Great Options For Small Business Marketing

Many small businesses don’t have huge budgets for their marketing but still want to get real results. There are two questions important to most businesses before they start a marketing campaign.

1) What ways can we market our business?

2) Once we know the different possibilities, what do we choose?

Frankly, both questions are fairly easy to answer. For small businesses with a limited budget, some marketing methods are ruled out right away.

These include: Television, radio and billboard. The good news is, these marketing mediums aren’t appropriate for a small business with a certain limited target market anyway! This is simply because they target large numbers of people over a large geographic area, rather than a specific group of people in a certain area of a city (for example).

So the results are narrowed down for us and will tend to be more effective for small businesses anyway.

These methods include:

1) Direct Mail

2) Website

3) Newspaper and Magazine Advertising

4) Cold Calling

5) Print Collateral

6) Email Marketing

All of the above methods can and do work for hundreds of thousands of small businesses all around the world. So, which is right for you?

That depends, for example, many people hate cold calling. The thought of picking up a telephone and trying to ‘sell’ a stranger makes them break out into a cold sweat, wake up in the middle of the night shivering and shaking and feeling sick to their stomach. However, if you don’t mind the thought of cold calling, it can be a fantastic way of generating business, especially if you’re selling personal services. With a bit of knowledge and the law of averages, you’ll be able to generate business fairly quickly and cheaply.

Direct mail is a very effective tool if used correctly. If you have built up a list of contacts and they are the type of people who will be interested or have bought the type of product or service you sell, you’ll have a good chance of getting a solid response. Of course, much direct mail is shipped to a certain zip or area code and could be mistaken for junk mail. It’s easier to send to many, but cheaper and smarter to send to a targeted list.

Print Collateral such as brochures and corporate identity pieces (letterhead, business cards etc.) are a good way to let people know who you are without being abrasive or in your face. Make sure you follow up after people look at your print pieces because many times, even if they like what you represent, they won’t bother to get in touch.

Newspaper and magazine advertising can work well if a) the creative is well done and b) you’ve included your ad in the right publication. Magazine and newspaper publications can be a cost effective marketing choice because there are so many different publications to choose from. Obviously, small businesses are unlikely to advertise in a national paper because of cost but there are still many options.

Email Marketing is an effective approach to lead generation if it is done well. Take time to build a good list, make sure you are sending people something of value in your communications and balance your sales emails with informational emails. Don’t blast people with three or four a week or they’ll see you as a nuisance.

A website is a bare minimum these days but if well thought-out, it can generate many new leads. Give consumers all of the information they’ll need to make an informed decision about your company and be sure to talk about issues the reader will find important.

The choice is yours in terms of what sort of marketing to choose, but I will suggest you pick no more than two or three methods and just give them a go. You have a lot to gain if they succeed.

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