With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, small businesses across America are making their lists and checking them twice; trying to find out how to make the season nice. Many struggle with meager marketing budgets and mistakenly believe they can’t make a difference with a little bit of money. The truth is, with today’s marketing landscape, a little can go a long way.
With creativity, hard work, and a little bit of money, every small business owner can maximize their advertising dollars. Here are three easy ways to get started:
Social Media Promotions
Facebook and Twitter have made it easier than ever for small business owners to access millions of people and offer goods and services. A great way to do this is through promoted posts and tweets.
You can simply craft a sharp promotion and post about it on your company’s Facebook page. Next, click on the “Boost Post” option at the bottom of the post and select your budget, target audience, and promotion duration. Soon followers, their friends, and others can discover your incentive and visit your company website.
Likewise, Twitter now allows users to promote tweets. Simply click on Twitter Ads and select the tweets you want to promote. Next, select the budget and audience, similar to Facebook.
Outdoor (Small) Billboard
We’ve all seen the large flashy billboards that line major highways in America. Those billboards can be expensive and usually come with lengthy monthly contracts. However, the next time you’re driving around town, pay attention to the smaller “8-sheet” billboards that line surface streets. These billboards are much smaller and much more affordable than their larger counterparts.
There is also a larger inventory. This means, many outdoor advertising agencies might be willing to cut a deal with a small business owner and not require a lengthy contract. So, find an 8-sheet billboard near your business, create a smart marketing message, and call the agency that owns it. Most agencies have their name or contact info right on the billboard. Also, you won’t have to worry about creating artwork, most agencies will provide it for you.
Email Co-Marketing Campaign
Many companies gather customer email addresses, and put those email lists to good use with monthly emails, newsletters and promotions. After a few dozen emails, you might think customers are a little tired of hearing from you, and judging by the unsubscribe notifications, this might be true in some cases.
A great way to find new customers and expose them to your business and products, is to partner with a similar company and either exchange email campaigns or ask to have access to theirs for a fee. Often, other small businesses will be happy to exchange specials that they can offer to their customers.
For example, a florist partnering with a gift basket store or chocolate shop, can offer customers 50% off flowers with their next purchase of a gift basket or box of chocolates. This marketing trick might not cost you a thing, but if the other business mentions the costs of sending out an email blast, you can always mention that you have a budget of $500.
These are just a few of the great marketing ideas that a small business can use. Give them a try, or come up with one of your own. Regardless, don’t get discouraged at the size of your marketing budget, rather use it as a challenge and get creative. There are thousands of ways to put small budgets to good use.
Scott Cohen, CEO of 180Fusion, a 15+ year industry veteran in the internet and software sector. As a recognized thought leader he has successfully supported Fortune 500 executives to SMB market on global marketing initiatives. Cohen is responsible for the overall vision and strategy for 180Fusion. 180Fusion offers National and Local SEO Services, PPC Management, Social Media Marketing, and Reputation Management to help thousands of companies succeed online.