Small businesses don’t have million-dollar marketing budgets to push their brands. And thankfully, they may not need them. Here are a list of great money-saving tips so you can build your brand equity and consumer awareness even on a shoe string budget. This proves that with a little creativity and a clear communication goal, you can really get your small business of the ground.
Money saving tip # 1: Kill two birds with one stamp.
If you’re mailing invoices or other materials to existing clients, insert other advertising material. This saves on postage, plus helps you get repeat business from your existing customers.
You can also use this principle at point-of-purchase sales. Insert a newsletter or sale announcements into your customer’s bag, or give them a coupon they can use at their next visit.
Money saving tip # 2: Partner up with another business.
Two budgets are better than one. Team up with stores on your street to create flyers, or plan a big street-wide sale. You can partner with complementary businesses. For example, if you sell art supplies, look for local artists who give classes. You can give ‘free tickets’ to their classes for a minimum purchase, while they can push or demonstrate your products to their students. You can also exchange mailing lists, share distribution channels, or even create a ‘club’ where members get discounts in participating outlets.
Money saving tip # 3: Be a source of information.
Present yourself and your company as an authority in your industry or type of service. You can give a class, give a talk at a meeting or community gathering, write an article or be interviewed for one. You can also run a blog, giving helpful hints on the type of questions that your customers may ask about your product. For example, if you sell weight loss pills, then run a blog with inspiring stories, tips, or even low fat recipes.
Money saving tip # 4: Use the referral system.
Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Encourage people to tell friends about your product and service, and get them to try it. One way to do that is to give group discounts, or run special promos where anyone who brings a friend gets a free product.
Money saving tip # 5: Use PR.
Public relations is far cheaper than advertising, and if done properly, can get excellent media mileage. (Read our article on effective press releases.)
Photo from dailysteals.com