12 Ideas To Market Your Small Business Part 2

How to market your small business

More ideas to market your small business with little or no money.

Having a tiny budget to market your business can make it hard to attract the attention of potential customers, but it is certainly not impossible.

This is the 2nd part of a mini series!

Read Part 1: How To Market Your Small Business On A Small Budget

Take a look at all of my 12 marketing ideas and then pick out the ones that work best for you, your lifestyle, your budget and your business.

Affordable Small Business Marketing Ideas

Ideas to market your Avon business

Idea #6 – Embrace Content Marketing

Content Marketing is hugely important no matter how large or small your business is. What exactly is content marketing? It is the process of creating and then sharing valuable, relevant and engaging written content to attract and engage a target audience online.

Online content is produced for three main purposes:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
2. To convince your visitors to purchase your products
3. To be shared with as many people as possible

Marketing used to equal paid Advertising, not so much any more!

Businesses used to have to spend a lot of money on advertising (print, radio, TV, bulk mailings, etc) in order to make money. Check out more small business tips to grow quickly grow your business without breaking your budget.

Content marketing destroys that way of thinking, and that is a great concept for small business owners.

Valuable and relevant content will be shared and that is much more powerful than paid advertising any day. It will help with your business credibility, your SEO, and will bring you more visitors and potential buyers. They in turn will share your content and so on… You get the picture!

To create valuable content you need to write with your audience in mind.

Learn to understand your customers.

Know their pains, what gets them psyched, and what keeps them up at night. Great content addresses your customers needs and concerns!

Marketing comic strip

To keep your visitors and potential clients and customers engaged, and to promote sharing, you need to add visual elements to break up your text paragraphs. People get bored with text super fast, especially if it is small and hard to read.

Add images to make a point or simply incorporate extra white space between the paragraphs to break them up.

Do you think I’m doing a good job laying out my articles? Leave me a comment below.

Seven content marketing examples to try:

  • Case studies
  • Client testimonials or stories
  • Product reports and engaging pictures
  • Infographics
  • Graphs and charts
  • Anything that helps your customers with a problem, gives them more insight or inspires them to act!

Write and create content about the stuff that you know about. If you receive the same question from your customers over and over again answer it in a fun and shareable blog post.

Follow influential industry leaders and share news stories with your own twist on the update.

For my first 6 marketing ideas read Part 1 of this mini series:

How To Market Your Small Business On A Small Budget

Idea #7 – Utilize your Print Collateral

If you are handing out printed materials to your customers make good use of the space. Include your website/blog URL, your social media URL’s, promo details and a QR code.

Creating a QR code with an online generator is quick, easy and free.

What is a QR Code you might wonder? A QR Code is a two-dimensional barcode that is readable by smartphones. They look very similar to the standard bar codes that appear on all types of consumer products.

QR code with link to Silke Jager's Avon Store

QR Codes may be used to display text to the user, to open a website, save a contact to the address book or to compose text messages.

Have you ever used a QR code reader? Leave me a comment below.

Basically a QR code is a paper-based hyperlink that connects the physical world with the online world. There are many practical ways QR codes can be used for marketing and promotions in a variety of settings.

QR Codes can be integrated into any type of printed materials including:

  • Conference displays
  • Print ads
  • Business cards
  • Brochures, posters and flyers
  • Postcards and mailers
  • Book covers

These codes provide a convenient one-step process for directing users to a website, phone number, directions to your business, current promotions or other information.

A list of what QR codes can do:

  1. View a mobile website or landing page
  2. Send an email
  3. Send a text message
  4. Dial a phone number
  5. View a message or special offer
  6. Download contact details
  7. View a Google maps location
  8. View a social media profile

You can set up QR codes to do all sorts of things.

You can create a ‘Scan me to win’ code or send people to Facebook to like your business page. A retail store can display a QR code next to in-store products to view product demonstrations and reviews.

A realtor can place a QR Code on a For Sale sign in front of a  property and provide additional home specifications, interior photos and Google Maps location for later reference.

Here’s a great example of a QR code on a business card:

Great example of QR code for small business

When using QR codes on your printed materials keep a few considerations in mind. The code should direct the user to targeted content that completes the printed material. Include instruction like ‘scan this code for …’ so people know what to do.

Be sure to direct users to a mobile friendly website or landing page.

Don’t forget to set up tracking for your QR codes so you know which ones work best.

For my first 6 marketing ideas read Part 1 of this mini series:

How To Market Your Small Business On A Small Budget

Idea #8 – Join a Local Forum

Find a local forum community that relates to your brand or business. This is a great and free way to market yourself as a thought leader and expert in your field, as well as to connect with others who may be able to help your business grow.

Benefits for small business owner to join a local forum

Networking opportunities, discounts and training are just some of the things local associations like the Chamber of Commerce or BNI (Business Network International) can offer you and your small business.

One nice benefit of joining a local forum is the fact that members will often offer other members a discount on goods or services.

Community involvement is very crucial to any small business, that is why many towns have a monthly get-together for small business owners. By promoting yourself through networking opportunities you can gain more local exposure, make valuable contacts and get great marketing ideas.

Some other benefits of joining a local forum:

  • Exposure to many other people and businesses
  • Increase in possible referrals
  • Networking opportunities
  • Possible inclusion in newsletters and on websites

Small business people get the most business when their expertise is known
and others reach a certain comfort level with them.

Do you belong to a local business group? Leave me a comment below.

For my first 6 marketing ideas read Part 1 of this mini series:

How To Market Your Small Business On A Small Budget

Idea #9 – Create a YouTube Channel

Video marketing is often overlooked by small business owners. Some think it’s too hard or time consuming while others don’t know where to begin.

Well, you start by creating a YouTube account, a video channel and uploading a  video. Creating a simple video doesn’t have to be scary, and don’t worry about needing to ‘go viral’ to see any results.

A short business video ad can add wonders for your online marketing.

Online video is quickly becoming a key means for people to satisfy their need for information and entertainment. By 2021, video will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic. There will 1.9 billion internet video users.

Small businesses that fail to include videos in their internet marketing strategies will do so at a great loss.

Video is naturally engaging and in this age of information overload, it is vital for your business to offer content that is easy to digest. Otherwise your visitors and potential customers will move on.

If a picture paints 1,000 words then

on minute of video is worth 1.9 billion.

Creating short, simple videos is easier than you might think. If you have a smart phone with a built in camera you can make a video for your business in no time.

Watch Nick and Silke Jager videos

Use a cellphone tri-pod or a flat, steady surface and record yourself while talking about the products you offer or the services you provide. Creating an instructional video on ‘How To’ do something or another related to your business is also very valuable.

Do you have a video channel? Leave a link in the comments below.

Since YouTube is one of the five major social media platforms I mentioned before, creating and posting video content will boost visibility and credibility to your small business. This is a great way to present yourself and your business as a valuable resource to the community.

Tips for creating YouTube videos:

  • When posting your video always include a call to action in the video itself.
  • Ask your viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel, leave feedback, share your video and/or include contact information. Be sure to respond to all feedback as quickly as possible.
  • Choose a title that includes your keywords or the phrase that best describes what your viewers might be looking for. Make it descriptive since YouTube videos are searchable by Google.
  • The YouTube page your visitors view when they click on your account name is your channel. Customize your channel with colors, images, links, relevant information and more. This is a great opportunity to reinforce your brand identity by using your logo and slogan so viewers will associate your videos with your business.
  • Place your videos in the right category and add relevant tags. A good idea is to use the tags YouTube is suggesting since they are based on what people commonly search for. Also add a few other related tags and variations of words.
  • Include a link to your website in the first line of the description so your viewers can click on it right away if they want. Your video description should be short and multi-purpose.
  • Give an outline of what the video is about using your keywords
    and include a short description of your business. Be friendly and informative!

Customer testimonials make great videos and many small businesses have great results with them.

This is a very effective way to build trust and credibility. Watching a video testimonial might be all that is needed to give a potential customer that extra ‘push’ to try out your product or service.

Product video on YouTube

Again, YouTube is a social media platform so as part of an effective strategy you need to make sure to spread the word. When you post a new video share it through all of your channels, write an article about it on your blog, add the link to your website, tweet it on Twitter, post it on Facebook, and so on.

Compared to other types of advertising, small business marketing videos are compelling to your audience, cost effective and easy to rank with the search engines.

You can make fun and entertaining videos, informative ones or both.

No matter what approach you choose, videos are a powerful and inexpensive way to promote your small business.

For my first 6 marketing ideas read Part 1 of this mini series:

How To Market Your Small Business On A Small Budget

Idea #10 – Give a Speech

A lot of people hate public speaking, myself included. However, there are many organizations looking for qualified, subject-matter experts who can present to their groups.

Take a deep breath and volunteer to give a speech.

You don’t have to be a professional to give a speech as long as the information you share is helpful to the audience. And the upside — the more you do it the easier it gets.

Plus, it positions you as a credible authority in your field.

Giving a speech in an intimate setting

Some tips to help you get ready for your speech:

  • Organize your information in simple patterns
  • Use your introduction to set the audience’s expectations
  • Have a special conclusion ready to go into at the end
  • Anticipate any questions that might be asked
  • Practice your speech out loud
  • Establish eye contact, look around and smile
  • Vary your pitch, don’t be a monotone drone
  • Loosen up and use your hands to make a point
  • Convey enthusiasm for your subject-matter

Just think, you will have a room full of people that have to listen to what you are saying, and some times they even pay to be there. What better way to share your small business information.

Remember, the audience almost always wants you to succeed.

Have you ever given a speech in front of a large crowd? Leave me a comment below.

Idea #11 – Give it Away

If someone has the opportunity to experience your product or service, chances are they will want to purchase more.

Don’t be afraid to give someone a free trial or a sample.

In today’s economy, people are more comfortable purchasing something they have been able to experience first. Giving something away for free doesn’t necessarily devalue your product or service.

The opposite is actually true, it raises the visibility of your product and
business. It is a great way to get in front of people that would otherwise ignore you.

craft marketing done right

Creating a free eBook is a perfect example.

It doesn’t cost you any money to create an eBook filled with valuable insights related to your business. You give it to your customers for free and in return you get their email address so you can contact them again in the future.

The more eBooks you give away the more they will become in demand.

Why? Because people don’t value what they pay for, they value what others value and what they talk about. It’s a win/win situation.

Want a free copy of my craft marketing eBook? Leave me a comment below.

Do your customers talk about you?

It is up to you to get your customers talking about what you have to offer and the best way to do that is by giving something away. There will always be free loaders, people that don’t care about your product and only look for freebies.

If you build a reputation as a generous person, eventually you will be reaching the right people that will gladly pay for your products, and if you do your job right you will reach more and more of them.

What should you give away? Here are the 10 most popular promo items:

  1. Wearables – caps, t-shirts, caps and aprons
  2. Writing instruments – a pen with your logo on it
  3. Glass and ceramics – the ever popular coffee mug
  4. Calendars – 12 months of business reminders
  5. Office and business accessories – mouse pads, desk lamps, magnets
  6. Trophies and awards – clocks, jewelry, watches
  7. Textilestote bags, umbrellas, towels
  8. Personal accessories – badges, stickers, pins
  9. Auto accessories – air fresheners, key rings
  10. Sporting goods – passport cases, camping equipment

Imprint all of your promotional products with your business name, logo, slogan, phone number and website URL.

In order for free giveaways to work you need to give something away that is worth having, not the cheapest pen in the catalog. Once you choose what to give away you need to figure out who to give it to.

Free goodies generate repeat sales.

Of course, handing out free items at random is not as effective as giving them to a select group of people that are thinking about buying from you. If you have a pastry shop you could include a free Leaf Shaped Cake Cutting Knife to every customer buying a cake or a dozen cupcakes or more.

Giving something away for free will promote your brand and boost sales of related products or features. It can also reinforce their thinking and push your customer closer to making a larger purchase.

But, before you get too involved in your freebie marketing campaign, try to get special pricing for your promo items.

promo item for team members

If your suppliers knows about your marketing plans they might just try to get you special pricing, or decide to get involved and give you marketing funds. It never hurts to ask!

For my first 6 marketing ideas read Part 1 of this mini series:

How To Market Your Small Business On A Small Budget

Idea #12 – Stay connected

If all of your hard work of marketing your business pays off you will have a lot of new and existing customers. They will be visiting your store or shop with you online, during the year, and especially during the Holiday seasons.

You will need to have a plan in order to bring these people back so you can extend your success and turn a one-time customer into a repeat customer.

Be sure to always ask new customers to join your email list while you are doing business with them.

A simple sign-up sheet works great in your store or place of business. There are free email newsletter providers like MailChimp or Vertical Response where you can create sign up form to use on your website and on social media pages.

Email marketing with one of these email service providers is an easy way to send newsletters, special offers and tailor-made invitations to keep your customers coming back again and again.

Newsletter sign up form

The Bottle-Lamp Newsletter Sign Up Form

Create Several Email Lists

If your customer had a positive experience purchasing from you then he or she is more likely to want to stay connected with you.

Once you have a few people on your email list it is very important that you make regular contact with them so they remember who you are. You want to follow up with an email newsletter while you and your business still lingers in their minds.

But, if you offer widely different products you might want to create separate lists. Your beauty customer isn’t going to care to get special offers for window treatments and vice versa.

Do you current offer an email newsletter? Leave me a comment below.

Most of the email service providers have a large collection of pre-designed email templates to choose from. This will save you a lot of time and you can rest assured that your message will work across all of the different email programs.

Remember to keep your messages relevant to your business, or the reason people signed up for, and give them information or news they can use.

A few more reasons why email marketing works:

  • Your emails can be personalized
  • It builds a relationships with your customers
  • You can add multi-media like pictures, videos or music
  • It provides a private one on one channel for your customer
  • Your customers might prefer emails over social media
  • You could receive immediate response (make a sale)
  • Measure the performance of your campaigns

Email marketing offers an inexpensive and effective way to proactively
communicate with your existing customers and prospects instead of passively waiting for them to return.

You can easily target your emails by source, demographics or interests.

Think about all the places people interact with you and your business, online and in the real world. Make it easy for them to sign up for your newsletter in all of these different places including in your store, at events, on your website, on social media pages, and while using their phones.

This will allow you to grow your audience and will get you results again and again.

I hope my 12 Ideas To Market Your Small Business have been helpful and I wish you good luck in all of your business endeavors!

As a small business owner, and especially if you are just starting out, you may think it is almost impossible to get the word out about what you do. That is not so, and you don’t need any marketing gimmicks or fads either.

Knowing this will save you a lot of money, frustration and wasted time. The marketing ideas I outlined above have been proven to work by millions of other small business owners and they will work you.

Bonus Small Business Marketing Tip ►►► Be Helpful:

Being helpful will grow your small business

Be not only helpful to your customers, but your fellow small business owners, local organizations and causes as well.

Support a cause, help a fellow business or sponsor an organization, but don’t just show up or throw some money at them.

Volunteer to lead the group, or fix the problem, and you never know who you might be rubbing elbows with. You might just connect with the brightest minds of the fastest growing companies in your area.

Last, but not least, your customers will love you for your generosity and good will.

For my first 6 marketing ideas read Part 1 of this mini series:

How To Market Your Small Business On A Small Budget

How do you successfully market your small business? Leave me a comment below.

Follow Silke On Social Media

  1. Facebook Profile > Silke.Jager
  2. Twitter > SilkeJager
  3. YouTube > NickJager
  4. Pinterest > AvonCalling

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