sually, these are privately owned businesses and must advertise and market themselves just as like other businesses (big or small) to be successful. However, they differ from these other bigger corporations in one major aspect and that is the budget. Most big businesses will have a separate marketing and advertising department that manages all the requirements of a business. So how does a small business with a small or sometimes even no budget market itself to bring in more sales?
Traditionally, marketing or advertising has always been an expensive affair. However, with time and the advent of social media, the tools and mediums available for businesses to make their presence felt are immense.
Some of those are as follows:
Facebook: Becoming part of groups on social media will improve your presence in the industry. Media such as Facebook and LinkedIn can help you present your business in the right manner. In addition, being part of groups that belong to the product or service and contributing articles or references will help to establish you and your brand by bringing in recognition for your expertise and thereby sales.
Apart from the above, a group can be established for your customers or buyers who can use the platform to interact with the business. For instance, a small-time baker can start a group for home bakers. Advice about organic ingredients and the processes can be exchanged while building a reputation as a baker who bakes with the local organic products alone.
Promotional events can be organized, local community events can be sponsored which will again translate into sales for the business.
There are tools like Piktokart can be used successfully to create posters, reports using templates which can do the job of designers. These will help create the right image for your product for a small price. Then, there is Social Mention which is a tool that will indicate important conversations or mentions in your niche area. This can prompt valuable suggestions, comments, and articles regarding the same from you making you and your brand more recognized.
Blogs are a rage and you as a small business will benefit from tapping into this source that sees many visitors. Making or setting up a blog may be cumbersome to start with but you will profit from this exercise once your blog is functional with a steady number of visitors.
If the above seems impossible, you can still contribute as a guest to popular blogs in your niche. You can invest some time in finding blogs that relate to your niche and begin to write. Contributing to blogs involve rules as well. Make sure that you leave your real name and business name to benefit from the same. Another good way to benefit from blogs would co-sponsor events or contests with complementary businesses. Always ensure you have good social share plugins in your blogs. This will allow people to share good and thoughtfully written articles, thereby promoting you and your brand as well. Once your reputation has been built, you can consider setting up awards for businesses in your niche area. These awards need not be monetary but simple badges that can be displayed as a matter of pride.
Currently, when information is readily available if you look for it online, it is critical to not only drive traffic and sales towards your site but also to protect your online reputation. This can only be done when you are aware of what your customers think of you, your products/services. There are several review sites today that can influence your business’s reputation keeping your expenses to a minimum.
A listing on the Google My Business page will list you as a business on Google maps and Google+. This will not only enable your customers to view your business but also appear when your customers search for related information. The local listings typically receive high rankings in the search results. A listing on Yahoo will also work similarly for your business.
Big businesses had a huge advantage where it came to advertising and marketing their brands. They could use the money to place themselves ahead by being visible constantly. The internet has now leveled the field considerably allowing the small businesses to compete as well. Thus, small businesses with a solid product/service idea can now compete with big businesses. All it requires is for you to be a little imaginative and use the available resources to your advantage.