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Get your business sprinting even when marketing on a shoestring

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Is your business a startup and currently operating on shoestring budget? Well, even if it is, and no matter what stage it is in its life, your business needs to be marketed just as much as the leaders in the market are. It needs to draw in customers, it needs to drive them to your custom, and it needs to consolidate them as customers in the long run. Even when you are working on a shoestring budget there are still ways to market your business, its brand and its product — a few of them can be seen below.

Blogging

In this day and age, the digital age, there is no better tool to utilise than the online world of the Internet. When it comes to online marketing advice, there are three golden stages: build traffic, drive leads and see through the process. When undertaking this very effective and cost-friendly approach, a first port of call could be taking to the world of blogging. There are a whole host of blogging platforms available that offer up the opportunity for you to build your business’s blogging basis.

SEO

There is one very important aspect that needs focussing on: your blog’s SEO. In ensuring that maximising your SEO to its full potential is of high priority every time you access the blog you are automatically optimising your online marketing campaign and are in the first of the golden stages: the building of traffic. Simply put, SEO makes your blog more visible on search engines and acts in a way where it draws in both the passing traffic, and the target audience, meaning that the overall traffic your are building comprises of both of these types of people.

To optimise your SEO, first and foremost, long-tail keywords should be given great precedence when it comes to the choosing and implementing of keywords and hashtags; tossing in a host of smaller ones is something that should be avoided in this process. This is because of the fact that, when it comes to SEO, you will be deemed to be a ‘keyword stuffer’ by search engines such as Google if you use a host of smaller ones which is something that is well and truly frowned upon by them and comes with penalties, the biggest one of which is that there will be a huge roadblock in the way for potential traffic to get to your blog.

But using long-tail keywords isn’t only the way in which you get the most out of SEO, doing so also means that the target audience will be reeled in due to the fact that they are likely to be spending their time searching for these longer pieces of text. As well as this, the blog will just look a whole lot less clunky when there are only a few keywords deliberately placed in it in comparison to if there was one in every other sentence.

Google tools

And sticking with the theme of SEO, specifically the ways in which Google can be used in innovative and frugal attempts at marketing: creating a Google My Business account is advisable. In doing so, you can get all of your vital business information out there, such as the times in which you are open for business and directions to your workspace (if applicable), on not only Google Search, but also on its other platforms, such as Google Maps. You can have your office space (again, if applicable) shown on Maps, thus making it easier for people to find you when they want to business with you or just send you information via mail. Marketing doesn’t always have to comprise of flashy billboards or bus stop posters: as long as your information is out there and being processed by potential consumers, you are doing something right.

Email

But when it comes to using the delights of the online world in a marketing sense it doesn’t have to be all about the most cutting edge and latest platforms and software: you can also market for free (or very cheaply) through the use of email. By building an email list and seeking help off an email management service (some of which, like MailChimp, offer their services for free for startups) you can target specific consumers and get your information sent straight to their screens. However, what they choose to do with the information on their screen is up to them: they could read through your information, be delighted at what they and ring you up straight away in the hope of doing business with you; or they could send the mail straight to their junk pile.

Trade and business events

And this is one of the down points in regards to marketing via the Internet: you can never truly know if the information is being processed by the receiver in the way you want it to be as you’re not able to mandate the situation in person. This is why, even in this day and age, there is still a massive call for physical marketing. One such way to do so is to go for the highly traditional route of attending a trade show or business fair. In doing so, you can rest assured that the message you are sending through your marketing campaign is not only reaching the targeted consumer, but that it is resonating with them and they are taking things away from the experience.

Also, in attending a trade show you have consumers on tap as they will be wandering about the venue all day in search of business to invest their money or time in, so you must set your stall out (literally) in a way that makes as many heads turn as possible. What you should always be aware of when you have a stall at a trade show is that everybody who is there knows that the businesses on show are there to sell their product, hence they expect everybody to be trying to make a hard sell or to be approaching them with their information or produce. To really stand out from the crowd in this sense, you should not bother trying to approach consumers too intently and should instead try other tactics to attract attention.

A few surefire ways to attract at a trade show include: standing out from those around you by way of the colours your stall, or even you, adorn; using interesting props that draw consumers into your space because of the fact that there is something for them to experience; and offer competitions, prizes and even freebies. You could also bring along with you some form of banner or flag that has your marketing slogan or speech, and your logo, written on it clearly for all to see.

The price of attending a trade show and setting up a stall is dependent on the type of package you choose; this means that in doing so you have to choose the right package that you believe will offer you a relative return on investment. It is relevant because of the fact that bigger businesses with more of a budget are likely to spend big on the space at the show that they can consume and vice versa in regards to smaller businesses. This means that you should only budget for a trade show in a way where you believe you will see an optimum ROI.

Business cards

Another, far more straight forward way to market your business physically is to create your own business cards. In doing so, and in handing them out to potential clients, you are marketing your brand ingeniously: this is because of the fact the card will more than likely be stored in a wallet or purse, thus meaning it will never leave the side of the potential client. It is also a good way to prove yourself to be a business that can afford to have such commodities drawn up, even though they are relatively inexpensive to make. You could also host an on-site class or talk regarding your business and the field/market in which it businesses in: doing so will show you to be knowledgeable (and trustworthy) when it comes to potential clients picking the best business in the market, and will draw potential clients into your workspace. You just have to confident enough to speak in front of the crowd — if you aren’t, then it would be a mistake to partake in such a venture.

Try different things

Of course, there are always going to be mistakes made when marketing in the physical realm, and there are always going to be online marketing mistakes made too; but it’s not about making mistakes, not in this game. In this game it is about trying different things in order to reach different people and produce different results for you and your business — if they fail, then they fail. When marketing on a shoestring budget, granted, the space for failure is pretty slim, but this shouldn’t hold you back from trying techniques you haven’t tried before. Remember, it takes one good marketing campaign to change your business’s marketing fortunes around completely, and you shouldn’t let financial restrictions stop you. If needs be cut down on other areas of the business to facilitate the opportunity to try a range of marketing campaigns, because it is a highly important aspect of business!

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best.We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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