Today I want to talk about five simple low cost and in some case, “zero cost” marketing strategies that you can put together as a small business.
These are strategies that you can use whether you’re a medium-sized or even a large business. So this is something you can do if you’re a manufacturer, a distributor, or a value-added reseller and could put get them working for your business right now.
Industry trade publications and magazines
These are a great source for you to tap into because what they’re looking for in a lot of cases is free content. They’re looking for somebody with knowledge of the market to produce content in terms of an article or a document.
What you can do, is contact your industry trade publication and you can say, “I will write up an article for you about this subject matter.” They will gladly print it for you and put it inside the magazine but you’re not going to get paid for it. But you’re going to get free advertising.
A lot of times, these industry trade publications give you a byline. I guarantee you will get a byline but in some cases, they put a byline at the beginning and at the end and they allow you to promote a product or service. It’s not going to be a big advertisement. It’s going to be a small one. But in this case, you basically appear as the expert in your field.
This is going to go out directly to your customers. It’s going to go out to people that are influencers in the market and it’s going to allow them to see what you can – in terms of your knowledge, what you can offer as a company.
So tap into industry trade publications. Contact them and tell them you want to write an article for them.
local Chamber of Commerce
The second tip is to work with your local Chamber of Commerce. What you want to do here is you want to secure a link. You want to secure a link on either their website or their blog back to your business. Now obviously you’re going to have to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce in your local town or constituency. But being a member of your Chamber of Commerce is essential because it allows local customers that are looking for reputable businesses to basically find those businesses through the Chamber of Commerce website. If you think of yourself as a customer, a lot of times local customers, the first place they’re going to go to is the Chamber of Commerce.
So get that link. Become a member of your Chamber of Commerce. Get that link back to your website and it’s a great simple tool that you can use in order to market to your local customers.
Social Media Marketing
Now social media is a very, very difficult platform to dominate because there are a lot of companies out there that regardless of the type of market or the type of business that they’re in, they just automatically open a Facebook or a Twitter page and they just go out and they basically tap into social media regardless of the platform or the type of business model.
You don’t want to do that. So if your business is business to consumer, then yes, do Facebook. It costs nothing to open up a Facebook page on your business, nothing at all.
if you’re business to business, Facebook and Twitter doesn’t always suit your B2B and the type of customers and the people you’re trying to pursue.
If you’re doing business to business, go after LinkedIn. LinkedIn is more geared towards the business to business professional, procurement professionals, engineers, design engineers, field service technicians.
Tip: Once you connect on LinkedIn, you can request to be Friends, Join Similar Groups they belong and Follow them to build a deeper rapport.
These are the type of customers you want to target. So if you’re going to use social media, it costs nothing other than your own time. Make sure you match it to the type of market that you service.
SMS or Text marketing
Now SMS marketing is simply Short Message Service marketing. Now we know it as texting.
We don’t want your SMS platform to turn into a texting nightmare. So basically texting is any time you get – you have a mobile phone and you get a text. This is essentially what SMS marketing is.
But the reason why it’s so popular is because it basically has a 90+ percent open rate. People that have mobile phones stay connected to friends, family, co-workers and clients. They’re mobile and they always want to know what’s going on.
SMS marketing allows you to deliver a focused message directly to those customers most interested in what it you have to say.
So SMS marketing is a great tool but whenever you use SMS marketing, make sure you always have new information to provide. Don’t be redundant.
Email marketing again like SMS is ideally suited to customers and it has a good open rate of 2 – 15%.
Now I’m going to summarize the last two here because there are a lot of things that can go wrong with SMS marketing and email marketing.
In order for both of these to work, you must have customer buy-in.
What I mean by customer buy-in is you have to have customers who want to receive an SMS message, who want to receive email marketing. Your email marketing platform can allow you to advice clients of discounts and inventory liquidations.
But in order for both of these platforms to work, you have to have buy-in. They have to agree to receive those messages. Otherwise, you’re not going to get your target audience and they’re not going to open them.
So if you just randomly send out SMS marketing texts to customers or potential customers that aren’t interested in what you have to offer, you’re not going to get this 90 percent open rate and if you do it with email marketing, they’re not going to open it. They’re just not going to pay attention to it.
If you run an email campaign, make sure you test it. Test it on different servers. Test it on different email addresses, Yahoo, Google, these types of things.
So these are five simple low cost marketing strategies that you can put together right away. Contact your industry trade publication. Talk to them. Offer a free content. Talk to your Chamber of Commerce, your local Chamber of Commerce in your town or borough. If you’re not a member, become a member immediately. Use social media but use it properly, business to consumer, Facebook and Twitter; business to business, Use LinkedIn.
SMS marketing, it’s a great tool. It has a high open rate. Make sure you always include new information and in terms of email marketing, you have a high open rate as well. With these last two right here, make sure you have customer buy-in. Make sure your customers want to receive the message.
Start Implementing these low cost marketing strategies today and grow your Biashara.