With many businesses struggling to stay afloat, online marketing is among the first item they remove from their budgets to reduce expenses. But these businesses typically have no idea that online marketing is cheaper compared to using traditional marketing techniques. Additionally, they can easily measure the effectiveness of online marketing strategies since they can get the information through free online analytics tools.
Small businesses can still implement marketing strategies without spending too much. While many strategies require online marketing, some only require a creative mind on the part of the business owner. Here are some ways for these businesses to promote their products and services online even with a shoestring budget.
Create an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a short speech outlining a business concept for a product or service it offers in the market. Business owners should always keep their elevator pitch in mind all the time. They should craft one that provides the benefits and features offered by their products or services.
Since the attention span of adults is only around six to eight seconds, business owners should make the elevator pitch short and straight to the point. If businesses can successfully attract the audience’s attention, they will have a good chance of converting the audience into potential or even paying customers. So, business owners should put some effort into creating the elevator pitch that they can deliver in virtual events, startup incubator programs, or even simple meetings with potential customers.
Leverage the Community
Another promotional technique requires the business to work with the community. While this particular technique requires a small investment, the returns can be significant. Businesses can leverage the local community by sponsoring a charity walk or run. They can also sponsor a Little League team once it’s safe to play ball already.
The business can also print bookmarks and give them out for free at a local library. It will be necessary for the business to know the community and its ideal customer. This will allow the business to have an idea of where its potential customers spend their free time. Once it knows where the customers normally stay, the business can look for opportunities to market its products and services in these places.
Work with Others
Businesses can also work with other businesses that do not offer the same products and services in their area. They can collaborate in their promotional efforts to divide the cost of promotion while getting the benefits the promotional efforts can provide.
They can give out flyers, coupons or bundle their offerings to their customers. They can also help each other through reciprocal website links or promote each other’s business through their social media platforms. In this situation, the two businesses can reach a wider audience and expand their customer base.
They can also network with other businesses to help them build up each other’s businesses. Since the results of networking will not become evident immediately, it will require the businesses to commit some time to promote each other. Business owners can consider a strong network as one of their best assets in the market.
Work with the Customers
Aside from other businesses, business owners can also work with their customers. Keeping an existing customer is easier compared to looking for a new one. Therefore, business owners should build a strong relationship with their customers. They can also use email marketing to offer promotions and give discounts. Their existing customers can also promote their products and services through word-of-mouth marketing, which is effective since people trust their family and friends more than any promotional or marketing material.
The business can get a Net Promoter Score or an NPS survey to see if the customers are keen on promoting the product to their family and friends. The feedback from the customers can guide the business owner on the next steps he should take to promote the business. Businesses can also use the survey result to make the necessary adjustments to improve their products and services.
Email marketing is another important yet affordable way to market the products and services of a business. Businesses can collect the email address of potential customers whenever they visit their website. They can offer coupons and other promotions through the email they collect from the customers. Aside from gaining new customers, coupons can also encourage customers to return to the store and purchase more products. These coupons typically offer a discount, which increases the chances that customers will return to take advantage of the discount.
Marketing a business does not have to be expensive since business owners can focus on marketing strategies that do not require a huge budget to promote their products and services.