“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark,” goes the famous quote by Steuart Henderson Britt. However, times are tough and while advertising is a proven marketing tool, it’s still possible to promote your small business on a limited budget.
So if you’re looking to “illuminate” the qualities of your products and services outside of the realm of costly ad campaigns, here are five places to start. Remember, there’s always someone willing to lend a hand – you just need to ask.
The power of storytelling should never be underestimated. Sharing high-quality content – online, print, video or podcast – that prompts stimulating discussion about and within your business field can have a huge impact on attracting attention to your venture.
Research from the Content Marketing Institute shows that 44 per cent of those who possess a documented strategy say they are effective in this space. It’s time to take the plunge – SEO, e-newsletters, infographics and white papers can achieve greater exposure for your business.
Media exposure through independent outlets – think blogs, websites, and social media for example – is a golden avenue for promoting your business. This kind of exposure is different from content marketing and ads on TV, in print or online, as it allows people to tell a story on your behalf..
Options range from distributing a press release about a particular success or having a well-known business leader advocate for your business. It’s also always a good idea to keep up relationships with influential journalists who can help spread the word. Just don’t say anything you’ll regret.
Media exposure through independent outlets – think blogs, websites, and social media for example – is a golden avenue for promoting your business.
Some expenditure is required if you opt for sponsorship but the benefits can be substantial when it comes to increased exposure and establishing a solid reputation as a business people can trust.
Sponsorship options include local sports teams, the full spectrum of community events, and perhaps most meaningfully, charities. This option will see your business’ logo on signs, promotional literature, online and so on.
Networking and affiliation
Be as social as possible. This could mean looking into your co-working space options, regularly attending trade or business conferences, becoming an industry expert, or finding the right business mentor (everyone needs a helping hand at some point)
Traditional email marketing still exists because market research suggests it works. Looking to maximise it? Try making yours more appealing by offering, for example, free samples or offers – both key factors in increasing word of mouth business.
A hefty financial layout for advertising may not be necessary to make a difference to your business profile, and it’s always important to accept the help of others. A sense of creativity and a lively imagination will also come in handy.
Are you a small business owner looking for all the help you can get? Nominate your business to be in the running to win the $15,000 ‘Big Ups’ Marketing Grant thanks to Optus.