Both large and small businesses struggle with finding the best way to market their products or services. While all kinds of companies use similar marketing techniques, the way small businesses apply the techniques will be different due to the smaller demographic and customer base. There are five basic ways small businesses can market themselves effectively.
1) Give your customers free stuff
The customer should be rewarded for their loyalty and support by getting free or discounted stuff. Businesses can put coupons in community mailers or offer coupons on receipts for future purchases. Coupons in mailers can help draw new customers to your business while receipt coupons keep customers returning every week to get deals and free items. Use these methods to offer customers free trials or free samples as well. Offering customers the chance to try out a product or service will make them more comfortable purchasing it in the future.
Giving customers free stuff can become a physical marketing strategy as well. You can print your logo, company name, or contact information on custom printed pens, reusable shopping bags, water bottles, t-shirts, and more. Give these out at an event the company hosts or for customers who walk in the store. Customers will be happy to take the objects for free, but every time they use them, your business will be top-of-mind. This increases business exposure and lead generation opportunities.
2) Utilize social media and email marketing
Using social media and email marketing strategies can further increase business exposure. Printing deals and free trials on coupons and receipts is great, but it only reaches certain customers. It is vital in this day and age to keep up with Internet marketing in addition to utilizing printed materials, such as custom printed pens and mailers. Getting customers to sign up to an email mailing list will allow them to stay up to date on things going on with the business along with upcoming sales. Emails can even offer advice to customers within the business niche.
3) Network, network, network
Networking is one of the most important things a business can do to stay successful. This begins at the customer level. You can offer customers a discount or free products and services for every new customer they send to your business. Another great way to network with customers is to have a raffle where the customer who wins gets the product or service supplied to their entire workplace. This allows your business to reach many new customers at once.
4) Be able to sell your brand in less than six seconds
This is an important skill to have in a small business. Studies show that people only have an attention span of six seconds when they’re in casual environments. When explaining the brand, any longer than six seconds makes people lose interest. If you can get their attention in six seconds, then you only have one minute to fully explain the heart of your brand. Craft and practice a great pitch for your company with emphasis on grabbing attention within seconds of speaking. Keep the entire pitch short.
5) Collaborate with other non-competitive businesses
By joining up with other small businesses in your area, your business will focus on the community. This group of businesses can cross-promote each other by linking to each other’s websites and deals on their social media pages. They can also offer discounts to their customers if they bring in a receipt from your business, and vice versa.
Lionel Bryant is a resident of Tampa, FL. Recently graduating from the University of South Florida, where he received his degree in Marketing with a minor in English. He enjoys traveling, playing sports, and listening to music. Considered adventurous and spontaneous, Lionel is always interested in trying something new.