arketing involves branding products or services, promotions, pricing, trends, advertising research, and social media to promote a business. Whereas, these marketing strategies range from low-cost to high-cost ideas, especially for small and medium scale business.
Expectedly, the bigger the business’s stature, the higher the capacity to invest in the available marketing options. However, all businesses must define the scope and strategy that yields the best results irrespective of the size.
As a result, small businesses may become lost as to where to begin or which ideas are most affordable.
Therefore, this article discusses some crucial low-budget ideas that can enhance marketing for a small business to achieve great results. Moreover, the classification of these ideas may vary by carrying them out or if business owners need help.
But whether you’re launching a new business or improving an existing one, these low-cost ideas can definitely push you forward.
Top Marketing Strategies for Small Business
Small business startups also need to find social media marketing strategies that apply to small businesses. Besides, some of these strategies do not require so much capital investment to promote their businesses.
However, the following low capital ideas can help small business ventures increase their productivity levels.
1. Make an organized plan
It is not enough to make a plan; it needs to be an organized plan to bring the desired results. Firstly, clearly define what you want to achieve for your business and break them down into action points.
A simple test of knowing when you’re ready is to have an ‘elevator plan’ to render in 30 seconds. An elevator plan refers to what you can tell people you meet in an elevator about your business product or service.
When you have this plan, rehearse it several times and made adjustments until you have it ready.
2. Do market research
In executing viable business strategies, attempt to make a calculated risk and not a blind one. The magic want is to conduct thorough market research and gather all useful information in your business niche.
This step is part of your business plan. You need to get information about the customer’s mindset, thinking, buying patterns, behaviours, location, and other related factors.
Another benefit of market research is predicting your expected income or profit through the existing trends. Besides, you can also pay close attention to what your competitors are doing right or wrong.
3. Create a market profile
It can be pretty time-consuming and costly if you attempt to target the general public in your marketing promotion. However, the experience taught me that that is what a lot of startups do.
Perhaps, it is due to some of setting unrealistic goals or over-ambition. Whichever way, don’t fall into that trap of wanting everyone to buy what you are selling.
Instead, group your audience with different characteristics such as age, gender, income level, spent amount online, lifestyle, location, and others.
Not only must your target audience require your product/service, but they must also be able and willing to pay. Breaking down the factors,
- Demography includes gender, age, income, education level, and occupation.
- Lifestyle involves personal values, religion, social class, and personality.
- The behaviour has to do with attitude, spent time, readiness to buy, loyalty, and usage rates.
4. Develop a Brand for your product or service
Simply put, a brand is what you want your customers to think about when they see or you’re your business name. However, branding is more than having a logo, a tagline, or a business name.
In other words, a business brand connects with the emotions of your potential buyer. Moreover, it brings to the fore what you can do and how well you can deliver your claims.
Branding is one of the most sacred business strategies that a small business create and nurture. When a business develops a strong brand, many other things will fall into its own accord.
5. What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
If you want new customers to take your business seriously, you must have outstanding factors out of the crowd. That factor is your USP!
Any new business must clearly define what it does differently from others. A strong ability to convince your visitor to choose you above others is the USP, reflecting your unique skills.
USPs don’t always have to be entirely new; they may help achieve something more efficiently. For instance, if you run a logistics firm, your car may not be faster, but you can provide more safety.
6. Set clear goals of your desired marketing strategies
Setting your business goals is one of the most vital business strategies that a small business should implement. When small businesses set clear goals, it helps everyone have a single vision of what to achieve.
At the same time, whenever discouragement wants to set in, the goals inspire you to keep moving. These goals should have the following “SMART” characteristics:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-based
7. Have a budget
Without a budget, startups keep spending haphazardly and sporadically. At the end of this marketing process, the result is always catastrophic and way off target.
Experts have a general rule not to exceed 5% of your expected returns on marketing. However, as a new business just setting out, you may have to make some extra funds available.
Secondly, allocating your budget to these marketing strategies requires a small business to watch for specific components. Crucial components of your budget include the following:
- Branding and design
- Website development and social media management
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM), including Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies
- Print media, including business cards, flyers, and brochures
- Other advert media
- Donation and sponsorships
- Staff recruitment and remuneration
8. Draft out your marketing strategy
In setting business marketing strategies for a small scale business, you must have a clear path to follow. For instance, of all the strategies, what do you want to start with?
You want to have a website, social media handles, blog, flyers, print adverts, and networking events. Besides, you may also pay attention to words of mouth, sales letters, and cold calling.
Depending on your target audience’s nature, these business strategies have a way of influencing a small business. In all, ensure you draft out these strategies in a straightforward manner.
9. Make a good impression fast
This point is quite similar to the one above; you need to make an impressive impression as quickly as possible. That is, after making a solid plan, decide on where to start and make an excellent delivery.
For instance, you may decide to make a soft opening day or event with special offers or sales promos. If it takes employing some unique hands to make the event a memorable one, please do
Don’t underrate the power of crucial marketing ideas in building a sustainable small business.
10. Know your Audience
One of the first things that must be clear to an entrepreneur is his target audience’s definition. Thinking ‘anyone is your buyer’ is pitching oneself for failure because a more considerable market lacks specificity.
In other words, the specific qualities you use in choosing your audience, the more likely you are to find them. Large companies can take that risk, but a small company cannot afford to swim in the ocean just yet.
What does this audience want? Or what motivates their decisions to buy? What gives them a feeling of satisfaction? These are legitimate questions that can help you identify your audience.
11. Focus on specific objectives
If small businesses are not careful, they may be lost in the vast marketing world without a specific direction. Moreover, there are a gazillion ways to do a single thing in business marketing.
Don’t attempt to implement all your marketing strategies on a new and small business just yet. Therefore, strategic marketing is one of the productive marketing ideas that a small business can implement.
Similarly, a concentrated effort on a single strategy yields more productivity than many little efforts on many systems. Keep an eye on one key area at a time, and channel all your tactics and resources towards that goal.
12. Keep emphasizing your value proposition
A value proposition refers to the specific thing that your business offers that other companies don’t. Besides, you make more impressions as you front your value to convince your customers, clients, and partners.
As yourself, what do you do differently from others? Next is your ability to communicate it to convince potential customers to choose you above any other competitor.
13. Click on the customer’s emotion
Research showed that people often buy because of how they feel. In other words, whoever can control (or manipulate) how buyers feel can convert them to paying customers.
If you leave out the space of connecting with your buyer’s emotions, you still have a long way to go. Large corporations already won the hearts of their customers through brand identity.
However, brand marketing ideas may take time for a small scale business to build and sustain. Till then, continue to follow customer behaviour and meet their needs.
14. Bank on short-term goals
I know you have lofty goals and dreams, but you may never get there if you don’t take it in bits. Therefore, an excellent way to see the returns on investment sooner than later is to bank on short term goals.
Achieving short-term goals tend to give you the momentum to pursue the big game. Besides, little streams of profit from these short-term goals become critical to financing the larger projects.
Besides, so-called long-term goals can run on sustainable growth models from smaller projects. It also remains conscious of small projects than large ones.
15. Build sustainable marketing models
Monitor your results closely to build sustainable models that can stand the test of time. At the end of every small success, identify the pathway to success and the responsible factors.
From there, you can test such factors while tweaking some other conditions. However, don’t forget to keep records of the journey as your progress.
For instance, running an SEO campaign may not bring results for some weeks. But when it eventually does, it is worth all the effort that is put into it.
16. Double your efforts on what works
When you identify what works for your small business, intensify your efforts all them. In other words, pay some attention to the collected data, which may also include your customers’ responses.
Over time, you will identify not only what works but why what works does. And as you scale up your businesses, you may sustain some of these factors and build them into working models.
17. Go Online to implement some of your marketing strategies
One of the first steps to start a business is building an online platform. Online statistics showed that up to 97% of sampled users find local businesses online rather than other places.
Just today, a friend told me how a client found his service online without owning a website. One key advantage of online business is the vast world of an audience that already exists.
It would be best if you found specific people with interest in what you sell or offer. In other words, make your business searchable online and engage with your customers to build integrity and loyalty.
18. Claim your business online
A few months ago, I started a new website, and I supposedly figured out everything. Well, except that someone used the domain name I chose for the site.
What! I thought it was unique! See, that’s why you need to claim the identity of your business brand online. And Google makes that relatively easy.
Create a Google My Business Page and create a profile for your business, providing all the necessary details. Afterwards, verify the site using your Gmail, and voila, you’re there!
19. Optimize your social media
That very possible! If you play your cards correctly on this feature, you can build a formidable and successful business online. Similarly, social media allows you to list your business for people to find you.
For instance, Facebook can help you create a brand that supplies products and services to those who need them. Other platforms like Instagram are also applicable to promote your business, such as photography or clothing line.
Therefore, internet footprint is not all about bad records of activity but can apply to entrepreneurial success. Other social network platforms include LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest, which can all serve great purposes.
how much should I spend on marketing my small business?
marketing strategies should not cost more than 5% of your expected annual returns
how much to spend on marketing small business?
marketing small businesses should cost between 3 to 5% of your total expected income
how to marketing small business
small business marketing take similar strategies to other scales apart from the scale and budget limits
how much should a small business budget for marketing
Your marketing budget should not be more than 5% of your total expected income.
20. Have a Website for your small business
Today’s businesses can hardly thrive without an online presence, one of which is owning a website. Even when potential customers find your business physically, they still search for your name on Google.
Perhaps, some of them take owning a website as a means of credibility or having a better feel of what you do. All the same, you must own a website and make it mobile-friendly through optimization.
Your website must also rank well in organic search results of all available search engines, with Google on top. By the way, you may need a professional to help you set things up.
21. Add Blogging to attract more customers
A good business website should add a blog to generate organic traffic from readers. Also, having a blog will provide your visitors with any information that they may like to learn.
Also, blogging as one of the marketing strategies enhances the integrity and credibility of a small business. As you create a website from a template, adding a blog brings many other features that can increase your visibility.
You may also like to add a call-to-action to all your posts to lead your readers to your products/services. Besides, it can provide a great way to collect leads through email subscription to regular updates.
22. Use Google Adwords
Unless you try your hands on some Google features, such as Adwords, you may never know what you’re missing. Adwords help you to target the specific keywords that your potential customers are searching for online.
Therefore, you can tailor your adverts, promos for all products and services towards these keywords. Simultaneously, you can focus more on the few critical keywords rather than biting too many.
Also, Google Adwords allows you to budget your bid on a keyword through a pay-per-click feature of Search Engine Marketing.
23. Local branding and awareness
Another essential factor among marketing strategies that a small business outfit can use is local awareness. In other words, the first place to create an identity for your product or service is your immediate environment.
This factor is also proportional to what the Google My Business page does for you. First of all, it helps searchers within your locality find your business and check you out.
In other words, spread out from your immediate circle to reach your widest audience. Get your name out, thereby meeting the needs of those nearest to you.
24. Build an increasing network of friends
At times, the magic you need to start a thing is available through your closest friends and associate. I once watched Jack Ma narrate the story of how Ali Baba built trust and credibility.
Many of the early staff members were selling and buying their own things online to keep things going. So, who says you can’t ask your friends and families to try out your product or service for free?
From there, let them give feedback, reviews and volunteer for your campaigns and advertisement programs. Join local networks, groups, and associations, as well as donate needed items to the community.
25. Advertise your business
If a strategy is indispensable to both small-medium and large scale business, it is an advertisement.
Don’t let anyone deceive you into having enough advertisement for your products or services.
Yesterday, while speaking with a friend, he told me about how big companies promote their products/services.
Why would anyone want to choose you above others if you don’t stand out? As you understudy your business strategies, you must advertise too.
The truth about marketing strategies is that there is always space for a small business to thrive.
That is, if a business starts today on a unique idea and targets the right audience, it will succeed.
26. Use free promotional tools
It is also essential to take advantage of the free promotional tools that are available online.
Depending on what you desire to do, ranging from reaching customers, communications, and promotions, it is always possible.
However, some of these tools may require a little subscription for many more features. On the other hand, you can explore some social media tools to help with a small business.
27. Giveaways, promos, coupons, free products, and services
It will amaze you that many multinationals into consumer products, especially, do giveaways. This strategy has a significant benefit over other business strategies that a small business can employ.
It allows business owners to reach the unreached audience and spread more into new environments. Directly, gifts, promos, discounts, and coupons make a customer happy.
And a happy customer will likely come back in appreciation or in wanting more. Besides, let those who promote your business always desire to co-opt and influence their own circles.
28. Leverage on existing customers
According to Forbes, it cost about five times to get new customers than to maintain an existing one. In other words, you need to spend more energy on existing customers even though you still need new ones.
Your marketing strategies should provide for influencing more purchases, cross-selling, and upselling for your small business.
Bank on the previous good impressions to further promote the right image of your business brand. As long as these loyal customers get what they want, they remain happy, but so will you.
29. Nurture loyal customers
Converting leads of visitors into paying customers and winning their trust and loyalty are crucial to business success. In other words, when you identify loyal customers, it is expedient to nurture your business relationship.
Research showed that a good customer service relationship ensures that customers remain happy to return. On the contrary, marketing strategies that don’t make room for that may affect the small business.
7 strategies to keep loyal customers happy
- Regular communication through every possible means
- Listen to your customers’ interests through feedbacks.
- Keep your promises during delivery.
- If possible, exceed initial expectations.
- Follow up on every successful and unsuccessful sale.
- Update your staff skills through customer service training and sales strategies
- Resolve every complaint as soon as possible
30. Monitor and Review your progress
After implementing all the essential marketing plans, it is vital to keep tabs on them through monitoring.
Also, review your marketing strategies to see the effects on your small business.
Furthermore, check how it aligns with your set goals and what conditions you can tweak for better results are.
The maintenance strategies should be regular, such as monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly, with reports.
Also, there are free analytic tools that can help with regular monitoring and analysis and produce reports.
You can also connect these tools with your website, and social media handles to make progress.
Conclusion on Marketing Strategies for a Small Business
On a final note, all your business marketing strategies must carry the ability to achieve your business goals.
At the end of the marketing strategies planning, your small business should boast of remarkable achievements.
Which of the marketing strategies above is the easiest for you?