The U.S. Small Business Administration reports a 49 percent increase in the number of small businesses since 1982. And with that increase comes more competition for customers, forcing small businesses to think of inventive new ways to reach their target market.
You can market your business in a number of ways – from something as basic as an ad in your local Yellow Pages to a contest via social media. And because small businesses may have limited budgets for marketing, it’s important to choose strategies that offer the most return on your investment.
Establish a Social Presence
If you haven’t already created a Twitter or Facebook account for your business, do it now. These services are free and allow you to reach millions of people, but you do have to put some effort into how you use social media.
Facebook makes it easy to set up your page, and provides tips about how to promote it. Ideally, your Facebook and Twitter accounts should work in tandem, each offering slightly different content so customers following you don’t see repetitive information. Always respond to customer comments or inquiries, “like” their posts and get them involved. For example, you could hold a contest that requires people to “share” a photo from your Facebook page for a chance to win something.
Cross-promote in Print
While social media marketing is an excellent way to boost awareness of your business, don’t forget to steer customers to your website, Facebook page and Twitter account when you print marketing materials.
As you review your marketing strategy, that may be a good time to have new business cards printed that list your Twitter handle and Facebook page. Include that information on other materials, too, such as brochures.
Make this article on simple and sometimes expensive ways to promote and market your small business. Use print services as one of the ways to promote your business. Make this a bullet point article.
Revamp your Website
Your website can be a powerful tool for attracting new customers, particularly if you develop a good blog. People come to trust and respect businesses that use their blogs to explain topics or solve problems consumers might be facing. When you devote time to creating good blog posts, people will be more inclined to share those posts with their networks, thereby increasing awareness of your business.
There are many ways to promote your business that require very little up-front investment. Look around your community to see what other successful businesses are doing, and learn from companies online. Sometimes, a new approach to marketing just means thinking differently about how you promote yourself.