From goliaths like Google to small SaaS companies and three-person marketing startups, all businesses need to market themselves in order to be successful. Unfortunately for many small business owners, this is often easier said than done. It can be hard enough to make payroll and pay bills on time each month. How are you supposed to set aside enough money to bankroll an entire marketing campaign?
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to spend an exorbitant amount of money to successfully market your small business. In fact, there are a number of tactics you can employ to increase brand awareness without even reaching into your company’s purse.
Here are four of them:
- Use social media
According to a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center, 65% of American adults use social media. Perhaps not surprisingly, 72% of American adults who use the internet have a Facebook profile. A lot of them are on Pinterest (31%), Instagram (28%), LinkedIn (25%), and Twitter (23%) too.
If you haven’t established a strong presence on social media yet, what are you waiting for? Social networks are extremely beneficial to small businesses. You can use them to control how your brand looks online, engage with your customers, and improve your search rankings—among other things.
The best part? Social networks are free, and you can always pay a few bucks here and there to promote specific posts to gain more traction when the time calls for it.
- Launch a company blog
Have something interesting to say? Pick up your digital pen and start blogging. It won’t cost you a cent—just your time.
Blogging helps your business share its story and demonstrate thought leadership. You’ll also benefit from increased traffic to your website and more indexed pages. As a result, B2B marketers that blog generate 67% more leads than their more silent competitors.
Don’t forget that blogging is strongly correlated with customer acquisition, so blog early and blog often. For maximum effectiveness, promote your blogs across your social profiles.
- Help a local organization
It never hurts to lend a hand when you can. In some instances, your charity can double as a marketing vehicle.
Let’s say you run a small agency that designs websites, apps, infographics, and other marketing collateral. No matter where your small business is located, there are organizations in your community that could use a hand. Do your due diligence, and find an organization you’re interested in helping. Redesign their website, build them an app, and create an infographic for them. Don’t ask for any payment; just stick your logo toward the bottom of their fancy new website.
Helping a local organization will cost you some time, but you will be donating your resources to folks who need it while raising brand awareness at the same time.
- Set up free listings for your business
It’s 2016. When people are looking for information, they Google it (okay, there are also people who Bing it). If you own a local business that depends on folks who live nearby—a restaurant, for example—you can easily market your company to customers by creating free business profiles on Google and Bing.
Google recently announced that more searches originate from mobile than desktop. Thanks to geolocation, the people on mobile who are searching for a place to eat near your restaurant, to continue the example, are more likely to be directed to your listing—assuming you’ve created it in the first place.
At the very least, business profiles provide increased visibility for your brand. Spend a couple of hours claiming your business’ profile and you’ll increase the likelihood your customers will find you when they need to.
You don’t have to spend a zillion dollars to successfully market your small business, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a huge budget to spend on your campaigns. A little hard work and a lot of creativity can help you accomplish your marketing goals. You just need to be willing to put in the time. Good luck!