By Rhonda Campbell
Making a big splash to introduce your target audience to your business for the first time can pay off, especially if your marketing strategies generate emotion from potential buyers. You might sell dozens, perhaps hundreds, of units of your products due to that first outing.
To continue to generate sales, you’re going to have to keep this up. Until your revenues grow more, low cost marketing could be your best (or only) option.
Marketing is like a good relationship
Low cost marketing definitely doesn’t allow you to be lazy. Relax your marketing efforts and don’t be surprised to watch the numbers of customers who support you decline. Not what you want. You could hire a marketing firm, a company that has a proven track record of attracting thousands of customers to a business in six months or less. But, that could cost you thousands of dollars.
What you need are low cost marketing tactics to spread the word about your business, keeping you on the minds of people who are part of your target audience. Traditional marketing platforms and social media networks pave the way.
Social media – Use a social media publishing tool (i.e. Hootsuite, Buffer) to schedule posts for an upcoming week or month. This low cost marketing step is a huge time saver. Twitter and Facebook also operate ad programs to help you build a following or get sponsored messages in front of your target audience.
Press releases – Press releases should read like newspaper articles. They are not ads. For example, if you’re hosting an open house, highlight product giveaways, contests, sales and signature refreshments you’re offering during the open house. If you’re donating any monies raised at the open house to charity, note that. Also include the location, date and times of the open house and your business name and contact information. This cannot be overstated. To get the most out of press releases, even with low cost marketing, develop rich and informative content. If you don’t have experience writing press releases, consider hiring a copywriter to write press releases for you.
Flyers – Add your business logo to flyers. Consider paying college students to distribute the flyers to places your target audience frequents. As with other marketing strategies, this isn’t a one-time thing. This is something you’ll want to do repeatedly.
Direct mail – Write effective letters that focus on your target audience’s perceived needs, passions and likes. Introduce your target audience to your products and services, highlighting how your products and services can help get them what they want most.
Radio and television ads – Local cable is much cheaper than taking out ads on major television stations – much, much, much cheaper. If you go this route, look for television shows your target audience watches faithfully. Radio ads, especially online radio ads, are cheaper than television. If you write your own ads, negotiate lower rates with radio owners.
Videos – To yield positive results using videos, you’re going to have to market your video channel. Of course, if one or more of your videos goes viral, you can focus more on developing videos and less on marketing your channels to build subscribers.
Guest blogs – Again, look for blogs that court and service your target audience. A good way to tell who’s supporting a blog is to look at social media Like screens. You can also read blog comments to get a clue as to the types of people who frequent a blog.
Local newspapers – Towns publish small community newspapers. Placing ads in these newspapers is a low cost marketing tactic that is less expensive than placing ads in large city or regional newspapers. If you choose this marketing strategy, consider running ads for two to three months.
Measure the results of all of your ongoing marketing strategies. Once you notice that something works for you, consider using it in the future. Pick two to four strategies that work and keep at it. Marketing is not a one-time effort. It goes on and on and on and . . .
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