Spotlight

Nine Tips for Easy, Low-Cost Marketing

In today’s competitive market, promoting your company and distinguishing yourself from competitors is essential. These quick tips can help you spread the word about your quality products and services, even if time and resources are tight.

1. Keep Ads Short and Sweet

Less is more when it comes to copy in advertisements or on a website. Potential customers want to know quickly what you do, and how it can benefit them. When you grab people’s attention with text that is short and sweet you can also save money. Whether in print on online, smaller ads cost less.

2. Offer Something

A small gift or promise of reduced rates can go a long way to attracting potential customers. Even better is to offer something FREE. Make your offer an opportunity for customers to sample what you do. If they like it, they will come back for more.

3. Demo Your Work

Nothing closes a sale like the chance to try (or watch a demo) before you buy. Demonstrate your product or service live or online and show prospects firsthand why they should buy from you.

4. Activate Your Advocates

Satisfied customers are your best advertising, period. Ask your best customers to review you on social networking sites and online business directories. Collect customer testimonials to include in your marketing materials or newsletters. As a thank you, create special offers just for existing customers—they win with reduced rates on your services, and you get their repeat business.

5. Start Social Networking

If you haven’t done it yet take a few minutes to post a profile on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites. You’ll have the power to connect with thousands of people—in your local area and beyond—and easily associate with relevant groups or organizations. By listing on multiple sites, your company may also appear more often in search results.

6. Make Headlines

Radio shows, topic-specific news sites, even local television stations can present ways for you to tie your business to existing headlines or make them on your own. Does your community or professional organization have an event you can sponsor? Is there a charitable group you can partner with? Does your latest product offering have the potential to change your industry? Take action and tell appropriate news outlets about it.

7. Create Your Own Media

Turn your dream of writing articles or hosting your own show into a way to showcase your skills and promote your business. Blogs, online radio networks, YouTube, even public access television offer great opportunities for you to create a buzz about your expertise.

8. Buddy With Other Businesses

Do a special promotion with other businesses in your area or industry, especially ones that compliment your offerings. A marketing buddy system gives all organizations involved a chance to connect with totally new groups of potential customers.

9. Change It Up

If you always send out mailers, try advertising through a popular news source. If you’ve run the same ad for six months, get a design student to create something original. If your customers expect to see the same old banner on your website or store front, surprise them with something new. Keeping your marketing fresh grabs people’s attention and shows you’re active and invested in your business.

Your marketing and advertising doesn’t have to cost a lot. With a few simple, low-cost marketing efforts you can find new prospects and keep current customers engaged.