When you’re first starting a business, you budget seems to have more line items than you have budget. Marketing might seem beyond your reach, and it may be for the time being. You might be able to afford some consultations with a professional marketing company, but it might be some time before marketing consultants have a line of their own in your ledger. There are things that you can do to get your brand out there that may not be champagne, but are solid building block to your first marketing efforts.
Write a blog, do a podcast, make a video or vlog. Content is king! When you create content, you’re bringing you passion for your business to the public, and it can be some of the best marketing ever. Podcasts are still a vital tool in reaching people with your message, and while it might seem like a geek niche, 20 percent of Pew’s respondents still listen in.
Email is not dead! As a standalone, it might end up in the spam filter, but customers like to be informed, get exclusive deals, and learn about new products. It also still offers the best ROI ever.
Post on social media every day. Figure out what social media your customers and target audience use, and post there every day. Follow, friend, like, and be social! Facebook is not the alpha and omega of social media, nor is Twitter. Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Youtube, Tumblr, and others can be a vital part of your social media mix.
Do raffles, giveaways, coupons, and loyalty programs. Offer a Facebook-only coupon, or (local laws permitting) raffle an item to raise funds for your favorite charity, reward loyal customers with points and freebies when they keep coming back. Even better, offer something for customer referrals!
Network your butt off. Join local business groups and be active in your community. Sponsor a beach clean-up, or connect with a local chamber of commerce. Raise your profile by getting out there!
Ask for reviews and likes. This is sensitive. There are lots of pros and cons to asking for reviews and likes, but under no circumstance should you ever offer a “compensated review” scheme. You should also never offer anyone anything to hot a competitor with a bad review. That is Black Hat all the way, and no legitimate marketer would do it. You’re working to build trust in your business, and when these things come to light – and they always do – your reputation may not be salvageable. The rule on this is, “Ask, but do not solicit.”
These are just a few little tips, but just reading through the blog can help you to gather a lot of tips and tricks to boost your marketing savvy. You are not going to see overnight results, but with dedication and practice, you’ll have quantifiable results sooner than you think. We’ll be happy to work with you any time, and we welcome questions, comments, and respectful dialogue.