The truth is, promoting and marketing your business does not require a big budget. Instead, a passion and acumen for getting your business out there, as well as a creative flair, will give you a much better chance of standing out amidst the noise. Ahead, discover 21 ways to help your small business become a trailblazer in your industry:
1. Get local – set a radius, and reach out to the schools, WI’s, local festivals etc. in your area, and ask if you can speak at or join an event.
2. Start networking – the old adage of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” could not ring truer in this instance. Contact someone at your local Chamber of Commerce/town hall/county council to see if there are any key people you should connect with in your industry.
3. Offer to write for your local newspaper or magazine, or any niche magazine you know of that shares an audience with yours. Research the editor’s name, or reporter/ journalist that covers your chosen industry and pitch the appropriate person with a timely post.
4. Contact your alumni magazine about doing a feature or story on you or your product.
5. Speak! There are plenty of speaking opportunities that can help build your brand, sell your product or service, and get covered by the local press.
6. Leave flyers in your local coffee shop, community notice board, or library. Always remember to ask permission from the relevant person!
7. Offer to be a guest on a radio show – locally, or online. BlogTalk radio has tons of niche online radio shows that are always hungry for content. As with when you contact a newspaper or magazine, come up with a good angle for your story.
8. Get together with 8-10 other small businesses for a “local event or charity drive”. You’ll benefit from the synergy of a group of business owners by drawing a bigger crowd, cross-promoting, and possibly getting local media coverage. Plus, it’s far less daunting to organise and execute an event as a team!
9. Become a “go-to expert” – familiarise yourself with journalists and freelancers in your area of expertise, and introducing yourself to them. Let them know you’re available to comment on a story that relates to your industry.
10. Use social media advertising - if you have a paid marketing budget, try Facebook and/or Twitter ads, depending on where you believe your target audience spends more time. Particularly with Facebook, you can get really specific about who you want to target; age, gender, location; even marital status, religion, and hobbies.
11. Get on Pinterest! On average, a Pinterest shopper spends an average of $168.83 per checkout. The popular image curation site works particularly well if you have a visually pleasing product, or market primarily to women. 92% of pins are made by women, who make or heavily influence 85% of a household’s purchasing decisions.
12. Use Google advertising – similarly to Facebook, you can specifically target websites that your target audience will be on.
13. Launch a blog for your business – the best blogs have a strategy behind them, so implement a carefully-curated strategy. Define your objectives, create a content calendar and stick to it!
14. Run a contest – turbo-charge your brand awareness and customer loyalty with a contest, using social media as your platform. Try to incorporate email subscriptions as part of the submission form for effective data capture.
15. Launch a YouTube channel – YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine, and therefore shouldn’t be underestimated in your marketing strategy. Blendtec Blenders are a fantastic example of what can be achieved with a simple but effective idea - boss Tom Dickson spent $50 in launching their YouTube channel, and set to work blitzing a variety of household items into dust to demonstrate the power of the BlendTec. The “Will It Blend?” campaign went viral, and the YouTube channel has thus far accumulated 745k subscribers.
16. Implement SEO to your blog or website – even if the budget isn’t available for a carefully-curated SEO strategy for your business, it’s wise to build a solid foundation to help attract visitors and build traffic to your website. Learn the basics of SEO with this resource from Search Engine Land.
17. Create an infographic – infographics are a fantastic way of displaying information in an easily digestible way, and as a nation of tweeters and Facebook users, we all enjoy sharing the cool stuff we’ve found on the internet. Add a link and a short intro to your business at the bottom of the infographic to get your name out there.
18. Write a press release – as far as public relations go, press releases have become an indispensable content asset. Write an effective press release to build a reputation around your business as a thought-leader of its industry.
19. Create a webinar/slideshow – this is a great way to build buzz around a product or service, and collect email addresses at the same time.