As a small business competing against giants with massive marketing budgets, all of us here at WORK[etc] know first-hand how hard it can be to get noticed. We’ve been going strong (and growing stronger!) for over five years now, though, so it’s definitely not an impossible task.
WORK[etc] has always been about helping our clients’ businesses grow, so we’ve collected the best and most useful low budget marketing secrets from other small business owners and marketers to help you make the most out of even a modest marketing budget.
Tip #1: Nail Your Value Proposition
My best advice to SMB’s when planning their marketing strategy is to first begin testing around their value proposition. What is it about their product and offer that compels people to say yes?
Until they know this, any marketing efforts or spend in any channels will be like pouring gasoline on wet leaves.
For instance, when we first launched, we thought people would like our service because it’s a cheaper way to get their grass cut. What we found through copy testing in different channels such as AdWords and Facebook is that the customers’ ability to get same day service is a much more effective and compelling subset of our value prop that drives more visitors and more conversions on our landing pages.
Nailing your value prop first is crucial.
CEO and Founder, GreenPal
Tip #2: Guest on Podcasts
Search for podcasts on Blogtalk Radio, iTunes, etc. that are connected to your business and pitch the host an idea for why you should be on the show. Most hosts are always in need of content and looking for fresh new ideas and guests.
The value is not just in the new listeners that you will reach but also once the podcast airs, it provides something for you to blast out into social media and further establish yourself as an expert with those that are already connected to you.
Founder, Trubelo Inc.
Tip #3: Make Your Newsletter Public
While we write some stuff specifically for the blog itself, we also realized that every month we were producing newsletters of a few thousand words each. Customers liked them, but only our customers had access to them.
We’ve begun putting them online and have seen an increase in traffic to the website itself, as well as rankings in Google and other search engines.
Proprietor, Uncorked Ventures
Tip #4: Get Reputable Blogs to Review Your Products
The reviews are all genuine and we do not attempt to force the blog writers to write a positive review. It’s a low-cost effective marketing plan because real reviews bring us more business than any ad-driven marketing strategy.
We monitor our daily web traffic and a good 30% of our traffic comes from different blogs reviewing our products. From that 30% traffic we get from the blogs the bounce rate is only 2%, compared to our Google Ads bounce rate of 36.6%. The conversion rates compared to Google ads are roughly the same, but we spent a lot less sending out free samples of our product.
CEO, Black N Bianco
Tip #5: Host Webinars
Webinars are a great starting point for small businesses looking to interact with potential customers and give them an inside look at your organization and operations. More importantly, it gives you an opportunity to show what you can offer them.
You want to host a webinar on a topic that isn’t about your business, but is about best practices and can provide educational value that shows your expertise.
Taking advantage of the chat function in webinars is crucial, because you want to be able to address questions that anyone has — even if it didn’t come up in your presentation — so that potential customers can understand the excellent treatment they would receive from your team if they worked with you in the future.
Corporate Marketing Communications Manager, Blue Fountain Media
Tip #6: Do a Reddit AMA
To be successful on Reddit, you don’t need a large budget, but you need to understand the nature of the outlet and be sure that you are focusing on the topic at hand as opposed to your company.
Most users don’t care about your business. They just want to ask questions about your industry or expertise you can speak to, so you need to provide them with genuine answers that provide value.
Your answers should be the primary focus and come first. Whatever you’re trying to promote should be a secondary afterthought because if you have too much self-promotion, your AMA will likely be banned or deleted by Reddit moderators before it even gets off the ground.