According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), there more than 30,748,000 small businesses across the country, which is 99.9 percent of all businesses.
Back in 2010, small businesses comprised 45 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Meanwhile, the same business segment was responsible for 33 percent of the country’s export products in 2015, which was a significant increase from 2006’s performance.
It is safe to say, thus, that the US economy owes a great deal to these small businesses.
If you own a small business or you’re just planning to open one, you should focus a great part of your efforts on marketing your brand, especially if you’re competing against better-funded companies. With some tactics and a small marketing fund, you can promote your business and get the attention that you need to bring customers and rake in profits.
Here are five inexpensive tricks to market your small business amid a highly competitive industry:
Be as local as you can, but don’t shy away from expansion opportunities
Many businesses during the pandemic’s early months survived because they’re local. As communities bonded together and imbibed a sense of dependency, community members prioritized their own.
For example, businesses that sold locally made gift items enjoyed better sales than those that offered exported ones. Then as it is now, such businesses continue to get the support of their local communities as they jointly try to survive the ongoing pandemic’s impacts on their local economy.
As such, be sure to highlight your connection with the community where your business is located, so people would connect with your business and show their support by patronizing your products or services. However, if there are opportunities to expand your operations, be sure to grab the chance as would any sensible entrepreneur would do.
Turn your vehicle into a moving billboard
Among the most effective, yet inexpensive means of business promotion is transit advertising. They are the marketing collateral you can see on buses, taxicabs, train coaches, as well as bus and train stations.
If you have a company vehicle, you can have a custom sticker wrap for it that contains pertinent details about your business. There are advertising companies that specialize in transit advertising, and they can easily design one for your vehicle.
Since you’re only paying for the sticker wrap’s design and installation, you’re essentially saving money since you don’t need to pay a monthly advertising fee. Your vehicle is your billboard and you have the entire community as your audience, as well as some vehicles passing by your area.
Harness the reach of social media
Many small businesses owed so much to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media sites in addressing their marketing requirements.
Since social media accounts are essentially for free and have tremendous reach, you can promote your business without spending anything. If you need to target a specific audience, you can opt to have sponsored posts such as on Facebook Marketplace where you have the option to have your ads shown to specific demographic and geographic area. The fees are minimal, so it’s an avenue worth exploring.
People just love things that are given for free. In the world of advertising and business promotion, freebies are highly effective as marketing tools.
For example, you may announce that the first 50 walk-in customers on a certain day would receive a small loot bag that contains products you sell. You could also try the frequent flyer approach — giving discounts or trinkets for every -nth visit to your store.
You can variate the approach but the general idea is to hand out anything to customers, particularly first-timers and loyal ones to build and strengthen your client base.
Encourage user-generated content
The simplest explanation for user-generated content (UGC) in terms of brand promotion is that it’s anything that anyone on social media produces in support of a business. They come in many forms: videos, social media status posts, photos, comments, reviews, and the like.
Their beauty lies in the fact that they come from people who use your product or enjoy your services. In short, they are from your business’ actual market or clientele, so they possess an air of legitimacy in the eyes of current and potential customers.
As such, encourage your customers to post content about your business on their respective social media accounts, so their circle would learn about your brand. If your products or services are outstanding enough, you won’t even have to ask for UGC because your clients would provide them willingly.
Truly, promoting a business need not be expensive. Just follow these tips and you’ll be in the best position to enjoy excellent promotion for your business.