When you’re running a small business, every dollar counts. You can’t be throwing thousands at pay-per-click ads or trying to create expensive video content. Even though you know the importance of brand marketing, it can be very difficult to justify expensive billboards or TV campaigns that have no real trackability. You need things that you can implement immediately that don’t cost much more than your time and commitment. You need longevity so that your campaigns last and are memorable. For Small Business Month, we have some budget-friendly marketing advice that speaks to all those points. You can apply these to any company you’re running and get started today!
Small Business Tip #1: Think of the long game
It’s very easy to think of a quick turnaround when you run a small business. You want to run ads that generate quality leads on a small budget, which is not always a realistic route. There is nothing more frustrating than running advertising campaigns that generate no leads or leads of low-quality.
In order to get traffic and drive potential customers through the proper channels, you need to think long term. What’s more beneficial to your customer (and to you):
- A search engine ad that clicks through to a sales page
- A piece of content that answers their search query and lives on your website
Answer 2 is more beneficial to both you and your customer. While the individual who lands on your blog may not immediately connect with the brand or contact you, they now know that you are a thought leader in the category they were researching and have a touchpoint with you. Maybe they’ll find that you have an answer to other queries they have. Through this, you are not only building your brand and content but also becoming a trusted voice in the industry for customers. It is typically a longer process to gather leads through content but since that content will live on your website forever and can always be shared in social and email marketing campaigns, it has much more value than an ad you run for a few days or weeks.
Small Business Tip #2: Go local with your strategy
If you’re a small business, your community is incredibly important to you. How are you contributing and investing in your community? What events or charitable initiatives do you partake in on behalf of the business? It’s time to share how much you give to the community and make sure you’re well known. A small coffee shop that donates coffee every holiday season to the local food bank, while also volunteering there, has a great story behind it. Work with other local businesses in the area to promote one another on social media and build relationships with these business owners.
Don’t forget to promote your brand locally on Google My Business local search, as well. It’s free to set your business up on it and allows you to post location, hours, your website, recent promotions—anything you’d like! On Google alone, 76% of “near me” local searches conclude in a same-day in-store visit and 26% of those visits result in a purchase. Setting yourself up within the community in person and online can help drive traffic and build your brand presence.
Small Business Tip #3: Build meaningful partnerships
A great way to reach your customer base, or an additional target market, is through a company that is already serving that market. If there is a gap in both yours and a potential partner’s market and you see value for both parties, it’s a great opportunity to pursue a relationship. A partnership can be anything from offering discounts to each other’s’ services to writing content and promoting your brands on social media. You can also go in on paid advertisements or paid content to try and reach a wider audience. Working together can bring new and fresh ideas about reaching your audience.
Become a trusted resource
A lot of advice likes to push business owners to spend money to grow their business, but if you’re strategic and can think of a long game rather than a quick win, it will pay off in the long run. Have you claimed a branded domain name and email address? Those are very simple and inexpensive ways to build authority and become a trusted resource for customers. Do your research and find the right partnerships for your brand. Your small business will thrive with the right marketing in place and you don’t always need a big budget to succeed.
Happy Small Business Month!