Marketing your small company may seem daunting but there are several easy ways to get the word out. Freelance journalist and copywriter Dina Behrman looks at 10 of them.
1) Use integrated marketing
There’s no single, failsafe approach to marketing, so vary your tactics. Your customers may tune out after a while if you only use one marketing method. So think of different ways to communicate with potential customers – classified ads, leaflets, social media, sales letters, etc.
Read more: Selecting where to advertise your business
2) Send a second offer to your customers immediately after a purchase
If your customer has just purchased an item/service from you, seize the moment and send them a note (a letter or email) thanking them for their business and informing them that they can take advantage of a special discount on their next purchase. Remember to include an expiration date so that they act sooner rather than later.
Read more: Creating customer loyalty
3) Use mail-outs
Get a professional-looking brochure, advert or flyer printed up and make sure you enclose it in all your outgoing mail. This way you save on postage, as you were posting something anyway, and it means potential customers will have something tangible they can refer back to in the future, even if they don’t need it right now.
4) Send newsletters
Finding new customers is great, but what about keeping existing customers? Use newsletters to focus your marketing on past customers. If printed newsletters are too expensive, consider an e-mail newsletter sent to people who subscribe at your website.
5) Get social
Aim to turn a one-off customer into a loyal repeat customer, by ensuring they remember you. To do this you need to give them gentle reminders of why they might need you, without bombarding them. Achieve this by using social media such as Facebook or Twitter (e.g. create a Facebook business page offering interesting content, discounts, offers, etc) and by using email marketing (e.g. ask customers to sign up to receive your e-newsletter).
Read more: The ultimate guide to social media for business
6) Utilise free advertising
Create a well-written classified ad and use an internet ad directory, where you can post ads for free. Try Gumtree or Vivastreet.
7) Get blogging
A blog is a great, low-cost way of engaging with existing clients, as well as attracting new ones. Make sure you update it regularly with relevant content, to keep your subscribers interested. Grow your blog followers by leaving comments on other people’s blogs.
Read more: Tips for successful blogging
8) Send out press releases
Make the most of your local newspapers by sending out a well-written press release. A new business launch, a new contract, the creation of extra jobs, an open day/seminar, all make for interesting local news stories. Local press coverage is valuable because you’re targeting potential customers who live nearby, and of course, it’s free.
Read more: PR for small businesses
9) Send a small ad on a postcard
Get a postcard printed up, and send it to prospects in your target market.
People are more likely to read a postcard if the message is brief. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website and create extra sales leads for a relatively small cost
10) Update your website
Take a fresh look at your website – could it do with an update? Your website acts as free advertising for your business, so make sure it looks the best it can. Your site should be focused, and simple to navigate, with great content. Ensure your web copy is free from spelling and grammatical errors, that it conveys the message you wish to get across to your visitors and that it does so in a compelling way.
Read one: 10 ways to integrate social media into your website