Increasing engagement and sales when you lack a significant budget for promotional activities can be daunting. To help, this article outlines a few ways that you can promote your physical or online business on a budget.
Promoting your business on social media platforms is important, whether you pay for advertising or simply maintain a profile. If you only have a limited budget for advertising, it is important to target your resources to the platforms with which your audience engages. This will partly come down to demographics, including age and geographical location.
A further factor is the type of product or service you offer. For example, if you offer accounting services, you might struggle to promote your business on an image-based platform such as Pinterest. However, this might be the ideal platform to promote your bakery, where you can showcase your goods and tempt customers to place an order or visit your physical location.
Establishing a company website is almost an essential for any business. If you do have a promotion budget it is worthwhile investing in a well-designed site and bringing in the resources to keep it maintained and optimized. This is especially true if you plan to have a blog. As a business, the only thing worse than having no online presence, is going months without updating your blog (or social media accounts). At worst, potential customers or clients might think you’ve gone out of business.
Less resource-heavy online methods for promotion include joining and participating in relevant LinkedIn groups and guest-posting on high-quality blogs in your niche. Channels like this allow you to build authority in your area of expertise and to share useful content with your audience, instead of simply selling your goods and services.
From company branded custom made socks to participating in a local event or running a class, there are lots of creative ways to effectively promote your business that are relatively inexpensive. The advantage of these ‘out of the box’ methods is that they are memorable and likely to resonate with an audience that’s bombarded with online content and advertising. For example, if you run a photography store, running a free class that teaches people the basics of using a digital camera could be a great way to establish yourself as the go-to expert in your area that people trust (and may then buy from).
When it comes to business promotion on a budget, going back to basics can also produce positive results. Traditional offline methods such as in-person networking, leaving business cards in relevant locations, and placing adverts in physical media can be effective. This is especially true if you have a bricks and mortar store or offer your services in a limited geographical area. The key is to match your available budget with the types of promotions that are relevant to your target audience.
Marketing and promotion will always require an element of trial and error until you find the methods that resonate with your target market. However, hopefully this article has shown that you don’t need a large budget to effectively take your business’ message to a larger audience.