Corporations and large businesses have the finances to try out many promotional ideas before committing to the ones that work best. But as a startup or a small business, you’re better off picking strategies that you know will pay off.
Success and failure often comes down to how the marketing efforts are made, and marketing can be expensive. According to CB Insights, one of the main reasons startups fail is because they run out of money.
Which is why picking the right strategies from the get-go can save you from becoming a relic of the past and take your business to new heights. We will outline effective strategies you should use to promote your business, even if you’re strapped for cash.
Use Flyers to Create Hype
Flyers, both online and offline have been the go to advertisement tool for many businesses, especially those looking into the more traditional side of advertising. And for good reason too. According to a research study published in the Journal of Advertising Research in 2018, both print and online flyers have a similar effect on purchase behavior and memory. This means that e-flyers will work just as well as traditional flyers, minus the cost.
Using flyers online is a great option as you save up greatly on printing and delivery costs and it’s infinitely easier to just create your e-flyer, download and queue it up on social media.
A free tool like PosterMyWall is what you need to get started with creating and publishing your e-flyer. It has a minimal learning curve and makes it easy to design your flyers the way you like them. You can find thousands of professional-looking templates that you can customize as you see fit and even add your own logo.
You’re designing flyers to promote your product or service, so some flyers are better at getting the word out than others. Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing your flyer:
- Make them easy to read – use a maximum of two fonts
- Separate the leaflets into heading and body copy
- Have something interesting and relevant to say
- Make sure the pictures, headlines and text align properly
- Add a CTA, asking them to perform an action such as buy a product or read a blog post.
Couple your flyers with an effective delivery system like emails or social media publishing and you’ve got the whole package.
Become an Expert in Your Field
Building a strong presence online is cost-effective and straightforward, but it’s not easy.
You need to reach your target audience, provide them with value and deliver essential information about your industry for them to consider you knowledgeable.
Blogging is a solid start to build your name in the industry. Blogs allow you to produce high quality content and showcase your expertise, cementing your spot as an authority in your niche.
The Hub does this well. They’re a group of expert musicians, dedicated to providing all kinds of advice on music, such as how to check an instrument to what to look for when buying one.
Such insight is beneficial for visitors, especially in the awareness stage. Businesses can capitalize on their expertise by producing such consumer-centric blogs, allowing them to experience more leads than before.
If you haven’t started your blog, it’s not too late! Just head over to Squarespace to build a professional looking site in no time. They have a wide range of great looking templates and they have a template that’s the right fit for your business.
Not only will a blog help you gain traction and visibility as a brand, but it can also help you foster strong relationships with new and existing clients.
Search engines like Yahoo, Google, and Bing are always looking for fresh and relevant content to index. When you post consistently to your business blog, you’re giving them exactly what they need.
Adding to that, once you have at least 21 blog posts added to your website, you can expect a lead generation increase of about 30%, according to Traffic Generation Café.
Blogging allows you to build trust and interact with your target audience by giving them information that they value.
Writing informative blogs, guest posting, and hosting/attending podcasts within your chosen industry niche will make you the go-to resource for information, resulting in more inquiries about your business and higher conversion rates.
Socialize with Your Followers
As a new business, the last thing you want is for your customers to perceive your brand as a robotic, faceless entity. Trust is built by putting yourself out there and being a voice that resonates with your target audience.
To get the most out of social media, you’ll need to hone the art of selling, and humanize your company along the way. You can make online communities around your products and the problems you solve, creating the impression that your brand really cares about its customers and prospects.
There’s a ton of advantages of humanizing your company to become a likeable brand. A loyal fan base will advocate your products and services free of cost, on social media and even when interacting with others. And potential customers are more likely to heed a friend’s advice over an online ad.
Remember, the only way to win is to make social a two-way conversation where you’ll have to listen and respond to your audience – that’s the only way to promote your small business.
Build followership by asking partners, employees and sponsors to like and share your pages and posts – these social shares increase brand awareness and open your small business up to a broader audience.
For maximum social media exposure, you’ll need the help of specialized tools to organize and align your content for increased impact by using video content to inform your audience about upcoming events and updates.
Stock graphics don’t offer the same level of personalization as branded graphics where the typography and aesthetics match the overall look and feel of your brand. You also need to adapt the graphics to the right size for omni channel marketing on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and more.
Instead of preparing content daily, you ought to prepare a week’s worth of content in one day and schedule it to post over the week. This saves much needed time and you end up posting on times when you’re likely to get more engagement.
Use Email to Build a Direct Connection
Small businesses can’t afford to lose time with promotional strategies that won’t sit well with the target audience.
While social media is an effective tool to build relationships and communicate with your audience, it’s not a great tool to gain organic reach without spending on ads, which can be expensive.
On the other hand, email marketing provides you with a direct channel to reach out to leads and customers.
Email works well as a form of permission marketing where you ask users for their email on your website and send them promotional material straight to their inbox.
Apart from that, sending promotional emails is a convenient, personalized, and instant way for your business to inform customers about:
- Loyalty or Reward programs
- Contests or sweepstakes
- Sneak peek at new products
- Free Content – newsletters & e-books
- Products or Services
- Discount coupons and other promotions
Use MailChimp or a similar email marketing platform to send out emails in bulk, as sending bulk emails via your personal email address is not recommended nor works as email services like gmail have a limit of sending only 200 emails in a single go. Services like MailChimp also provide you with your own dedicated email domain for your brand.
That’s not all, you want to pay attention to your emails’ aesthetics as spammy and ugly emails may just end up getting ignored or even worse, provide them a reason to unsubscribe from your email list because of a lack of perceived value.
So, always remember to design an eye-catching newsletter or a simple email header to appeal to your prospects. And don’t forget to optimize the text, use a clean and simple email design template and add a button for CTAs to elevate your emails.
Use ‘Bite-Sized’ Stories to Appeal to Younger Audiences
Instagram and Snapchat Stories are a fun way to use video, by providing small snippets of information while keeping things casual. Stories are also present for a limited time, so you have 24 hours to catch your audience’s attention before the Story disappears forever.
Stories that work best are the interactive ones. Create quizzes, ask them to swipe up to get a bigger nugget of information or create a sequence of Stories with small details about your latest product. Videos are great at keeping audiences engaged, more so than images and text based content are, so more effective at getting conversions.
And there’s no single rule to keep audiences engaged. Do what works in your niche. For instance, Barnerbrand highlights the benefits of its computer glasses in Instagram stories to appeal to people concerned about blue light straining and damaging their eyes.
In contrast, Redbull immerses its audiences in the moment with stories from various influencers like Aaron Fitzgerald. They even showed intense scenes of a helicopter flying upside down and engaged audiences through online polls in their stories.
These innovative video strategies not only increase exposure, but their bite-sized nature retains the element of interest – leading to longer consumer retention and increased brand awareness.
Video was once an option limited to those few with the means to sustain a team of videographers.
That’s no longer true. Even with a limited budget, online tools like Canva allow you to create videos on a regular basis for your business. How? You can choose from a lot of video templates and adapt these templates to your marketing needs.
You even get the freedom to experiment with other types of content, engaging your audience more flexibly while you outsmart the constantly evolving Instagram and snapchat algorithm.
Now we know that even if you’re on a budget, it is possible to promote a small business successfully. Now go out there, market and develop your business like never before!