The answer is yes. Whether your business is an SME or an international company, your marketing activities don’t have to break the bank. Depending on the methods you choose and the resources available, you can even carry out a marketing strategy for free!
Chris Ralph, marketing manager at Printerland.co.uk explains how business can promote themselves without investing thousands of pounds, while still getting the best results possible.
Set up business listings in local directories
Search engines offer free listings for local businesses in their directories. Setting up a listing for your company will make searching for your business a lot easier and provide customers with your contact details and address in an instant.
Both Google and Bing offer this service for free, while Yahoo charges for a more in-depth option. When you sign up for a listing, you can ensure that customers see your business hours, phone number, address and even directions to your company; making it as easy as possible for searches to convert into sales.
Introduce your business to social media
It’s been proven that back in 2014, over 52% of online adults were found to use two or more social media. With new social channels popping up all the time, it’s almost certain that the figure will have increased over the last two years.
There is a misconception that social media is only for consumer focused brands, so business to business or trade businesses shouldn’t waste their time with things like Facebook or Twitter. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
LinkedIn is an excellent place to start for B2B companies and the high number of discussion pages throughout the website gives businesses a chance to join conversations about issues in their industry, providing useful and professional advice to prospective customers.
For more consumer focused companies, Facebook and Twitter are the ideal places for you to promote new products, run competitions and even respond to customer queries. Being able to keep on top of customer complaints, and show off any positive reviews can really help a company increase its exposure. If you can respond quickly to a complaint and show other users that you’re working to resolve the issue, it will only strengthen the trust customers have in your brand.
Create your own professional promotional material
Think about a time when you’ve been in an important business meeting or even chatting to a person on the train. Wouldn’t it be great to have a professional business card to leave behind? It can be expensive to commission a company to design and produce promotional materials, especially if you’re working to a budget. Yet small touches such as business cards or leaflets can make all the difference when it comes to customer opinions.
So in order to make the best first impression possible, don’t run straight to a printing company. Source your own business printers with cheap running costs and find high quality paper that gives a professional finish. This means you can cut out the expensive printing prices and created your branded promotional material in-house.
Demonstrate your expertise
Another great way to market your business is to show off your knowledge and expertise in your sector. Looking at the number of sector specific magazines and websites in current publication, there are journalists constantly searching for new angles and new contributors to offer their expertise and advice.
For example, if your business provides decorating materials to tradesmen, you can contact a painting and decorating trade journal to offer your professional opinion on the latest sector regulations. Alternatively, you can submit an article discussing the latest product innovation.
Writing and advertising your expertise on industry related issues shows customers that you’re not only willing to provide professional advice to the community, but also that you’re a trusted adviser in your industry. It will reinforce the trust your current customers have and gain trust in any prospective customers.
So as you can see, marketing your business doesn’t have to break the bank. If you’re unsure where to start with your marketing activities, it’s good to outline a plan of attack. Decide who your target audience is, then determine the best way to reach them. Once you’ve done that, you just need to decide what you want to say!
Featured image by Superbass – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1258095