Nearly every business knows deep within that marketing is an essential component of its overall success. However, in today’s economy, few businesses are willing to spend large amounts of money on any budget breaking marketing campaigns. But because marketing is one of the only things that keeps your business connected with your customers, it should never be eliminated completely.
Although you’ll likely still have to devote a portion of your budget to this expense, there are a number of ways to supplement your marketing campaign with small yet effective acts that won’t break the bank. Below, you will find the top three ways to market your business during tough times at little or no cost to you.
1. Be a source of free information.
People are always looking for information, and as a business owner or manager, you’re a great source of information in your field. That information can be valuable for the people receiving it, and it can also be valuable for your business in that it affords you an excellent opportunity to market yourself. Writers for magazines, newspapers, and especially blogs would likely all be delighted to utilize your skills and harvest your knowledge for their articles and editorials.
Moreover, by speaking out about your field in an informative manner, you prove to current customers and potential customers (as well as competitors) that you are a leading source of knowledge in your field, making your business more appealing and your brand more trustworthy. By offering yourself up as an expert in your field, you’ll have a great opportunity to increase name recognition for your business or brand.
2. Don’t be afraid to market to new audiences.
One of the most common pieces of advice for companies just embarking on their marketing campaign is to determine and then address their target audience. While it is certainly important to thoroughly understand your demographic, you should never feel as if this is your only option. If your marketing needs an upgrade, consider climbing out of your target audience rut and experimenting with new audiences. You should still keep your target audience because, after all, they are probably your best chance of seeing results, but by experimenting with other audiences, you give yourself the opportunity to find customers and clients in places where you never thought possible. Not only that, but these new customers can (and often do) benefit businesses significantly by offering up new insights and perspectives on products and services. And- who knows- they might just change the direction of your business forever.
3. Visit your own website.
When people are searching for a product or service, one of the first things they do is search on the internet for a business that can provide that product or service. One of the best ways to lose a new customer is to have a website that is poorly designed, non-functional, or (heaven forbid) nonexistent. If you don’t have a website, then it’s absolutely time for you to create one. A basic business website can be inexpensive and easy to create and maintain, and even the most basic websites enable you to attract and retain customers who otherwise would have passed over your business without a second thought. Businesses which lack websites are often viewed as outdated, out of touch, uninformed, or simply unconcerned – impressions which are clearly undesirable.
But even if you have a website, you could still lose customers if that website is poorly designed or too slow to load. Consider this: Studies suggest that on average, people wait only 3-8 seconds for a website to load before losing interest and moving on to a competitor’s page. So visit your website often to presuppose any performance speed or interface problems.
Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive in order to be effective. By offering yourself up as an expert in your field, using part of your existing marketing budget to experiment with new audiences, and keeping your website up to date and fully functional, you stand to get much more bang for your marketing buck.