Marketing advice for your small business

A small business may not have the same budget as a large organisation, but this doesn’t have to limit how effective your marketing campaigns can be. Smaller companies can react quickly to changing circumstances, and this flexibility, along with less red tape, is a huge advantage when it comes to marketing. We have a look at seven cost-effective tactics that won’t blow your budget, but will increase awareness of your company’s products and services.

HAVE CLEAR OBJECTIVES

Before you start a marketing campaign, you need to have goals. Your strategy will depend on whether you want to improve your sales, increase your website traffic or make your brand more recognisable. Each goal requires a different approach, so decide what you want to achieve in the long-term, and then create your campaign with a clear target in mind.

GET ORGANISED

In the same way that you have a business plan – you also need a marketing plan. Create a calendar that includes things that are important to your company or industry, such as holidays, seasonal events and specific happenings in your business. Assign time to develop your strategies, conduct research and produce content.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

You can’t reach everyone, rather spend some time researching, so that you can identify your audience and the best avenues to reach them. You can then create targeted campaigns which will result in quality over quantity marketing. Your goal is to build long-term and profitable relationships with your audience.

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR COMPETITION

It’s vital for you to conduct competitor intelligence, so you know what your competitors are up to. You don’t have to resort to underhanded tactics as you can find a great amount of information simply by searching online. From their website to customer feedback – the internet is a great resource that any company can use to see what a rival is doing. This research also allows you to see where the opportunities lie, so you can stay ahead of the competition.

BE SOCIAL MEDIA SMART

Businesses today should have an online presence, as it’s a free way to connect with existing customers, while also reaching out to potential new customers. When you use social media correctly you can quickly gain exposure, but you don’t have to be on every social media site. Choose the platforms that suit your company, and those where you’ll find your customers. Leverage these free tools to connect with your customers and build your brand.

REAL-TIME MARKETING

Be aware of current trends and newsworthy topics and use this timely information to bring attention to your brand. It’s important that you carefully choose these topics and your response, as you don’t want to appear insensitive or inappropriate. By understanding a trend and using an effective (whether it’s funny, serious or thought-provoking) marketing angle, you inject your company into the conversation and make your brand relevant.

CONTENT IS KING

Maintain your website by continually updating it with relevant content. Whether you use blogs, videos or photos, your customers will engage more with your company if they believe there is pertinent and current information on your various online platforms. Ideally you want to create fresh content, but you can also reuse old content, such as turning a webinar into a white paper. When you have interesting information that your customers can share, it expands your audience and raises awareness about your business.

Having a marketing strategy is important for all companies, but when you don’t have a big budget, you need to use your funds wisely. With a strong marketing plan you’ll keep existing clients loyal, reach potential new customers, and take your business to new heights.

How can we help you? LEAP provides valuable business advice and support to entrepreneurs and business owners. To find out how LEAP can assist you, call us today on 011 449 7974 or visit www.leapco.co.za.
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