10 ways to market your business on a budget

- - Marketing

Whether you’re starting a new business venture or are looking for ways to attract new clients, there are many ways to market your company.
However, if you’re working to a tight budget, you’ll need to plan your options carefully. Here are our top ten suggestions for minimising your marketing spend.

1.    Meet the public
Taking part in local events can give your business lots of good exposure, especially if your target customers are people from the area. For example, depending on the nature of your business, you could get a stall in a local market, advertise at a festival or put in ad in the local paper. Also, be sure to carry business cards with you at all times – just in case an opportunity presents itself.

2.    Send out press releases
Writing up press releases and submitting them to local newspapers and other publications can be a low-cost way to get your name known. Make sure that the information provided in the press release is newsworthy, informative and well written.

3.    Build your network
Getting to know other professionals in your field can benefit your business, particularly when it comes to complementary firms that aren’t direct competitors. Options include attending networking events, using online tools like LinkedIn and taking part in teleconference meetings.

4.    Get social
Building your brand on social media sites like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter can be an excellent way to market your business. Setting up business profiles is easy and free, just make sure to post regular updates and you can also try paid advertising through the sites.

5.    Try emails
While direct marketing with letters and brochures through the post was once a popular choice, it was also expensive and relatively time-consuming. Email marketing, on the other hand, allows you to reach a wide audience for a much lower price – and the lists of contacts you can buy can be filtered to ensure you’re only targeting the right people.

6.    Become a blogger
Having a blog on your website is good way to keep the site fresh, and can also help to establish you as a leader in your industry. It can also be good for search engine optimisation, meaning it will improve your page’s rankings when someone uses Google or Bing to search for certain keywords. Blog posts can be about industry news, recent projects or other relevant topics. Just be sure to post regularly and often.

7.    Trust in word-of-mouth advertising
Word-of-mouth advertising can be one of the best ways to meet new clients and build your business, so be sure to give your clients good reasons to talk about you to their friends, family and colleagues.

8.    Start a referrals programme
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for referrals – if they’re happy with the service you’ve provided, they’ll probably be happy to help you out. It can also be a good idea to give an incentive to encourage referrals – like a discount voucher or a free gift to say thanks.

9.    Special offers
Everyone loves a bargain and whether you have a sale, offer money off to first-time customers or provide an incentive for customers who spend over a certain amount of money, word of your special offers could travel fast and bring in new customers.

10. Under sell but over deliver
This is a popular marketing tactic, but getting it right might require a bit of a balancing act. The key is to make sure your customers are happy with their choice to work with your company – but finish the process feeling delighted. This could mean providing faster delivery times than expected, using high-quality packaging or including something extra that they weren’t expecting.


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