You may have the most brilliant, revolutionary idea for a business in your head, but you won’t get very far unless you tell people about it. Marketing is the best way to make sure everyone knows about your product or service. Marketing, however, can be quite difficult, especially if you’re starting and don’t have any money to hire professionals. But it doesn’t need to be that way! If you follow this guide on how to market your small business, you will learn how to market your business without spending any money at all!
Choosing your marketing strategy
You’ve got a lot of options for promoting your business. Figuring out which ones you should use will take some thought. To help, ask yourself three questions: Who is my audience? What are their needs and desires? How can I meet those needs and authentically fulfil those desires? Once you have answers, you’ll choose strategies that fit your particular situation and make sense for your audience.
Attracting new customers
A successful marketing campaign starts with an understanding of your target audience. What kind of people will benefit from your products and services? Identify the problems your customers have that you can solve for them? Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for years, there are some basic components you should know about when it comes to attracting new customers.
Nurturing relationships with current customers
The best way to attract new customers is through satisfied, repeat customers. The trick is getting your loyal base excited about what you’re doing next without pitching them or being a pest. For example, if you sell coffee and have developed a reputation for creating unique latte art, ask your regulars which designs they’d like to see in their latte next—and then create it for them (along with a free refill). A tiny gesture can make people feel heard and appreciated and can go a long way toward retaining customers.
Segment your audience
Segmenting your audience means targeting customers based on their needs and interests. For example, you might create a Facebook ad that shows up in front of people searching for a new car. If you’re starting out with digital marketing, it’s a good idea to start segmenting your audience as soon as possible.
Getting attention online
There are hundreds of ways to get attention online, from social media and content marketing (writing a popular post, for example) to paid advertising or affiliate programs. The key is finding which methods make sense for your business. For example, if you’re selling a physical product that requires months of manufacturing, it makes sense to consider paid ads—but not if you’re selling something that can be made in minutes and sold immediately. The more specific your idea, the easier it will be to find a way to market it effectively online.
Advertising on social media
Chances are you’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter, but there are several other social media sites that are much smaller yet still garner a lot of traffic. These websites fall into three main categories: those with a paid-subscription model (i.e., LinkedIn), those with an advertisement model (i.e., Craigslist) and those with a hybrid model (i.e., Yelp). Choosing where you advertise wisely can save money while still ensuring your business gets its name out there.
Tell your story
Start by developing a positioning statement. This helps you figure out what’s unique about your business, which in turn makes it easier for people to remember you and distinguish you from other businesses. Next, create an elevator pitch that says who you are and what makes your business stand out. Finally, craft messaging that resonates with your target audience using their language and their frame of reference. When done right, each of these will reinforce key points in a way that emphasizes your strengths while minimizing any weaknesses or perceived gaps in experience or expertise.
Use emails, blogs, & videos to build a relationship
It’s important to connect with your audience using a variety of marketing channels. While social media is great for reaching people and being visible in your industry, it is still important that you try to build a relationship with every customer. One way you can do that is by keeping them updated via email on your new products or services. You could also get started blogging about how you got where you are today and what advice you have for other business owners who are just starting out. Video has proven again and again as an effective way of connecting with consumers, so post short videos from time to time detailing how things work behind the scenes at your business.