If you’re like many small businesses or even just starting out, setting aside a huge marketing budget every month can be a challenge. From setting up paid ads to developing an entire campaign, it can seem like a daunting task to put everything together, set aside a budget, and get a positive ROI.
At VIG, we’ve worked with many small businesses just like yours to come up with cost-effective marketing ideas businesses can use to build awareness for their brands and grow their sales. From email campaigns to writing tailored blogs for different industries, we’ve seen just about every trick in the book when it comes to marketing ideas and tactics.
To help businesses just like yours, we’ve put together our top tips any business can use to stand out from the crowd and make a positive impact in their market.
Get ready to do something VIG!
Do Some Housecleaning
Before you think about investing in paid online advertising or other common marketing strategies like networking on social media, you need to take a hard look at your existing materials and do some basic housecleaning. Everything from your logos, content, and images should be clean and up to date across both print and digital mediums.
Going through your website and cleaning up content is a great place to start. Making sure your product/service descriptions are clear and to the point and that your images are not pixelated and hard to see is a must. Updating your logos, about description, and profile across social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram will help you create a professional and cohesive brand image as well.
Making sure your logo, font type, and color scheme on business cards, company brochures, and pamphlets is another essential component that will help you manage your brand. Lastly, making sure your contact information, name, and logo are updated on online directories like your Google Business Listing, Yelp, and trade directories will help reduce confusion from outdated info.
Be Active On Social Media
Countless blogs across the internet highlight the benefits of being active on social media and encourage businesses to maintain their presence. Where many blogs fall short is defining what is “Active” and how often businesses should really post on their Facebook, Twitter, and other social media pages.
In short, it truly depends on your business and industry. At VIG, we usually recommend that our clients post something at least once a week to keep followers engaged and content fresh on their page. This doesn’t require you to be a master blogger or for you to post something groundbreaking, a casual share of an industry update is perfectly fine.
We’ve seen clients write basic blogs about tips and tricks their customers can use and also share interesting industry related articles as well. The choice of what you post is ultimately yours and will be based on your industry and the type of customers your targeting.
Get Involved With Your Community
Reaching out to members of your local community and getting involved is one of the best marketing and public relations efforts you can make. Getting involved with your local chamber of commerce like the York Economic Alliance or Small Business Association is a great way to get out in the community and get your face in front of professionals and potential customers alike. Furthermore, helping to sponsor an event like a local 5k for well-known charity or even donating items/services to a silent auction are other cost-effective ways to get your business’ name in front of more people.
The benefit of being a small local business is your opportunity to build lasting relationships with people in your community. Shaking hands, saying hello, and getting involved with the people in the surrounding area is one of the easiest and most important ways you can grow your business. Use this to your advantage and don’t be afraid to partner with other organizations like t-ball leagues, soccer clubs, or even churches. With sponsorship opportunities as well as great people, there’s no telling what could happen.
Fresh Content Never Hurts
In the social media section above we briefly mentioned blogging, but we would be doing you an injustice if we didn’t list a few benefits and explain why Some of you might be thinking that blogging is an outdated way of connecting with people and posting content to the web. Plus, that its difficult, time consuming, and ineffective.
Blogging is actually one of the most effective ways to not only drive users to your website through social media but it’s also one of the easiest ways to improve the organic SEO ranking of your website. Writing your own blogs gives you the opportunity to choose a topic that’s both useful and interesting to your customers. Through writing blogs like “How to save money on your heating bill (HVAC)” or “how to save money on your next oil change (Automotive), you can attract users to your website or social media page to find out more.
The longer users are on your site or social media page reading content, the more likely they are going to stop into your business or open a line of communication through either email or by posting a comment. This communication can be invaluable and help you build a relationship or at least maintain a strong digital presence.
Blogging also helps improve the search rank of your website on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Search engines like the ones listed prefer to send search users to sites with recently uploaded and relevant content in an effort to create a good search experience. If your site has a blog that hasn’t been updated in the past five years, there’s a good chance it’s hurting your ranking.
Reaching a target market and growing your business on a budget isn’t easy. From paid advertising to investing heavily in SEO and other efforts, marketing can seem like an expensive never-ending challenge. We’ve seen businesses of almost every size and industry try to make the most of their marketing efforts using a plethora of tactics.
Whether you’re a blogger or social media is your preferred outlet, the tips above can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace and make a positive impact on your marketing efforts.
For the latest in marketing strategies, tactics, and methods, Think VIG!