 targets free of charge. If you can use ‘Word’, you can use Mailchimp.
Here are some simple rules:
Do not spam your email list but contact everyone once every 4 to 6 weeks or so.
Include good content that will interest your targets to draw your targets into your brand and to get them to interact with you.
Be careful not to just sell but also to highlight the benefits of your products, too, and to provide other information about your business, such as your story, etc.
Always include a link to your social media platforms and to your website.
Attract targets to your email list by including a ‘subscribe button’ on your website and on some of your social media posts.
6. Use Images And Video In Your Marketing.
On average, these can attract up to four times more awareness on your social media and on your website compared to just written text.
Most smart ‘phones are good enough for both and most have good editing software to edit and enhance these.
"Images And Videos Will Boost Your Marketing Awareness By Up To 4 Times"
7. Use Free Canva Tool
Free Canva.com is a fantastic tool to generate great images for your social media and for your website. And, it is easy to use, too.
Here are some good tips:
Images can be resized (you will need different image sizes for different social media platforms, for instance) .
Captions can be added to your images, particularly useful for your social media posts.
Canva will also reduce the file sizes of your images so they will load quicker on your website.
Canva has a free library of useful templates that can be used for social media posts etc.
8. Use ‘Google My Business’ And Optimise Your Google Profile.
Google is another great free resource where you can highlight your business. When starting a business, you should create a ‘Business Profile’ on Google with narrative and images, etc. This will help potential targets to find you when they are searching online.
The better that you can optimise this facility, the better your search results will be.
"Optimising Your Google Profile Will Greatly Increase The Chance Of People Finding You In their Searches"
9. Communicate Well With Your Target Customers
Another great smart marketing way is Simple old-fashioned talking whether it is on a ‘phone, through email or on Twitter, for instance, can be a highly effective way for you to get to know your targets and for them to get to know you, too.
Unless you can build strong relationships with your customers, you cannot expect to build a sound business.
"Building Strong And Long Term Relationships With Your Customers Is Essential For Building A Strong Business"
10. Use Free Public Relations (PR)
Public Relations is another smart marketing way and using this great resource is a great way to create awareness for your brand. It could be through your local newspaper or local BBC Radio station, for instance.
Such organisations are always looking for good business stories. Regular emails to local media outlets or their reporters can generate good results, but do not spam them.
"Local Media Are Always Looking For Good Business Stories"
11. Share Customer Reviews And Customer Stories
New customers need trust in a brand to buy its products and this is a highly effective way to bring this about.
Customers could leave reviews on your social media pages, your website or on your Google profile, for instance.
A picture of your product and a caption including a customer review can be highly effective.
"Customer Reviews And Customers Stories Can Be Hugely Powerful In Creating Trust In Your Product"
12. Win Awards
Winning awards for your business and your products is a really smart marketing way to build your brand and to create awareness for it.
You should enter your business into award competitions and then, once won, ‘milk’ the accolades by publicising them on your marketing platforms. Winning your first award will allow you to use this really powerful term 'Award Winning' in your marketing.
"Once You Have Won Your First Award, You Can Use The Powerful Term 'Award Winning' In Your Marketing"
13. Create A Good Website Using WordPress
Having a website allows you to have an online 'shop window' for your business, showcasing everything about it. Importantly also, your website can act as 'marketing hub', receiving visitors from your other forms of marketing, such as social media, to it.
One massive benefit of a website is that you are more likely to be found online when people are searching.
WordPress is a free open-source platform for creating websites and it successfully drives 40% of the world's business websites. It is also very easy to operate; if you can use ‘word’ from Microsoft, you can use WordPress.
I taught myself to use WordPress to a high standard by viewing videos on Youtube and you could do the same. By doing so, you can not only build your own website but you can also frequently update it yourself, something that is good for keeping your marketing 'fresh' and is also good for keeping 'Google' happy. If you were to employ a web designer to do this, your costs could exceed several thousand pounds.
Your site will need to be hosted online which should cost under £200 per annum but this should be your only cost, as there are many free tools such as ‘themes’ and ‘plugins’ that can be incorporated into your WordPress website.
"Having A Good Website Will Creat A Hub For Your Other Marketing And Will Greatly Increase The Chance Of People Finding You When They Are Searching Online"
14. Create ‘Word Of Mouth’
One really smart marketing way is to use ‘Word of Mouth’ effectively. Here, loyal customers would recommend you and your brand to their friends and associates; it is arguably the most effective form of marketing and it is free.
Excite your customers with your products and your customer service and they will tell the world. It is as simple as that!
One good way is to think of strategies that you could use to make your customers talk.
"Word Of Mouth Is Probably The Most Powerful Form Of Marketing, And It Is Free!"
15. Create ‘Customer Advocates’
‘Word of Mouth’ taken to the extreme is ‘customer advocacy’. Customer Advocates are customers who are highly loyal to your brand.
They will not only spread ‘word of mouth’ but will also provide you with feedback on your products and service and can assist you in building your brand.
One way to make ‘customer advocacy’ work is to invite your most loyal customers into a ‘Loyalty Club’, whereby, in exchange for a small discount, they can provide you with advocacy services.
Such a scheme has been known to double or treble sales for some businesses, so potentially could be a good return for a small cost.
"Customer Advocacy Could Increase Sales By 2 To 3 Times"
16. Constantly Review Your Results
You should always review the results that you are achieving. One essential is to constantly review the analytics; this should be for your social media, for your email marketing and for your website, etc, to see which marketing creates the best results and which drives the best responses from your targets.
You could even test what works and what does not work.
Importantly, if the results are not as you would expect, given time, you should keep looking for ways to improve and not keep pursuing the same methods.
You must become results obsessed.
"Become Results Obsessed. It Is Imperative To Know How Effective Your Marketing Is."
17. Copy Marketing Ideas
Looking at what others are doing for their marketing and copying the best ideas is essential. You do not have to copy the exact idea but, instead, see how you can modify something to make it work for your business.
This process will also save you time. If you can see something working for another business, the chances are it will work for you too, provided you do it right. This saves you spending time 'reinventing the wheel' to see what works.
Everyone who is successful in business does it, so why shouldn’t you?
"Don't Reinvent The Wheel If You Can Pinch The Idea From Another Business"
18. Just Go For It
The last idea is to just go for it.
Set a certain period of the day, each day for marketing and do it, religiously!
Be patient and do not get dispirited when you don’t get good results immediately. Marketing takes time and it needs patience.
The monetary cost of much of the above should be minimal except for hosting your website and discounts to Customer Advocates as part of a ‘Loyalty Club’.
The only other cost should be your time, and you must expect to spend at least an hour a day and possibly two or three hours, for the best results.
For the best results, let me repeat that a good knowledge of your targets, their wants and desires is absolutely essential, otherwise your marketing will go nowhere.
Many small businesses and startups make the mistake of costly adverts such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads before they explore the free options first. It is madness to pay for advertising before you can make full use of the free routes. Do not make the same mistake.
This list is not exhaustive by any means, there are many other good ways, but these are some of the most effective.
By using the above smart marketing ways, you could create all the marketing you need. In my 40 years in business, I have paid very little for my marketing and have achieved phenomenal results using all of these methods.
I hope you use all or most of these ways, too.
Please let me know how you get on.
"I Have Achieved Well In Excess Of £100 Million In Sales In My Businesses, Using All Of These 18 Smart Marketing Ways"
Please Contact Me, If You Have Any Comments Or Questions About This Blog Article. I Would Be Pleased To Help You
Robert Viney Is An Award-Winning Business Coach
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