Promoting Your Small Business On A Budget: 5 Tips For Success

As a small business owner, you’ve probably struggled with ways that you can promote your business without a huge amount of outlay. While “traditional” methods such as advertising in print directories and magazines are still viable today, there are several other options you can promote your business, especially if you utilize the Internet to your advantage.

social media apps
Image by Jason A. Howie

Tip #1: Using Social Media

With the rise of Facebook, Twitter and various other social media outlets – many businesses both large and small have seen the advantage of being able to readily connect with new and existing customers online. If you have a Facebook page or Twitter account for your business, you can easily push out updates to your audience by using a quick Facebook update or tweet to announce a new product you’ve just released or a deal you’re offering. If customers like or retweet your updates, that’s even more advertising for your business since they’re likely to have friends or followers who will see the update, resulting in a potentially unlimited chain of exposure for your business.

linkedin swag
Image by Sheila Scarborough

Tip #2: Free or Inexpensive Promotional Items

T-shirts, bumper stickers and other small items like promotional coffee mugs are always a big hit with customers. This can be especially true if you tie them into another promotion you’re running, such as offering a free T-shirt to any customers who simply sign up for a free trial of a product or service you offer. T-shirts and bumper stickers in addition have the advantage of potentially being seen in public by thousands of other people.

business networking
Image by Jodi Womack

Tip #3: Connect With Other Businesses In Related Niches

If you offer a product or service in a specific niche such as home improvement, look at how you can connect with businesses that offer products or services that naturally complement yours without directly competing with you. For example, a home remodeling company might want to use their website and social media presence to help promote a building supply company that they personally use for tile and other related products, in return for the other company agreeing to promote them in turn. It’s a win-win situation for both sides and builds confidence in both company’s brands as well as exposure.

blogging
Image by Maria Reyes-McDavis

Tip #4: Guest Blogging

Guest blogging has seen rapid adoption in recent times and this can be a very handy tool for increasing your potential exposure to new customers. Connecting with other websites related to your niche and lending your expertise on a given topic is a win-win situation: The website you’re guest blogging for will have value added to their site, while you can demonstrate your authority and know-how about your products and services, giving you exposure for your company and often even a link back to your site that readers can follow if they want to know more.

google places
Image by Craighton Miller

Tip #5: Use Google Places

This is a free service that allows any brick-and-mortar business to set up a listing with Google that is specific to their local area. What this means is that when customers search for a given search term such as “car repair San Diego”, your business can pop up in the local Google Places listings for that particular search term – allowing your potential customers to find you much more easily and give you a leg up over the local competition. Google Places also offers the ability to include basic information about your company including hours, your physical address, services offered and your website address, should they need additional information about your company.

About the Author: Sara Fletcher is a professional blogger who writes on a variety of topics, ranging from business, SEO, and social media. She loves to learn about small business tips, and is always looking for the next writing opportunity.

How to Make Your Marketing Message Do the Magic

Please don’t do it again. I mean do not make people feel devastated by bombarding with another advertisement. We have enough of this shit already and having said that I can safely assume that we are less likely to show any interest in your marketing message if you indulge in this practice. Therefore, it is quite evident that marketers need to step up their effort to make their marketing messages sound less promotional so that people do not necessarily object to them. You need to make it intense, clear and vivid so that it does not scare the hell out of the targeted audience. Wondering how you are going to do that? Here I am going to narrate some cardinal rules of creating a great marketing message:

do not make it stinks

Do Not Make It Stink: What irritates me is the attitude of some marketers. They believe that they are here to promote their services and they have no such intention to give two hoots to the likes and dislikes of audience. But to make your marketing message curry favor with the targeted audience, you should not behave like this. Do not make your marketing message sound like another sale pitch. Add some personal elements, funny twists so that the audience can relate to it.

make your message clear

Make It Clear: If you cannot convince them, confuse them. This is one of the few marketing mantras that are religiously followed by marketers around the globe. But you should not apply this tactic while creating a compelling marketing message. Describe your service in clear language and make it a point that you are giving adequate reasons to the audience to choose your products over others. In short, people love simplicity and therefore, do not make the whole things appear complex by using jargons or evasive language.

sense of urgency

Convey A Sense of Urgency: The purpose of all marketing campaigns is to drive as much traffic and conversion as possible. So, your marketing message needs to show certain signs of urgency so that the audiences are prompted to action. Rather than ending with the benefits of your service or product, you can convey a sense of urgency in the form of adding texts like this – “Sign up now before the offer ends”, “Offer available still stock last”, “Hurry up, grab the offer now !”.

humanize

Humanize Your Message: People are most likely to stick around you and your company if you make them believe that you are not there just to make profit. Definitely, a business cannot survive without making profit, but you should not give too much attention to that while writing a sales pitch for your business. Rather you should add some human elements in them to inspire a long-term loyalty. Try to make it evident that your business is real and you will always be there to protect the interest of the customers.

think like a customer

Put on the shoes of a Customer: Once the draft is ready, you need to refine it as much as possible. Focus on the objectives of the sales pitch and trash anything that appears to be unnecessary. Think like a customer and find out what interests you and what irritates you in the draft. Once you got clear idea, fine-tune the draft and hopefully, it will be another arsenal in your marketing campaign.

Author Bio: Michael Evans is passionate about search industry and web design.

Maximizing Your Marketing Potential by Using a Mail House

If you have a business you would naturally want to maximize your marketing potential. In order to achieve this, you must utilize sources such as a mail house to push your marketing strategy over the top.

However some businesses are discouraged to utilize the direct mail approach to marketing because they think that it is expensive. Instead, these businesses put their marketing funds into advertising on television, print and radio. Then there are some companies who would go with the online approach because they believe that it serves the same purpose as direct mail, and thus offer the same benefits without the cost. What not many businesses realize is that online direct mail marketing often goes directly to mail users’ spam folders where they are not likely to be opened, let alone be read. Direct mail approach remains the most effective tool in promoting a brand or product.

With direct mail marketing, you promote your brand directly to your target market. Many companies take a wider approach to marketing by utilizing broad marketing strategies which make use of media such as print, radio, and television. A broader approach is all very well, but it offers businesses little control over whether who receives their message and leaves them wondering if their target market has seen, read or heard their pitch. Direct mail marketing eliminates any uncertainty that your message is received by targeting your clients where they live.

Enlisting the help of a mail house has been proven time and gain to boost a marketing campaign. As such, it is a smart idea to make something that has been proven effective a part of your marketing plan. A mail house can help you in each aspect of your marketing campaign. A reliable mail house can provide you with client listings that are appropriate for your brand or product, or help you search for your target market. They also have the resources to help you penetrate a bigger client base.

Employing the services of a mail house can make it easier for companies to launch their marketing campaign. Aside from providing client listings, businesses will also have the benefit of working with a team of experts who know the market and who can help him in terms of planning and strategizing their marketing campaigns. Reliable mail house has a wealth of experience in dealing with marketing campaigns and will be able to provide expert advice on how to properly market a brand or product. What is more, a mail house can also help a business create worthwhile content or copy, as well as help you come up with interesting graphics.

A direct mail marketing campaign requires creating and properly arranging various mailing components into one neat package. A mail house would be able to offer these services and more. A reliable mail house has the personnel and equipment to print, sort, address, insert, seal, package, fold, tab, apply postage to your mail, and so much more including assembling binders and laminating. If you are considering assembling the various components of your mailing in-house to save some money, think again. Doing it in-house will eat up a lot of your time and resources, and could cost you a lot of money in the long run. With a mail house, your mailing components will be assembled neatly and properly.

Because they work closely with the post office, many mail house service providers can get postage discounts and save you a considerable amount of money in the long run. Couple that with the effectiveness of direct mail marketing, and enlisting the services of a mail house makes it really worth investing in.

About the Author: I’m Kaycee Mabborang, I write for Print & Mail 4U, a company specializes in various printing and direct mail services. I have been producing top quality content at a very quick pace since 2007.