They say if you’re a small business, one of the most common situations you will face is the lack of money for marketing strategies. Fortunately, there is a solution that can help you lower your cost. That solution is social media.
An enterprise-level business can afford the resources to put millions of marketing dollars into a campaign, but when it comes to a small business, you will often have a much smaller budget to successfully market your business.
So, Where to start?
Instead of focusing on the costly methods, like advertising for example, small businesses should focus on low-priced hacks and develop a solid product strategy that gives you a bang for your buck.
Let’s look at how social media and other less costly tools can serve as a low-cost marketing strategy to help you grow your business. Here are a few marketing strategies that are cheap, powerful, and will give you the exposure and traffic your brand needs.
Table of Contents
1) Frequently perform product and market research
A great way to perform research is by reading online forums. This helps you explore new ideas and develop a deeper understanding of what services and products people are looking for.
Another way to gain insights you need to help grow your business is with help of a survey or a poll as well. Sites like Twitter, for example, offer easy-to-setup polls that you can simply post and gain insights from your followers.
A great way to help your brand stay competitive in the market is by performing competitor research on other brands. So, you can dig around on your competitors’ social media channels and see what they are doing. Then take that and improve upon it.
2) Make the most of your social media channels
Social media plays an important role in the success of your business online.
Having a strong online presence and using it to promote your business by posting from time to time about the products and services you offer is of utmost importance as almost every other person owns a smartphone and is on social media.
That said, you’ll want to work in more than just posts about your products. Post with articles, ideas, and tips to help your followers out and solve their problems. Find ways to provide value, then sprinkle in content about your products and services here and there.
The most common social media marketing strategies to exploit are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube, and Pinterest. But there are so many more. Find out what channels your audience uses most and target those.
Always remember these important points:
- Develop a content strategy in which you have to set your goals and visions.
- Post relevant content to your brand’s social pages
- Target the right pages to ensure your target audience is there
- If needed you can utilize the sponsored posts option available across all platforms in which you have to pay a small amount to reach a certain number of people
- Be consistent and post regularly
- Listen in to conversations and respond to increase engagement
3) Host webinars
Webinars are a great way to communicate with your prospects and customers and introduce products and services to a wider audience.
Webinars do take time but have their benefits. You have to think about a motivating and informative topic to host a webinar on. Here’s how you can create, host and schedule a webinar.
Make sure you communicate early and often about the webinar. Send out at least 3 emails prior to the event, and post often on social media. Then, after the webinar, you’ll want to have a follow up strategy. You could chop the webinar up into small bite-sized videos and share each one across your social channels.
Add a link into each of those posts so viewers can click from your social channels back to your website to learn more.
3) Create a blog
A business blog is the best way to stay in touch with your customers and create content to share on social media and drive traffic back to your website. Adding a business blog to your website will help your customers learn about your products and what you sell, but it will also add value to their lives and position your brand as a trusted resource.
A few tips for you to follow while blogging:
- For starters, do not badmouth your customers. Negative PR has adverse effects on your business.
- If you have a say about controversial topics, make sure you have your facts in hand to back up your claims. Or the best approach is to avoid sensitive topics altogether.
- Make sure your page portrays the values your company follows and how you can provide solutions to your potential customers’ problems.
- Be consistent with your branding so you don’t create confusion for others.
- Make sure to promote your products, services, special promotions, customer review, and any special stories that contribute to your business.
- Post beyond promos, content such as: how to articles, industry updates, thought leadership pieces, and other helpful content that adds value and solves problems.
- Be consistent and post regularly, and be consistent in your blogging schedule.
Here’s a list of blogging stats by Optinmonster that will keep you updated with the latest trends and help you make sustainable decisions.
4) Make the best use of other online services
Using online shops and other services like Amazon to sell your products and services online can help you widen your customer reach.
Firstly, the chance of getting your brand noticed increases drastically. Next, when people buy your products, they leave ratings and comments which help others to make a decision and help you to know your areas of improvement.
Here’s a list of the best sites to sell your products online.
5) Asking for referrals
One of the most cost-effective ways to generate new business is through referrals.
But, the problem is that business owners feel shy to ask for referrals or rather would not want to come across as desperate. Fortunately, I would like to suggest a few ways you can ask for referrals which would not make you feel awkward:
- Ask directly for referrals through invoices (at the bottom), email, or online.
- Prefer asking the regular, more connected customers rather than all customers.
- Create a referral section on your website for referrals that makes it easier for your customers to refer new business.
- You could even offer some gift cards or other referral incentives to your customers.
- Lastly, join referral or networking groups.
6) User – generated content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) is the content created related to your brand by someone who isn’t officially connected to your business. This can come in the form of videos, product reviews, blogs, Tweets, or any type of content really. It just has to be something that promotes your brand.
UGC is gaining popularity, and almost all brands are asking their customers to share their experiences. UGC has its perks. A few of which are:
- It is cost-effective, marketers don’t have to empty their pockets to obtain UGC.
- It boosts authenticity and builds trust for your brand.
- Gives your customer a voice and makes them feel like they are a part of the community.
- Helps enhance SEO and rank higher.
- Helps potential customers make decisions.
- Educates customers about your products and services.
Lastly, the most important saves your time on creating content and so you can concentrate on other priorities.
Remember, be open to critics as well. they help you go a long way. According to Stackla, 79% of people say that user-generated content has a major impact on their purchasing decisions.
7) Upsell your existing customers
Upselling is the process of encouraging your customers into upgrading or buying a more expensive version of the product they’ve been buying from you. Upselling increases the Average Order Value and increases customer lifetime value.
Find customers who really have a need. If you have a software platform, for example, you can track usage of your platform subscribers. You can then target the bigger users with info about upgrading and the value they receive.
Make sure you are not neglecting your existing customers and keep pampering them so that you can maintain their trust. Give them a free trial upgrade so they can see the value first hand. Many will not want to go back to the lower version of the product.
8) Run contests and giveaways
A trusted way of reaching out to potential customers and introducing awareness about your brand.
A giveaway of one of your bestselling or newly introduced products or giving free membership trial of your services is quite beneficial for the growth of your brand. This way more and more people learn about your brand and hence get to win goodies.
You can even give away free minis of your existing products. This way people will try them out and won’t hesitate to order if liked by them.
9) Make sure you improve your products & services from time to time
Nothing works better than word of mouth. The product line is great enough to speak for itself. Make sure you keep improving your products and services. This will help you keep up with the loyal customers. Your happiest customers will spread the word.
Keep your integrity high, offer the best quality services and products and keep up with trends. If you let your products get stagnant, not only will your customers get board with them, they will also likely start to consider options from your competitors, as they will be focused on improvements to beat your brand.
10) Get in touch with niche influencers
Every Industry has a group of influencers that have a huge following and can shape and market well in a specific niche.
Their followers look up to their reviews and comments on specific products, and trust me, they are quite influential. Make friends with them. Building relationships where they share your content and you help them out in return can really help you get attention from your target audience.
You can either partner with them on a project or send a product for them to try out. Keeping in mind the mutual benefits will help you grab the attention of a good wave of customers.
Marketing doesn’t have to break your bank or empty your pockets. Make sure your marketing plan is aligned to your goals. Using the above-mentioned strategies will help you reach marketing heights on a low budget through social media.
Try them out and Let me know!
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