Every business should grow and marketing is a sure way to promote the growth of your big or small business. If you are part of the 35 percent of Nigerians who are serial entrepreneurs, then you may have started more than one business before, but how many survived or are still standing strong? Most times, good marketing may be what your business is missing or missed.
Good marketing increases your sales, boosts your reputation positively, helps you grow an audience and build a community by earning trust and still has plenty of other benefits. You may have lived into and believed the generalizations that marketing is expensive and is for only big businesses and brands, but first of all remember that big businesses started small and grew to be big and most importantly, almost every marketing technique is budget-friendly. So the question is if you are willing to do any marketing at all? Are you ready to commit marketing efforts to your small business?
If your answer is yes, then I’m happy you found this article. I’m going to show you some ways to market your business for free and/or almost free, but the main gist is that the principal currency you’ll be spending is your time and efforts.
Ways To Market Your Small Business For Free
I’ve gathered from other experts and from my experience as well, the following ways to market your business both online and offline at little or no cost.
- Always carry your business card: Business cards give you room to quickly exchange information and they can lend some credibility and professionalism too. You can meet potential clients, vendors, or even employees pretty much anywhere, so you want to be prepared. Rember to always stack some in your purse or wallet.
- In-Person Networking: Networking goes hand in hand with using the business card strategy but it comes with even more advantages because you can network both online and offline. Your network already knows and hopefully trusts you. Reaching out and letting them know that your business is open and what you can do for them is all that’s needed. This can be effective even if it’s a single Facebook post letting your friends know about your goods and services.
People who know you most will be most likely to check it out and they may even tag some of their friends who need the services you offer. However, ultimately nothing beats meeting people in person.
- Be recognizable as a brand: Ensure your logo, brochures, website, and any other additional marketing material is unique and conveying the correct message of what your business stands for. Use the positives in your business to create a strong image that is instantly recognizable, will engage customers, and draw people back to you for more.
- Open a Facebook Page: If you haven’t already signed on to or gotten serious about a social platform, Facebook may be one of the best places to start. A Facebook page has so many tools you can use to promote your business for free and it has built-in automations to help save your time and effort. Facebook is the most used social media website in the world and you’ll definitely find your target audience and potential buyers there.
- Open a Facebook group: The essence of this is to help you to organically build an audience of raving fans who will likely buy from you. Not only that, it will help you gain more trust and credibility in your niche over others who don’t have any thriving Facebook community. Creating a Facebook group gives you the opportunity to create a huge buying market without having to pay for advertising.
- Take advantage of Brand mentions and Partnerships: What is your relationship with other small businesses, the media, e.t.c ?. Partnering up with other small businesses—officially or unofficially—is a great way to go. This could be a vendor, but it could also be other businesses in complementary industries that share a target audience with you. Imagine that you have good relations with over six businesses in same or different industries and your brand name is coming up positively in their conversations or even from their marketing, that’s ultimately a plus for you. You are building brand reputation and equity at no cost.
- Use Instagram: Understand that instagram users favours good, aesthetically pleasing and most often relateable and useful content. So if you know you have valuable content to share, instagram has room of opportunities awiting you.
- Get listed on Google my business: Now this is super free, effective and simple to set up. I always recommend it to businesses especially those who offer B2C services, or sell consumer goods and run local businesses. It boosts your online visibility to a great extent if you properly optimize your listing for keywords in your market or industry. Once a person searches those related keywords they can find your listing, check your profile to see what you do or just pick your details and reach out straight up. Try this and you will be amazed at the statistics you will receive in your mail monthly from Google. It awesome marketing at no cost, except you want to launch a PPC marketing campaign which is a highly effective form of paid advertising.
- Stand Out from the crowd: Make sure your business has its unique selling point. Don’t go about doing the same thing every other person is doing, the same way they’re doing it. This just shrinks your marketing effort because you make it harder for them to choose you instead of every other business out there.
Marketing is necessary if you want your business to survive, let alone grow, but that doesn’t mean you should empty your purse wile at it. Although paid advertising with huge budgets, opens its own doors of opportunities, these small business marketing tips can help you to actively invest in your business so you can get the most out of any budget that you have available.
If you need help optimizing your google my business listing, or conceptualizing and designing your brand identity, you can contact us at Silahub.