How to get your business noticed on a shoestring budget
Very few small businesses have a huge marketing budget to work with. Fortunately, there are a number of simple, free and low cost ways to get the word out about your company that are also highly effective.
With Coronavirus restrictions starting to ease, now is the time to evaluate your impact in your industry and find ways to stand out. These tips will show you five simple ways to promote your local business without breaking the bank.
Get (free!) media exposure
Advertising rates for local newspapers and radio stations can be costly for a small business. Instead, think about how you might generate a story your local media will want to share. For instance, a grand opening, anniversary, partnership, community fundraiser or special event can be the perfect opportunity for an interview on local TV or radio. Likewise, get in touch with your local newspaper to see if they’d be interested in an article about your latest product launch or move to a new location.
Remember though, your story needs to be of value to readers, so when you’re approaching journalists, think about an ‘angle’ or ‘hook’ that will capture readers attention. There’s a significant difference between advertising/sales pitch and a newsworthy article.
Partnering up with another local business for a product release, new project, or service bundle can exponentially increase exposure for your company. Find a non-competing and complementary businesses in your area – then think about how you might work together to attract new customers. Cross promotion creates an opportunity to reach out to each other’s mailing lists, add each other’s business name to any email blasts, post information about your partner’s company in store and on social media. You could even team up on an event you can invite all of your customers to.
Support a cause
Create or get involved in a local fundraiser. Giving back is not only beneficial to the community it will increase your brand awareness as you help an individual or organisation in need. Schools, libraries, hospitals and not-for-profits all benefit from volunteerism and community fundraisers. And if that isn’t reason enough, customers are becoming increasingly conscious of corporate social responsibility and want to support businesses that care. Demonstrate how your company is interested in improving the well-being of your community and you’ll likely gain new fans.
Host a workshop
Contact your local library, Chamber of Commerce or small business bureau to arrange a free educational talk on a topic of interest to your target customer. Providing valuable information is a great way to build credibility, trust and initiate customer relationships. Consider a prize draw for a free product or service – and be sure to have promotional available to take away, including information on your loyalty program to entice new leads to make a first purchase.
Run a contest
Offering a prize giveaway is a fantastic way to generate buzz online and in your community. It’s also a great way to build a mailing list you can send promotional information to (with permission, of course). You can work together with other local businesses in your area to extend your reach when promoting the contest, with each company donating a prize to the basket. Without much investment, you’ll be able to offer a much more valuable prize this way – and reach many more potential customers with every business doing their part to get the word out.
Marketing your business locally needn’t cost a lot of money, but it does take a long-term commitment. Consistent brand design and messaging is key. Build promotional activities into your annual business plan and get strategic about timing your marketing.
Want help creating a strategic marketing plan? You can reach out to our marketing team here.