Marketing as a small business on a tight budget can be a challenge - especially if your competitors have enough marketing spend to dominate advertising spaces. The good news is that you can use some tools and tricks to your advantage. Here are a few.
Word of mouth is a powerful way to market your small business, especially within your community. It can take some time for you to become a brand that people recommend to their networks, but there are a few ways to get the ball rolling. Firstly, make sure you’re giving every customer a good experience. Next, remind your customers to like your social pages at different touch-points (either in store or online). Take online recommendations one step further by hosting a competition or giveaway on your socials, in exchange for people sharing your page or tagging their friends. You can also incentivise word-of-mouth by offering promotions or discounts for customers who refer a friend.
Try different platforms
We all know that social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are great for promoting your business. But these platforms actually aren’t the easiest to find followers and customers on, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Newer platforms like TikTok can sometimes be easier to grow your page on, so be sure to try out different platforms (as long as they’re relevant to your audience).
Host and join events
Another great way to spread the word about your business is to either host events, or join existing events in your community. If you’d like to host an event, you can create either a virtual one online (using a video chat app such as Zoom) or an in-person meet-up where you can showcase your product or service. If you’d like to join existing events, neighbourhood markets and fun fairs are a good place to start.
Join forces with other SMEs
Networking with other small businesses in your area can do wonders for your marketing. Not only can small business owners introduce you to important people in your community, they can also help promote your business to their existing clients. You can join forces to create an exciting event, bundle up your products with theirs for a promotion and so much more! Make it clear how your partnership will benefit them, and they’ll likely come on board.
Barter for marketing material
If the cost of marketing material (whether digital or physical) is a bit high, try to barter for it instead. You could offer a voucher or free products in exchange for whatever you need. This usually works better with other small businesses and freelancers, instead of larger establishments. Use what you have to your advantage and negotiate yourself a discounted rate.