Small businesses often have it hard in the marketing stakes. There’s less budget to play with and fewer resources to deal with the work demands. But that doesn’t mean your voice can’t be heard. There are some great, affordable ways to market your business even when you’re on a shoestring. Digital Marketing Director, Chris Surridge, from Whitefish Marketing gives a quick rundown of some low cost ideas.
Employ online video
Online video is a great way to engage consumers and generate a following, and they don’t have to be the polished, expensive kind. Video tutorials provide relevant, useful information to users that will encourage them to return to the site and purchase products or seek out your services. Setting up a YouTube channel is free, and the videos are easily embedded on your own site.
Set up a blog
In the same way that video can provide visitors with high quality rich media content, so can a company blog. The best solution is to present yourself as an expert in your field, tackling questions and problems that many of your customers face and offering advice on various subjects. For example, a legal firm specialising in employment law might blog about duties of care companies have towards staff or outline the details of reviewing and altering employment contracts. Become a voice of authority and, after a while, your name will become synonymous with your specialty.
Publish testimonials and case studies
Customer testimonials or reviews and case studies on your website are a great way to prove the efficacy of your services or the quality of your products. Peer reviews are increasingly important to consumers and can be persuasive for potential customers. Take care to publish reviews that are less than dazzling – or even negative – and ensure all feedback is genuine. Nothing is more suspicious than 30 five-star reviews.
Interact on social channels
A great way to raise brand awareness and attract new customers is to interact with consumers on forums and social media channels. Be honest about who you are and where you work, but offer helpful advice and join in discussions about various subjects that are relevant to your sector. Avoid trying to sell though – if you’re pleasant and helpful, the customers will come to you.
Get the word out
An extension of our point above; when you produce great content, don’t let it sit on your website unnoticed – share it around the web. You can do this via your own social channels, by using bookmarking sites such as Delicious or Stumble Upon, or by guest posting on others’ blogs. Building relationships with bloggers that specialise in your field can increase the reach of your content and improve your credibility as a reputable business.
Get on Google Maps/Local
A Google Maps/Local listing is vital, not least because it will help you appear higher in local search rankings. It’s free to do and enables customers to find your firm, as well as offering you the chance to display opening times and other information on the search listings. It’s also another avenue through which clients can leave reviews, which gives you a useful tool in evaluating customer care. Reviewing past statistics, phone calls direct from Google listings can count toward as much as 17% of total incoming calls. But note… it’s worth ensuring your Google listings pages are set up correctly from the start. It can be hard to remedy or amend once they’ve gone live.
Publish stats, whitepapers and studies
Publishing stats, whitepapers and studies that your company has carried out is another way to provide useful information to your visitors. Findings from these kinds of activities also make for great PR and help establish your position in the marketplace. Do some consumer research with incentive surveys and share the data in a report.
Get in the press
Press releases needn’t be expensive. Services such as PRWeb provide an affordable way to get articles into the public domain and raise brand awareness. They often provide tiered services to suit a range of budgets, and some offer a pay-per-release option if PR is something you do infrequently.
Repurposing content is a great way to communicate an idea across several channels and make the most of your audience. On a number of our blogs we’ve extolled its virtues before, but it’s worth mentioning again that it’s a good opportunity to both win SEO points by creating natural links and draw in more visitors to your website.
This might be a little more outside the box, but sponsoring a local sports team is a good way to get your name seen. The signing of the sponsorship deal itself is good PR and companies can benefit from an advert in programmes or banners on the team’s website for the duration of the season. Think grass roots marketing.
For more advice on marketing for small businesses speak with a representative from Whitefish Marketing. Whitefish Marketing is an experienced yet friendly digital marketing agency in Folkestone, offering complete multichannel marketing services from the fundamentals such as SEO, PPC and Email Marketing, through to full campaign strategies, Public Relations, retention activities and more.