Marketing Your Business on a BudgetPosted Apr 23, 2014
These days there are so many different ways to market your business. For example, who knew just 10 years ago how popular and important social media would become? If you told my college self that one day Facebook would be used to enhance business brands, I would have thought you were crazy. But it’s true — and social media is just one of the great cost-effective ways to market your business. Today’s blog focuses on a few ideas on how to use free or cost-effective tools to market your business.
Social Media Strategy
Social media has transformed the way businesses do their marketing today. I highly suggest that businesses make use of at least one, if not several depending on your type of business, forms of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. However, I also want to stress the importance of actively managing a social media account – not just creating one and then only updating it sporadically or completely forgetting about it. Make sure if you have an account that someone will have the time to update it at least a couple times a week, if not a day, depending on the medium. I will post a blog later this year with more details on social media tricks and tips.
Analytics: Setting up Google Analytics is a free way to analyze your company’s website performance and is key in understanding your audience. The site offers different dashboards to see demographics of your website visitors, how long they stay on a page, what the top most visited pages are, etc. In my opinion, this is one of the best tools available that offers insight into your target audience. The basic service is free and still very detailed.
AdWords: We have been doing Google AdWords at TRC for a few years now and find it very successful due to its specialized targeting and ability to analyze results. This tool isn’t free, but it does allow you to set your budget caps and adjust how you want to spend your money on ads. Our biggest success here has been advertising obliquely. For example, having our ads pop up when people type in search words such as “replace a thermostat” to get people to think about recycling before they even reach the “dispose of a mercury thermostat” phase.
It’s always a good idea to have some type of marketing collateral on hand, whether it be a brochure of your business services, a flyer to advertise a new promotion, a bumper sticker, etc., depending on who your target audience is. Don’t have an in-house design guru or money to pay a graphic designer? No problem – there are plenty of free websites available for beginners. I recommend checking out www.picmonkey.com and www.gimp.org to get started.
One more thing I will add about marketing collateral is cross-promotion. Do you know a business your company can partner with? My friend owns a bakery and I will use her as an example when she partnered with a local bike shop near her location. She provides cookies and flyers about her bakery to the bike shop to display in their store, and in return she has a place in her store for bike shop flyers.
I could go on and on about marketing ideas but I will stop here for today. Stay tuned for future posts on more ideas!