MARKETING IDEAS

Here is a basic list of marketing mediums, both free and paid, that could be useful to your small business. Before you start on any marketing think carefully which are best for your business and which are going to get your marketing message in front of your ideal customers. Don’t just blindly follow the crowd and do something because others are doing it. They may just be throwing their money down the drain or may have a different ideal customer to you.

Free marketing ideas

I want to put a disclaimer here.  Whilst I have said the list below is ‘free’ please remember that there is still a cost element due to the amount of time you will take to implement your marketing through these channels.

Directories

Most online directories offer a free listing.  Research the better ones and get yourself listed

Blog

Set up a free blog and post new articles frequently to build up a following of people who may become your future customers

Newsletters

These can be sent by email to your subscribers or posted out to potential customers, again dependent on your business and your ideal customer.

Social media

There are so many social media channels to choose from.  Start off setting up pages on just a couple of social media sites until you are comfortable with them and don’t become overwhelmed

Referrals

Ask people to refer customers to you.  If you don’t ask you don’t get!

Speaking events

Offer to do a free talk at local events to raise awareness of what you can do for potential clients

Media release

Send your details to as many publications as you can think of. You never know who may give you some free publicity

Telemarketing

If you have a phone contract and you don’t use all your minutes, take some time to call prospective customers to introduce yourself (don’t cold call though – a big no-no!!  You must have a connection with them first and permission to speak)

Networking

Attend networking events and turn up everywhere that your target audience hangs out.  Remember to take your business cards.

E-books

Create an E-book that is branded with your company details.  Offer as a free book to draw attention to your business.

Surveys

Carry out surveys online or in person to find out information about customer buying habits whilst raising awareness of your brand at the same time.

Contests

Run a contest or competition where the winner can get a free product or service or a discount on a purchase.  Raise awareness of your brand with all entrants.

Direct mail marketing

If done correctly, direct mail can still be a lucrative way of gaining new customers.

 

Paid for marketing ideas

Print advertising

Print can still work for many businesses and print tends to get read more in-depth than online ads.

Online advertising

Pay per Click/Advertising on complementary websites, social media adverts etc. all form part of online advertising

Leaflets

These can be professionally designed and printed or created from home.  Always do a test run on just a few before printing hundreds.

Business cards

Don’t leave home without them!  You never know when, or who, you are going to meet so have them ready to hand out.

Directories

Both print and online.  You can pay for a banner ad in directories that put your business at the top of the listings ahead of the free ads.

Events

From high-end trade events to setting up a stall at your local village fete.

Website

A website is essential for any business these days.  From a low cost ‘free template’ site to a professionally built site, just make sure your site will be able to grow and be changed in line with your business in the future.

Public relations

This can be expensive but if your business requires it, hiring a professional PR company can get great results and reduce the need for other forms of advertising.

Catalogues

Do you have products that would suit being put into a catalogue?  Catalogues can be digital or printed and then mailed to your prospective and existing customers.

Promotional materials

Pens, mugs, bags and notepads.  In fact, just about anything can be printed on.

Affiliate marketing

Get others to do the marketing for you and then pay them a small fee for each sale they make.  There are many affiliate sites online that can help you get set up.

Sponsorship

This can be from a single one-off event to sponsoring a team or organisation long term.

Signage

Think of where you might get seen by your ideal client.  From car stickers to roadside signage to billboards at sporting grounds or on buildings, start to take note of the different signage out there and where yours might fit in.

 

So there are just a few small business marketing ideas to get you thinking.  If you have any to add, pop them in the comments box below.

 

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