Your Shoestring Marketing Plan
We all appreciate that small businesses do not have lavish marketing budgets. We don’t expect to see local businesses advertising on national television or in national magazines because the return on investment just isn’t there. However a lack of money for marketing does not need to be an impediment to getting your product or service noticed, if you employ shoestring marketing strategies.
Before starting your shoestring marketing drive:
- Know what your unique selling proposition (point of difference) is compared to your competitors as this will be the consistent message you need to reinforce in all your marketing.
- Good small business marketing will take time so don’t expect instant results. Low cost marketing strategies can take 3 or more months for you to see results.
- Create a marketing plan. It could be as simple as a calendar outlining your key activities but having a plan that helps co-ordinate your efforts will do wonders for your overall marketing success rate.
Here are some 7 great shoestring strategies you can employ:
- Word of mouth – Tell everyone (family, friends, colleague etc) you know about your business and what benefits it provides. Most people want to help and will be happy to mention your business to others. Paid referrals should be avoided but in some industries are necessary and a good source of new leads.
- Public relations – PR is essentially unpaid advertising and is great for communicating newsworthy items to a larger audience. PR generally takes the form of press releases, media events, local media pitches or highlighting recent survey results.
- Email newsletter – A regular email newsletter is a great inexpensive tool for keeping in touch with your customers. To maximise readership ensure your content is relevant and current. Tip: Choose your subject line carefully to avoid spam filters and to grab the reader’s attention.
- Testimonials – Customers want to hear about how you have helped other similar businesses to become success stories. Ask your customers for testimonials or highlight them in case studies. It doesn’t cost you anything and goes a long way to convincing potential customers of your credibility.
- Social Media – Some businesses are having great success in the social media environment. Learn to leverage your marketing through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or via a blog site. These sites help build relationships with potential customers, allow you to highlight your products or services and gather important feedback about your business.
- Network – You and your team are representatives of your business so get out there and network with other business owners, potential referral partners and potential customers about what is unique about your business.
- Free Offers – If you have something that customers will value that costs you very little then you might consider providing a free offer. Examples of free offers might include: an eBook; special report; how to guide; tip sheet; buyers guide; survey; teleseminar; product sample; trial offer; customer support line; brochure; consultation etc
If you need assistance setting up a shoestring marketing plan for your business, talk to a business consultant from Watts Price Accountants today.
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He then taped it to his office door.
Later that day when he returned from lunch, he found that someone had taped a note to the sign that said:
“Your wife called, she wants her sign back!”
Richard Kemp – Watts Price Accountants
The advice provided on this Article is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.