25 clever marketing ideas for small businesses
In companies with few people, making a name for yourself can be difficult, especially for SMEs with limited budgets. The usual thing is to want to be seen and be known, and with affordable marketing ideas, it is possible to achieve it: from announcing a new product on networks to renting a stand at an event. Do you want to know how to promote a small business on a shoestring budget? Surely all these tips will help you.
Start-ups and small companies are often in a quandary: on the one hand, they should be extensively active in marketing to assert themselves on the market. On the other hand, the necessary budget for large-scale advertising is usually missing. These 25 marketing ideas prove that effective marketing measures do not always have to be expensive.
What you can invest in your marketing ideas
Money is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you hear investment. However, if it is tight, you should, above all, invest something in your marketing: time! The more intensively you deal with your target group and know which topics, questions, and needs concern them, the more effectively you can hit the mark with measures requiring only a tiny budget.
Small business marketing can do wonders: it can help you increase your revenue, reach new customers, build strong relationships, etc. It is not something reserved only for large companies. Regardless of size and budget, all businesses must use marketing to grow and prosper. However, most small business owners are intimidated and overwhelmed by the number of terms associated with marketing. They don’t know where to start and how to create effective marketing strategies.
This article will help you understand the marketing basics that all small business owners should know. Moreover, here you will learn how to put your marketing strategies in motion. If you’re starting in small business marketing, you’ve come to the right place.
Success through content: The key to customer acquisition
Content is king – this guiding principle is no coincidence. The modern consumer expects relevant content, answers to their questions, and solutions to their problems. Helpful and entertainingly designed content is accepted far better by consumers than classic advertising: This is the conclusion of several content marketing studies.
The good news with a small marketing budget: Every company can produce good content relatively inexpensively and distribute it in various ways. So with each measure, think about the benefits your target group can derive from it and provide them with the decisive added value.
Small purse – a significant effect: These measures make it possible
Creativity is required to carry out marketing at a low cost. What you choose and what works best for you depends on your business, audience, and goals. It is best to try out a combination of different measures to find your strategy for success. You will find helpful suggestions in the following alphabetically sorted list: 25 clever marketing ideas for small businesses
1. Put together offer packages.
Put together offer packages that are optimally tailored to the needs of your target group. A clearly defined scope of services conveys transparency and convinces your customers.
2. Use reviews
Studies show that most consumers research a product, local store, or business online beforehand and read multiple reviews. Therefore, it is advisable to use platforms such as Google My Business and create a Facebook company page. A related point in this context is social proof. Here you can increase your credibility through customer reviews by asking satisfied customers for a statement, which you then post on your website and social media channels.
3. Expand blog
Start a blog for your company, which you regularly expand with articles relevant to the industry and target groups. In this way, you continuously provide your customers with helpful content and underline your know-how.
4. Offer bonuses
Lure your target group with a bonus – monetary incentives such as discounts, or free services are just as possible as exclusive content.
5. Integrate calls to action
Subscribe to the newsletter or contact us, comment or download, non-binding offer or purchase – include a call to action in every measure.
6. Launch challenges
Start competition and encourage participation with a material or emotional incentive. Whether it’s a photo contest or an idea cup – social media channels are particularly suitable for challenges. Many reaches can generate here via hashtags and a request to share the post.
7. Share success stories
Show what you have already achieved: Tell about completed projects and, above all, about how your customer’s situation has improved as a result. In the context of storytelling, this can convey clearly and emotionally. Testimonials are also suitable here.
8. Use Facebook groups
Get involved in your community by creating a Facebook group or joining existing groups. Here you can exchange ideas, draw attention to your company and your services in an innocent way, and network.
9. Share photos
Let your target group participate in your everyday business: A look behind the scenes, employees at work, or a snapshot of the last event – the camera on your smartphone is enough to take current, meaningful pictures for your next blog entry or social media post. In this way, you can precisely influence the perception of your company.
10. Hand out freebies
Use lead magnets such as e-books, white papers, checklists, and much more to collect valuable contact information from your target group. If your offer is convincing enough, you will be rewarded with conversions.
11. Write and collect guest posts.
Increase your reach by writing guest articles for external blogs and media or invite other bloggers and experts as guest authors for your company blog.
12. Organize sweepstakes
Run sweepstakes and give away your product, service, or prize that fits your offer. If you run your contest on social media, you can ask participants to tag two friends under the post. In this way, greater reach and more attention can generate in no time.
13. Create how-to tutorials
Present your target group with the solution to their problem by showing them precisely what it can look like. How-to tutorials are suitable for this, offered as blog entries, photo series, or video instructions and explain a solution step by step. This format also can move prospects from one phase of the customer journey to the next, as essential questions and concerns – such as how to handle the product – are clarified at this point.
14. Create infographics
Offer your customers surprising numbers, data, and facts as graphics. Free tools like Canva make it quick and easy to create beautiful infographics that your audience can share with one click.
15. Giving and conducting interviews
If you have already built up a particular reputation as an expert in your industry, you can make yourself available to others as an interview partner. It helps your professional networking and can also draw the interviewer’s partner community more attention to you.
If you are not yet well known in your area, you can gradually change this by inviting high-caliber interviewees to interview yourself. In this case, the partner community will most likely consume the content, so you, too, will become aware of it.
16. Optimize landing pages
Create simple landing pages for a special offer or service using free tools like Instapage. Also, think about the additional benefits (download option, special offer, etc.).
17. Harness employees
Satisfied and motivated employees are valuable multipliers. Please include them in your corporate communications by asking them to write an article for your corporate blog. You can also encourage them to spread their messages independently by sharing them on their social media accounts.
18. Expand network
Use existing contacts from your private and professional environment and build on them continuously to benefit from valuable cooperation opportunities.
19. Send newsletters
Stay in touch with your prospects through regular newsletters. Email marketing tools like HubSpot are accessible to a certain extent.
20. Record podcasts
Use audio files that you offer as a subscription to make yourself heard by your target audience. With relatively little effort and little equipment, you can become a podcast host yourself.
21. Use social media
Whether Facebook or Instagram, XING or LinkedIn, YouTube or Pinterest, social networks are ideal for getting in touch with your target group. Research which channels your target group is using and provide them with information, entertainment, and offers. By continuously engaging with your community, you build loyalty and trust in your brand.
22. Make launch offers
Win new customers with a particularly cheap or even free offer. Whether it’s a free initial consultation or a test product at a special price – once you’ve taken the first step, further recommendations can follow.
23. About me
Show your personality: From the about me page on your website to original postings in social networks – your individual touch should not be missing in your communication. Some highly successful marketers like Neil Patel take this personal branding to the extreme by making their faces their figureheads.
24. Attend events
Present yourself at events where your target group takes part: You can easily make new contacts in a relaxed small-talk atmosphere. If you work in the B2B sector, you can, for example, do a little research on career networks such as LinkedIn to find events that are taking place in your area.
25. Giving lectures
Give lectures on the relevant topics of your target group – in front of an audience or as an online video. You can also set it up as a webinar so that as many people can join in and the lecture can use in the long term. Here you also have the opportunity to produce a whole range of courses on a specific topic, which you can then offer in an archive on your website.
Efficient marketing can also succeed without a significant financial outlay. Effective measures can be implemented even with small budgets, provided they are well thought out and offer the target group added value.
As a small business owner, you want to make the most of all that marketing offers. But does your budget allow it? Or maybe you’re just starting with your business, so your resources are limited. No problem!
The following marketing ideas are free or very cheap to fit into a shoestring budget, plus they’re easy to implement. Don’t let a lack of funding stop you from achieving the critical marketing goals: attract more customers, increase your sales and grow your business.
As you can see, with the right marketing ideas, you can get more customers and increase your sales. It’s not an impossible task, even on a shoestring budget. All you need is a little creativity and consistency.
If you’re new to marketing or need to fill in some gaps, in theory, check out this guide to small business marketing basics.
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25 clever marketing ideas for small businesses