Especially in the early days of establishing a business, you may not have a lot of cash to put into your marketing budget. But luckily, great marketing doesn’t have to cost the earth, and with a bit of creative thinking, it is possible to generate great coverage without breaking the bank.
Using Social Media
Using social media is a cost-effective way of increasing visibility to help get the word out there about your exciting new product or service. Combine that with a giveaway, and you may just have low-cost marketing gold! Facebook and Twitter are both commonly used by companies to run promotions or competitions that give something away in order to gain brand awareness at very little cost. When designing a giveaway, think about:
- Target market: Can anyone in the world enter your competition, or just people within a certain distance of your business?
- Timeframe. High value prize giveaways tend to run over a longer time period, lower value ones can be shorter.
- Multi-channel impact. Specific competition hashtags, or asking people to upload images or videos as part of their competition entry will increase multi-channel impact.
Remember, always read the Facebook competition guidelines (these change regularly) to ensure you stick to their rules, and avoid posts that ask people to like a page or share to their timeline to enter – no one likes clickbait!
Get your image right
Make sure that when you are out and about promoting your business, your advertising materials make you stand out from the crowd. Don’t assume that high quality advertising is too expensive; there’s a product to suit every occasion and budget. Need something lightweight and portable? Try colourful advertising flags or a banner stand to catch your customer’s eye. If you know your message is going to change regularly, choose a cost-effective version that allows you to swap graphics in and out of your banner stand depending on the event.
Content as a hook
Great quality content is a quick and easy way of increasing traffic to your website and building your marketing list. Choose interesting content that is relevant to your business, and share across social media channels and professional channels such as LinkedIn. This can also be used to encourage people to sign up to your company mailing list.
Local competitions and partnerships
Join forces with other complementary (not competing!) businesses to boost your reach and your marketing budget. Offer prizes to local fundraising events and build contacts and local links in the process. Attending local events is likely to be cheaper (or free) than industry tradeshows, and low value giveaways (such as branded balloons, stickers or pencils) that attract children and adults alike can be cost-effective marketing tools for smaller businesses.