How To: Market your small business with a small budget
Although the sluggish economy recovery may beg to differ, it’s a great time to own a small business, especially when it comes to marketing your business. Advertising can be extremely expensive, but there are also so many cheap or free tools to use to spread the message of your product or service.
One of the most difficult things in a crowded market (because now more than ever there are so many good companies offering great products and services) is being heard over all the noise. But don’t go outsourcing your advertising to a big, pricey marketing firm yet. Be sure you’ve done the basics, and following are a few of our suggestions of where to start.
Free directory listings
The easiest way to find out anything about, well, anything is doing a search through Google or a similar search engine. This means that your presence online has to be functioning from Day One of your business opening.
Do not forget to register with Yelp, Google Local business Center, Yahoo! Local, Yellow Pages, and other directory listings. Not only will you be easier to locate digitally, but you will also be able to provide company information like your business hours, a map, phone numbers and your website URL. And like Yelp, several of these listings also encourage users to leave feedback and reviews.
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Reach out to local media
Do you think your service or product is newsworthy? Do not pass up a chance to have it featured by your local newspaper, radio show or news channel. Before pitching your story to the local news, make sure that your product or service is one of the following:
- Is it award-winning or trendsetting?
- Does it solve a problem?
- Does it provide a unique service?
- For a video segment, is it something that can be visually displayed well?
Get involved in the community
Have you ever thought of sponsoring a kid’s sports team? You could print bookmarks with your business information and leave them at local libraries. Depending on the age of your ideal customer, coasters at bars are a good way to advertise too. Being involved with your community – whether through advertising in certain businesses or volunteering in the community – is a great way to show support for your town or city, and will no doubt endear your brand to some.
What do you think is the best way for a small business to market or advertise?
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