Small- and medium-sized business owners rack their brains for marketing ideas that are affordable. They want low-cost, yet sophisticated ways to market their business that may be cheap—moneywise—yet don’t mar the company’s image with tacky marketing ploys.
Writing in the April 2015 edition of Entrepreneur, Victoria Treyger, the chief marketing officer of Kabbage, a lending platform that provides funds to small businesses, shares some ideas that can help small- and medium-sized organizations save money, yet promote their business effectively. Here are some of her economical marketing tactics:
Discover Your Target Market
When you limit your outreach to those most likely to buy your product or try your service, every dollar you spend will become more effective. To learn who your target market is, though, you need to do a little research. Fortunately, doing research—if you do it yourself—costs you only the time you spend at the task.
A company owner should think of all the distinguishing characteristics of his or her typical customer. Let’s suppose a company sells high-end equestrian equipment. That company’s target customers will more than likely frequent horse shows, attend charity equestrian-themed events, and search the Internet for news about their favorite sport.
Next, that entrepreneur should use Google Analytics to see which keywords and keyphrases people in his or her target market use to find products and services—in this case equestrian equipment–the company provides. Then, the company needs to use those keywords and keyphrases in blog posts on its website, social media posts, and paid Facebook and Google ads, if it has the money in your budget. If not, the company should publish articles that position it as an authority in its field.
The owner should also check in on his or her competition. When the owner discovers areas in which the competition lacks strength, s/he should concentrate his or her marketing efforts on those areas. Those areas, says Treyger, gives a company “the best chance to grow.”
Use Email to Market Products and Products
For only about $20.00 a month, a company can use a powerful email platform, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact. The company can use regularly schedule emails to provide prospective customers with valuable information they can use to make more money, make life easier, or better enjoy their spare time.
When a company becomes a source of usable information, it becomes an authority in its field, especially in the minds of potential customers. Those potential customers, when they need a product or service, will more likely turn to that company to provide those services. According to Treyger, returns on investment are high for email marketing—more than an average $40.00 return for each $1.00 the company spends on that form of marketing.
Appeal to Customers’ Desire to Be in the “In Crowd”
Nothing succeeds in marketing like creating a tribe of brand evangelists. How can a company accomplish this feat? Several ways, says Treyger. First of all, a company needs to optimize its search engine results so it sits near the top of searches for its best-selling products and services.
Secondly—and this dovetails with the company’s email marketing strategy—a company needs to create an exclusive mailing list for its loyal customers and for those who refer others. For those who are on this list, provide rewards—informative articles, e-books, promotional wear and other valuable perks—so that others want to get on the “loyal customers” list and get in on the rewards.
One doesn’t need to hire a costly Internet marketing company to market one’s business effectively. All a company needs is to take a little time, a little effort, and the right strategy.