When it comes to marketing your business, there are a number of activities that you can do and it doesn’t have to be all about how much you can afford to spend.
However, getting the promotion of your business right and how you communicate you’re your customers will be one of the key factors in its success, so we’ve come up with ten ideas to get you started.
1. Give something away for free!
Doing a free promotion or a free giveaway may seem counter-intuitive when it is what you are trying to sell and make money with, however it can create a great buzz around your brand. Try creating a sample of your product, offering a free taster session of your service to or ordering a promotional gift giveaway to get customers interested. I remember being handed a pink pig at a train station one time. I had no idea what it was for but it was a stress ball and it sat on my desk for months – it was for the launch of a brand new service and was in my mind every day!
2. Start networking
Networking is a great way to meet potential customers, suppliers, competitors and advisors. It’s all about building relationships and trying to turn people in to your brand advocates and helping you to spread your message through their contacts. PPS Print have been networking for a number of years in the Peterborough area and are members of BNI and also the Peterborough Business Club. There are also some great chambers of commerce too!
3. Send out a newsletter – printed or emailed!
For any business, a regular communication strategy with your customers is a great way to promote new products and services and keep customers engaged with you and your company. Setting up and sending a newsletter is not expensive and there are a number of free online marketing platforms available such as MailChimp or Campaign Monitor which can help. Creating a printed newsletter is not expensive and can add massive value to your customers.
4. Flyers or leaflets
Flyer printing is one of the most cost effective ways to spread news of your company promotions, sales offers and discounts. Printed flyers are a great way to connect directly with your customer and offer them both information and incentives. With personalisation now easy to incorporate in the design, flyers are becoming very popular with companies looking to reach their client base . Almost every company could make use of flyer printing services as they are an inexpensive and creative way of attracting prospective customers. Just think of all the potential customers you can reach. Ask local stores, coffee shops and newsagents if they’ll take a stack for their counter, or find shops related to your business. If you’re a plumber for example, see if your local hardware store will stock some leaflets.
5. Social media
One of the most compelling marketing activities in today’s society is about customer engagement and the explosion in social media and how we communicate with our customers has changed how this is now done. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, Pinterest – the list goes on and on and it can be a minefield to go through. However Social media is an ideal way to build a loyal following and engage with your existing customers, as well as reach new ones. Offer people a reason to follow you, such as exclusive offers or discounts, or set yourself up as an authority in your chosen field and offer help and advice.
6. Start a blog or even a vlog!
First off: blogging isn’t for everyone and if it’s not for you then that is ok. To create good blog content you need to have something to say and you have to want to write it all down. However with great platforms like YouTube you can now create a Vlog – a video log! So it is ok to record it rather than write it down – however the same two points still count. If you’ve got those two points covered then starting a blog is a great way to boost your online presence and increase brand authority. Write articles that showcase your expertise to build up trust with new and existing customers and link those blogs to your website and social media feeds.
7. Get listed
Your potential customers need to find you and become aware that you exist and as you set up your business there are a number of great free websites where you can register and list your business. Get your business details listed on websites such as Yell.com, Yahoo and Bizcrowd. Create a Google Account and take a look at Google Local and Google Places as well, as it allows customers to leave comments and reviews, which are vital in building up trust in your business.
8. Use your vehicle
A company I know uses the phrase “A business with no sign is a sign of no business”. You have signs all around you with your business cards, your leaflets and a sign on the office door. However we sometimes forget that our car, van or bike can be an eye-catching way to promote your business. You could get a simple logo and phone number, or go for a full vehicle wrap to really grab people’s attention. The initial cost could be fairly high, but from then on, the advertising is free as you go about your daily business. You will always see the PPS delivery vans around Peterborough!
9. Run a competition
Creating buzz around a competition is another good way to attract customers to engage with you and your company. You could think about giving away your own products as prizes, entering customers when they make a purchase, or capturing email addresses so you can contact people at a later date. You will have seen a number of competitions popping up on Facebook recently and if you do have a Facebook Company page then you could host the competition there. Or simply ask people to ‘Like’ your page as a method of entry - it’s a great way to gain more fans.
10. Invest in good business stationery
You only get one chance to make a great first impression. And investing in good quality business stationery is the most cost effective way to ensure that this happens. Spending money on DIY business cards is cost effective but might not help you win the business or ensure that you leave a good impression with potential customers. It is not expensive to have a full quality business stationery pack and you can create so much more interest and personalisation and save a lot of money by doing it right first time.