10
Oct

What options are available for small businesses to get cheap or no cost marketing, In my opinion Marketing should be the number one priority for any small company. Without clients there is no business period. Getting new customers, if done incorrectly can be costly and end up costing you more then the clients are worth in terms of business.

Off-line advertising

Newspaper Advertising Pros: A range of advertising opportunities starting at classified ads to adverts on the front page.

Cons: Can be costly and the adverts have a short life span.

Directory Advertising Pros: People only look in the directory if they are looking for a product or service, so conversion to business should be higher. More popular with the older generation. Adverts have a 12 month lifespan

Cons: can be costly, if you spend less by having a smaller advert the response rates drop dramaticly. Response rates are decreasing over time as the internet becomes the first port of call for a lot of potential customers.

leaflets Pros: Tight area targeting by demographics

Cons: Low response rates for most

Business Networking

We have a range of networking events with groups like the BNI and and 4Networking. We have a fantastic chambers of commerce across the country extremely professional and pro active and I would advise any business to see what they have to offer.

Tap Your happy Customer

Happy customers can be great for business two ways to build on your success is firstly ask for referrals, do they know of anybody who would benefit from your product or service. Secondly don’t underestimate the power of a positive testimonial that you can place in your marketing material.

Marketing ideas box

If you run a company that employs people, have a marketing ideas box so that staff can suggest ways to get new business. This not only get you now idears but also makes people feel that they are part of the team.

You could go one step further by placing the box in your reception and offering a prize to the customer that suggests any ideas that you use

Online Advertising and Marketing

The online world is full of opportunities for the small business to compete with the big boys all you need is a talented web designer and SEO like me. Having a website is a must for most businesses but if you have zero visitors seeing your site, its wasted money.

WebSite Pros: when done correctly can produce large amounts of business for many types of industries. can be updated in a very short time so it can display your product offerings bang up to date.

Cons: Like anything it requires work. If you just place your site online and expect business then your going to be disappointed. you need to keep it up to date or get a web professional to do it for you.

SEO

SEO or Search engine optimisation is the skill of getting your website up the search engine rankings so that when people search for your product or service you around and not your competitors.

Pros: Gets you qualified leads as we know having a lead pre qualified makes it a lot easyer to convert them to a customer

Cons: Takes time, like a fine wine SEO and Websites get better with age.

PPC

PPC or Pay Per Click is paid advertising in the search engines. You only pay when someone clicks on your link

Pros: Quick, you can have qualified traffic to your website within hours.

Cons: Unless you know what you are doing you could find yourself with lots of clicks but no new customers.

Email Marketing

Pros: Cheap, the cost of DIY email marketing is only your time. If you have a good email list you can get lots of good business from it.

Cons:You need to build your list by an opt in process, meaning the recipient has to give you permission to send them the email. You have to include a way for them to un subscribe from your list. There are laws in place to stop spam so be careful that you don’t fall fowl of theses

Social Networking

Social networking is a way of communication with friends or perspective customers online. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow you to add friends, the friends then see your status updates (or your marketing message)

Pros: Like email if you have a focused friends list you can keep customers abreast of your latest offers

Cons: very time consuming

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