Do you wonder why most small businesses fail? It is because they don’t make enough sales to stay afloat.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 20% of small businesses close shop in their first year, another 30% close shop before their 5th year, and in 10 years, on one-third stands.
If you are a small business, you can avoid being a statistic with these time-tested zero or low-cost small-business marketing strategies that will keep your cash machine busy.
4 Zero Cost Or Affordable Small Business Marketing Strategies That Drive Sales
Covid 19 pandemic has driven the last lot of skeptics online.
At the peak of the pandemic, the richest men in the world added billions of dollars to their balance sheet; a common denominator is most of these billionaires are in the online space.
If you don’t have a website, there is no way your small business will only smell the money running online.
Where does SEO come in? Do you know Google? Who doesn’t?
Google, Bing, and hundreds of other search engines are the guys helping the droves of people searching for products or solutions on the internet.
But the thing is, you are not the only business competing for the top slot on the first page of search results (SERPs).
Search engine optimization is broadly broken into Onpage SEO and Offpage SEO.
Onpage SEO involves tasks on your website, tasks like creating SEO content and improving website speeds.
When creating content that ranks high onGoogle, start by researching keywords that your target audience is querying search engines.
Then create content around these keywords.
If you are in a competitive industry, at the beginning, stay far away from head terms or highly competitive keywords.
You have a fair chance of ranking for long-tail keywords that your established competitors are not interested in.
Offpage SEO involves activities like link building with other websites.
SEO can be free if you do it yourself, but, to be frank, it is hard, and it takes time to see results. If you go the route of hiring SEO specialists, SEO is damn expensive.
But the advantage is that once you crack the first page of Google, you will receive business leads for as long as you maintain your position on the first page.
- Social media marketing
Social media platforms are where most of your audience hangs out.
So you can’t ignore social media marketing as part of your small business marketing strategies.
Today, the kings of social media are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok. Behind them are hundreds of sprouting social media platforms competing for eyeballs.
But you can’t be everywhere.
As a rule of thumb, establish a presence with platforms your audience is in.
If your audience is on Pinterest, then that is where you should be. If you target corporates, then maybe LinkedIn where you go.
Once you create your profile, don’t stop there. Post regularly and engage with your audience.
As you establish your authority, your business will steadily get a stream of leads from your social accounts.
- Email marketing
If you ever bought anything online from any big brand; Amazon, eBay, etc. – open your email and scan through.
You will notice that these companies never tire of sending you offer after offer.
Why? Because email marketing works.
If it works for the big brands, it should work for a small business like yours.
The email marketings strategy is one of the most straightforward and almost free small business marketing strategies that drive results.
Better still, email marketing has the best ROI against any other traditional marketing channel.
Yet, somehow small businesses ignore it.
Leveraging email marketing is simple.
Build a mailing list – Find a way of collecting email addresses.
If you have a website, why not added a lead capture form on your website. Your website is one of your most important digital marketing properties, so make use of it. Lead capture forms can go to the footer or the sidebar.
If you create stellar content on your blog, you can gate your content so only people who submit their emails can read the rest of the content.
Popup forms are also wildly effective.
In addition to your online properties, you can also capture customer email addresses offline.
Whenever you make a sale, make it a point to get your customer’s email address.
The secret to getting email addresses is in the offer. Offer your audience something of value that they will gladly give you their email address for it.
Send quality content regularly to your list.
With email marketing software like Mailchimp, you can automate your email marketing campaigns.
When just starting, most email marketing software provides free plans, Mailchimp is free for upto 2000 emails, and Mailpoet is free for the first 1000 contacts.
To make the most of your list, you need to send them content of value regularly. Once in a while, promote your products.
A simple strategy I use is to repurpose the blog posts into emails.
- Leverage your network – Go big on referrals
Small businesses often ignore the power of referrals. Yet, it can cost nothing.
There are two ways referrals work as a marketing strategy for your business.
Offline referrals – word of mouth.
Word of mouth leverages the trust you’ve already built with your existing customers. That’s why it is one of those almost dumb but effective small business marketing strategies.
Word of mouth comes in all shapes and sizes.
After every transaction, ask your customer if they knew anyone in their circles who would need the service you just offered.
If getting referrals like this is hard, sweeten the deal. How about a discount on their next purchase for each referral they send your way.
If you run an online business, you can build a referral strategy for your website.
Customers and any other person can promote your business for a commission on sales they refer.
It is a win-win marketing strategy that leverages your network for your growth.
Be it online or offline; add some kind of referral strategy to your small business marketing arsenal. It works.
Conclusion Affordable Small Business Marketing Strategies That Drive Sales
You don’t need a big budget to drive traffic to your small business.
Since you don’t have a stash of cash to splash on marketing, you can focus on digital marketing channels and affordable offline marketing strategies.
I can guarantee your business will be among the one third in ten years if you consistently devote a portion of your time to;
- Search engine optimization
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
These are marketing strategies that you can implement on your own or can spend a small fee to get started.