When it comes to advertising your small business, the first thing that pops into most small business owners’ heads is ‘how much time will it take’ and ‘how much will it cost’.
It’s not that small business owners are ignorant of the power of advertisement, but often they’re working on a tight budget and as a result have limited resources. A lot of regular advertising methods either cost a lot of money, or take up so much time – even more so if your experience of them is limited – that many get put off.
However, there are plenty of ways for you to advertise your business without costing your small business a fortune or using up a small business owner’s valuable time. Here are our top five.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to spread the word about your business, social media is an obvious and effective option. With a solid social media strategy you can create a community simply with a unique brand voice and insightful content.
If you don’t have the time or resources to create a successful social media strategy yourself, you can always outsource. This will be a great investment if you want to boost your business’ views and reach out to your target audience, and compared to buying PPC advertisement, will work out very cheap indeed!
If you decide to look after your business’ social media yourself, do not to use it as a megaphone for your sales – even though the aim is to advertise your business. Social media users value businesses who can recognise that the social media platform should not be abused. If you’re there for genuine interaction, you’ll be much more likely to make a good impression.
Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM)
For local businesses WOMM will rely on a great service and assuming customers will tell their friends when they’re in need. However, to boost this you can create a ‘refer a friend’ scheme, where customers who refer their friends get a certain percentage off their next purchase. This may cost a little but could go a long way in finding loyal customers.
If you’re an online business you have the added advantage of online reviews. Reviews is a huge part of how customer buy. In fact, for those with younger target audiences, a report by Accenture recently revealed that 40% of ‘Gen Z’ shoppers will provide feedback ‘often’ or ‘very often’ compared to 35% of ‘Millennials’. Younger shoppers are also more likely to buy based on reviews, with twice as many ‘Gen Z’ shoppers than ‘Millennials’ turning to Youtube before making a purchase.
Reviews from peers mean a lot to shoppers, so make sure your service is top notch!
Guest blogging is the process of providing valuable and insightful content to blogs or websites your industry that may have a similar audience to you. Not only is this a great way for you to spread the word about the business and show authority in your field, it’s also great SEO practice for your website (providing the links are genuine, and provide value).
Choose a topic and write everything you know on it. If you’re not sure what angle to take, you can use websites such as Portent’s Content Idea Generator to help you get that head-start. Editing and proofreading your articles is an important practice if you want to gain a good reputation as a guest blogger.
If you’re an online business, building a client base can seem like an uphill struggle. If you’re struggling, try building an email list of potential clients. You can start creating an email list by simply adding a newsletter sign up box to your website, and sharing this on social media.
You could also organise a freebie giveaway (and include an email address as a call to action), or you can upload a guide with information that will be valuable to your customers, and put this behind a ‘sign up to our newsletter’ wall.
This way, you can pass on industry information which will be more valuable as only those willing to sign up will have access – therefore it’s not publicly available and will hold more authority (provided it’s from a good source and contains industry-specific information).
There’s no simpler way of creating a buzz around your business in the local community than getting in amongst it. If your community has a local event that it makes sense for your business to get involved in, then don’t hesitate to jump in and offer a hand.
Whether you want to help out with a fundraising event or even host your own, it can be a great way for you to support a charity that’s important to your business and for you to get the word out about your business.
Other events such as workshops or offering to talk on a specific industry-related topic you’re well-versed in can be another great way to spread the word about your business by becoming involved in the local community.
So, how will you be advertising your business? Or have we missed off a great and cheap way to advertise a small business? Leave your comments in the section below!