Marketing a small business doesn’t always require a huge investment of time and money. Alternative advertising methods can be just as effective as traditional mediums, and they often cost just a fraction of the price. Here are some tips and techniques you can use to make sure that every penny you spend on marketing makes a difference.
Boost Brand Awareness with Charity Work
Establishing your company as a pillar of the community is one of the single best ways to increase brand awareness. Non-profit organizations are happy to advertise for companies that donate money or goods to their cause. You can also encourage your employees to donate some of their time by offering small incentives such as taking a long lunch or setting their own hours on specific days. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities, especially on and around holidays, to do service. If there are any natural disasters going on in your area, then those are also great opportunities to reach out to the community and let them know that you are there for them. Not that you should do it just for this reason, but this can also get you media attention as well.
Tapping into the competitive nature of potential customers is another great way to spread your company’s name. In many situations, providing the winner with a single prize is much more affordable than offering discounts to a larger group of people. Contests, such as designing company logos or using your product in a unique way, can garner an incredible amount of interest in a short period of time. If you use social media with your contests, then this could also be an advantageous way of getting your name out there.
Head to the Streets
While stationary billboards are somewhat effective, they have become so pervasive that many drivers ignore them completely. On the other hand, truck ads—like those that TSN Advertising and other such ad businesses create, immediately draw attention from drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Instead of settling on a single location for your advertisement, you can choose exactly where the truck goes and how long it stays there. That makes them an excellent option for advertising during special events or on busy days.
Leverage Your Current Customers
Incentivizing your current customers is one of the most effective ways to expand your business. Instead of spending money on additional ad space or time on the air, you can offer discounts to current customers if they are able to refer family and friends. Not only will you create a larger customer base, but they will then use those discounts to buy more of your products.
Start Email Marketing
Many business owners are surprised to hear that email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective ways to spend their advertising dollars. While the conversion rates are not always stellar, the overall costs are extremely low. Once you have created a layout for your emails and developed some good content, you can use an affordable program to send that information to thousands of contacts.
It often feels difficult to justify marketing expenditures, but these few techniques should help you breathe life into your business with a relatively small investment.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.