If you are a small business, you probably don’t have the means to buy billboard space, film TV ads or conduct mass mailings. Luckily, with technology today, it’s easy to find cheap ways to advertise your business and engage with customers.
1.Create a “Google My Business” Account
One of the most popular marketing tools for small businesses is Google My Business. Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use way to manage your online presence. Not only will it make your business visible on search, but also on Google Maps. Plus, you can quickly update information about your business so that details such as hours of operation and phone numbers are always current. You can also increase customer engagement by adding photos, conducting Q&As and using reviews.
2. Use Yelp
Adding your business to Yelp is another creative way to market your business — and in this case, it’s completely free. Adding your business to Yelp can boost your online presence on search engines. This is an especially good option if your business involves food or a service. Yelp allows you to easily see reviews and interact directly with your customers. And if you see a negative review, don’t fret. Yelp allows you to quickly correct any issues that customers may be bringing up.
3. Take Advantage of Ad Credits
Think of it like cyber-couponing. Facebook and Google are known for giving away free ad credit vouchers. When you sign up for paid services like web hosting or Google Ads (formerly AdWords), you can try out the services for longer, or with additional perks, by taking advantage of free vouchers. This allows you to market your business in ways you may not have thought of, such as creating banner ads that appear on websites catered to your target customer demographic.
4. Build a Business Partnership
Teaming up with other small businesses allows you to increase exposure affordably. Choose a business that is complementary to your own. For example, if you own a small gym, consider partnering with a nutrition shop to tap into their loyal, health-conscious customers — and vice versa.
5. Post on Social Media
Staying active on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram makes for an easy, and cheap, way to keep customers engaged and updated on the latest news regarding your business. Do you own a bakery? Film a short, 10-second video of freshly baked pastries coming out of the oven and post it to Instagram. Hosting an event? Upload details to Facebook to increase attendance. You can also respond to questions, showcase new products and offer discounts to keep customers coming back.
6. Engage IRL (In Real Life)
Focusing on direct engagement with the local community helps save on online or print advertising. For example, use a window decal or magnet for your vehicle to advertise your business around town. If you have a brick-and-mortar location and it’s on a highly trafficked street, place fun and colorful sidewalk signs outside; marketing a sale or enlisting clever messages or inspirational quotes tend to garner positive attention.
7. Contact Local Media
Reach out to your local media to see if they would cover your business. You can do this by sending a press release to a radio station, newspaper or magazine, or by networking with local reporters. Not sure what to write in a press release? Think of a unique angle for your business and then share that story. Ideas for creative marketing angles include profiling a loyal customer who frequents your business every day, showcasing your business’ involvement with a local charity or celebrating a business milestone.
8. Deepen Your Relationship with Existing Customers
Current customers can be a huge asset in helping you increase your bottom line. These customers have already purchased from you, so now it’s just a matter of finding ways to keep them coming back. One way to do this is by requesting their permission to add them to an email list to share timely news about your business. Email marketing advertises your business and reminds existing customers of information relevant to them. Take that list and treat those customers like VIPs — offer coupons, social mixers, sneak peek events or exciting news. Above all, let them know how much they are appreciated.
Protecting Your Business
As a small business owner, you want to make sure your hard work is protected. Contact your Farm Bureau agent today to make sure you have the coverage you need.