Small businesses do not always have wide margins or extra money to spend on advertising and marketing. However, advertising and marketing is something that just about every business must invest in to survive, which means a small business must be smart about how it markets itself and effectively market in ways that don’t cost a lot of money if any at all. As the internet is an effective tool for just about every type of marketing, there are a number of excellent digital marketing tips for small businesses that can be done for very little money or just a little extra sweat equity on a regular basis. The best ones are listed below.
Keep a Regularly Updated Blog
Small businesses should create a personality and an experience for customers and fans of their small business through a blog that is regularly updated. These blog entries can be emailed to fans and customers, posted on social network pages, and shared on the business website. They can be about everything from new events or sales happening at the small business itself to just interesting stories and different bits of content from the owners or managers of the blog. The most important thing is that the blog is entertaining and something is posted on a regular basis. This will keep the name of the small business top of mind for all those who read it.
Create a Social Network Personality
There are a number of social networks out there these days, but having a very active personality on all of the main ones—that is Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—is a great free way to market your small business. There should be at least one post per day for all of your followers, entertaining them, or giving them information about something that is happening at your business. Ideally, the social network personality should be the best of both worlds—entertaining as well as informational. Sometimes posts should be about sales, deals, or business information; other times posts should just be funny sayings, videos or links to interesting or entertaining articles and websites. Over time, this will create a personality but as with keeping a blog, consistency is key.
Consider Social Network Advertising
If you have a little extra money, begin advertising on these social networks as well. It may slightly water down your social network personality to all of your followers, but it will give many people you would never have access to a direct connection to your small business. There is a wide variety of different costs when advertising on Facebook for example, but the best thing about advertising there is that prospective customers within a nearby zip code can be targeted. This will make doing this worth every penny in most cases. The same can be done to a lesser degree through other social networks as well.
Create Email Marketing Campaigns
Create email marketing campaigns that can be sent out to your customers and fans with fliers and coupons about deals or events your small business is having. This is an excellent way to let people know about something special and encourage them to do business with your company. However, it’s important that you only use these email marketing campaigns when there really is a big event or sale going on. Don’t flood people’s inboxes with emails; pick and choose the right times to do this. Also, make sure these email fliers are well designed and quickly convey the message. Think of it like an advertisement that would be put into a newspaper—you will need to grab people’s attention. It may be worth it to bring a graphic designer on to help you with this as well.
One of the oldest ways to let people know about something your small business is doing and reminding them that you still exist still works these days. Draw up an informative and well-written press release to send out to all of your business contacts and even your customers. This will be an excuse to not only remind everyone that you still exist, but also that the small business is still actively developing and/or releasing new products or services. Of course, only send out a press release if you really have something worthy of announcing. Otherwise, everyone who receives it will see it’s little more than an attempt and remind people the business is still there.