I'm sure many of you are still in the process of piecing together your plans for this year and with every new product, project or idea there usually needs to be some marketing activity. So today I'm sharing a list of 34 marketing ideas for small businesses on a budget, to help get your creative juices going!
Just before we dig into the list though make sure you carefully consider where your ideal customers are hanging out - 'on' and 'off' line? Select the ideas from the list or come up with more of your own that are most likely to reach the right people. For example if you're targeting stay at home mums, LinkedIn and local networking groups are unlikely to be where they spend their time!
34 marketing ideas for small businesses on a budget:
1. Update your Facebook page daily and include more behind-the-scenes photos and updates. HERE is how to set up your page for success
2. Promote others in your industry on Twitter regularly and join in with local business hashtags. All is explained HERE
3. Add very niche hashtags (aim for at least 5) to your Instagram posts. For more Instagram tips read THIS
4. Pin your work and latest blog post images to Pinterest every week or so. There are more tips on using Pinterest to grow your business HERE
5. Update your Linkedin profile and post a status update once per week
6. Investigate whether to list your products or services through other online shops like Etsy or NOTHS
7. Update your website text and images to make sure you are putting your best foot forwards. HERE are 5 key things your homepage needs!
8. Hand out at least 5 of your business cards over the next fortnight
9. Find a local networking group or conference you can attend that’s relevant to your business
10. Make up some posters or leaflets to post locally or place in places with good traffic e.g. cafes
11. Write 3 blog posts that would be useful to your target customers and schedule them to be published once a month for the next 3 months. HERE is a list of 20 blog post ideas to help!
12. Send a quick email to your friends + family to ask them help you spread the word about your products / services
13. If you haven’t got one already start putting together an email list and write an email to your contacts e.g. to offer a discount, wish them Happy Christmas or share some recent news
14. Book to attend a local fair or relevant industry events to showcase your work, whilst you’re there collect email addresses to add to #13!
15. Get in touch with your local newspaper or magazines and offer to write them a short article
16. If you are a bricks-and-mortar business add your location to Google Maps HERE
17. Make a list of specific keywords or phrases that your customers might be searching for on Google and try and incorporate them into your website where you can (but keep it natural!)
18. Build relationships with key bloggers in your industry then offer to write a guest post for them
19. Host an offer or competition via social media and your website
20. Research whether there are any relevant free directories or sharing sites you can submit your work to e.g. craftgawker
21. Add your social media profile links to your email signature
22. Partner with complimentary local businesses to help promote each other e.g. a photo shoot
23. Host an open evening, launch party or event (like a seminar) and invite your key contacts
24. Find out what online forums (e.g. Facebook groups) your target customers are active in and join in
25. Leave thoughtful and friendly comments on key blogs that your target customers read regularly
26. Add a car sticker to your car to promote your business in traffic!
27. Send thank you cards or seasonal cards to your customers and contacts and ask if there’s any more you can do to help them?
28. Enter relevant awards for your local area or industry
29. Reward repeat customers with a little note and a small thank you offering e.g. a discount on their next purchase
30. Interview someone on your blog who already serves your target audience
31. Offer a freebie e.g. a download / printable to encourage people sign up to your email list
32. Find popular bloggers in your industry and send them one of your products to review
33. Take product samples round to local businesses
34. Experiment with social media advertising, Facebook in particular can be very cost effective!
Do you have any other ideas to add to the list? Which ones are you going to give a try?
PS. This little blog of mine has been entered in The UK Blog Awards and I would be very grateful if you could pop over HERE to vote for me?! Thanks so much in advance ;-)