When your marketing budget is limited and let’s face it, most businesses are having this issue right now, the answer is about being strategic.
Being strategic means that you need to put some more work in yourself and unfortunately, as most of us who run our own business have time constraints, that may seem like a more difficult option, BUT this process can also be an educational journey.
Strategy is about understanding your customers’ demands and your own service/product capabilities. You’ve got to know how to join the two. For example, if you have an accounting firm and you need new business, what does your customer look like? Are they big business customers, small businesses or individuals? So then you have to ask yourself – what are my strengths and where can I add value? If your value is with doing individual returns, then you would be targeting younger customers, such as students or even entrepreneurs who are starting out – so you would use your time in networking at events whereby you would meet these types of people.
So networking is a big bonus, it can take time, but it gives you greater understanding of your business as you answer these questions about your potential clients and your own service or product.
Small businesses are generally about people and connections. I’m not saying that big business doesn’t do that, but they have the budgets to create brand awareness through mainstream media (that is emotional connection to their product). As a small business owner we often don’t have that luxury and most of the time have to be more niche in our approach to marketing.
Brand connection is vital and you can do that via smaller means such as social media marketing, building your brand online starting with
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Remember build trust by sharing and giving every first 3 or 4 times and then you can share your products the 5th time…people expect you to do this, if not they’ll switch off.
Creating videos is the ultimate way to engage and get your SEO numbers up, Your potential customers get to see who is behind the business and they build an immediate trust with the owner or staff member. Yes, pick the right staff member or actor! You can also create a YouTube Channel about your business and also share those videos on all social media. Involve other people’s business to get greater scope on your sharing. For example, if you are a builder, you could create building DIY tips and then use products from another store and so they would also share your material. In the case of crowd funding for example, video is key to share your message swiftly and strategically and most importantly engage your potential ‘funders’ emotionally by sharing your STORY.
Social Media in my eyes is the only way forward in marketing on a small budget including networking if possible, but remember it all starts with your content. Get clear on your brand and what your potential customers are looking for and what they are ‘feeling’, use that to connect and engage to create a clear message and you’ll make your business or idea ready for success!
Scarlett Zola Vespa
Brand You to Success