Proof of Concept: What It is and How to Do It Right
Before developing an idea into a product, there’s a crucial step that every business must take: executing a successful proof of concept. Learn more.
Small businesses are the bee's knees. Compared to big chains and companies, they have much closer relationships with customers, more flexibility to quickly implement changes, and laser-focused expertise in their particular field. However, there's a catch — more often than not, small companies have tight marketing budgets. This makes it tricky when trying to promote the business.
The stark truth is that 50% of small businesses fail within five years. One of the biggest causes is poor planning — they spend too much and break their marketing budget to acquire new customers. While there are ways to optimize your marketing budget by wisely allocating spend, that topic is for another day. Today, we’re going to focus on something a little more fun. Let’s go over six marketing tips for small businesses that’ll give your marketing efforts a boost — all for the whopping price of $0.
Stats don’t lie: 82% of businesses say that blogging is critical in customer acquisition. For businesses of all sizes, blogging is an inexpensive way to provide many benefits, including increased website traffic, significant exposure via organic search engine results, and more prospective customers.
Select a free blogging platform that can be easily managed from the front-end, hosting included, so that all you have to do is arrange the layout and pick the template. Once you've nailed down your content and schedule, and your company has the budget for it, you can graduate to premium plans for more advanced plugins and apps.
This might seem obvious, but it’s not enough that your social profiles exist — you also have to keep the lights on by regularly posting and engaging with your followers. While this may feel like a wasted effort because you’re not dumping tons of money into paid social, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of organic social media. It all depends on your audience and the types of content you post.
For example, if your product is inspirational, you can create a campaign around motivational quotes. Or, if your audience prefers to be kept up to date on all areas of your industry, you could post related content in the form of news articles from other publications. As a general campaign, you can even pull quotes from users’ positive comments and build social posts around those to shine a spotlight on your best customers and make them feel special.
There are many ways to create cool social campaigns without spending a penny — it all comes down to creativity and thinking outside of the box.
Establish a presence on online forums with user-generated content (UGC) such as Reddit, Quora, or anywhere else your customers might be posting. When you answer questions in an engaging, non-promotional, and helpful manner, it helps boost brand authority and reach niche audiences.
Email marketing an excellent way to get new visitors engaged with your business. Whether it's just a welcome email series or a company newsletter, even the most basic email marketing plans can have a significant impact. Similar to blogs, there are also free platforms that you can use. Search for a free plan that provides cool features such as CRM reporting and template options.
Ok, ok, you might have to purchase stationery or stamps for this one, but an extra personal touch goes a long way. Take Wag.com, the online pet supply company, for example. In addition to sending out "thank you" emails, they also deliver hand-written postcards after a customer's first order. Even if your business is primarily online, it's crucial to maintain offline communication, too.
Treat (and celebrate) your small business! Held on the last Saturday of November, Small Business Saturday (or Shop Small Saturday), is a holiday that focuses on small and local brick and mortar businesses.
Started by American Express, Small Business Saturday has now become a full-fledged contender with the rest of the shopping holidays, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In 2018, US consumers reported spending a record high of an estimated $17.8 billion at independent retailers.
Now that you've read our marketing tips for small businesses, learn more about our community for D2C marketers.
Last updated on September 16th, 2022.