6 Cost-Effective Marketing Ideas for 2017
Marketing can be quite costly and very time consuming, but is a necessity for your business to thrive.
This can be daunting for a small business, entrepreneur or a professional that doesn’t have a background in marketing. You know you need to do something, but where do you start, how much should you budget, what will give you have maximum return for the investment and so forth.
Below are six simple, affordable, and practical marketing ideas that will actually generate results.
Chamber of Commerce/Networking Groups
Joining these groups is a very good idea. You get to know business owners locally, regionally and maybe even nationally; more importantly they get to know you. These groups typically meet either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. They usually have a reasonable membership fee (which is worth the investment). The key to experiencing success within these groups is to actively participate and schedule one-on-one coffee/lunch meeting with members. It will give the both of you a chance to learn more about one another’s business and what makes up an ideal referral for the other. These groups can become ongoing referral sources.
Handwritten Thank-You Notes
Yep, people still love them! Think about it… what do you open first from your mail. I open checks 🙂, then personal mail, the bills… well they go onto the unopened pile. The reality is going back to the old ways is a very good idea and can open a door that was previously shut. It’s a proven way to say Thank You for Time, Thank You for the Opportunity, Thank You for the Business, Thank You for the Referral and so on… Your referral sources and customers will be impressed that you took the time to send them a handwritten thank-you note. Its like depositing goodwill into a bank account that pays you big dividends down the road.
Here is a great APP that I use, it enables you to easily send real cards & gifts from your phone: Send Cool Cards
Local Online Presence
Whether you’re a small business, entrepreneur or professional selling products or services to a local market, you need to make sure your website is SEO optimization locally. Additionally, you’ll also want to make sure that your business information is properly listed, correct and consistent in the numerous online business directories. Likewise in the industry specific, state and city directories. Having your business information accurate and consistent online will help you gain higher SEO rankings.
There are numerous Free Tools that help you check your online presence. Get my 67 FREE Topmost Tools & Apps Guide
The biggest benefit of regularly writing a blog on your website, is that it will help drive traffic to your website. Here’s how that works, every time you post a blog, it’s one more page that gets indexed be search engines. That provides one more opportunity for you to show-up in a given search, potentially driving traffic back to your site. That traffic can become leads. It also helps to establish you as and authority on the subject.
Now publishing a newsletter gives you the opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of your company along with the products and services you offer. Customers and prospects usually have a limited perspective of all that your business can offer. A newsletter provides a broader picture and enables readers to learn more about your products or services. Your should include links to more detailed information on your website.
It’s also a great way to highlight cool and fun things happing within your business.
The challenge with most marketing campaigns is that they are very one sided, you’re pushing your message out… Social media changes that, as it allows you to not only push your message out, but actually have a conversation. Social media helps to create a community of fans and followers that see you as more than just a business entity. They’ll view you as someone they trust, and people buy from those they trust.
You’ll want to leverage video, especially with all the technological improvements in smartphones. It’s really simple to create quality video content for your business on a regular basis. You can incorporate it as part of your blog as well as post it to your social media sites. Plus, with Facebook’s recent ability to conduct live video, this is an awesome way to engage with your followers.
Ratings & Reviews
Word of mouth was the ideal way to attract business in the past and still is to some point. However, today it’s the always-online mobile device society who are influenced by search results and social media along with online review sites have replaced word of mouth. Therefore, it’s very important to get ratings and reviews from your customers to become the top-rated provider in your area. In a recent survey to determine how many reviews are needed before gaining a consumer’s trust. It turns out, a minimum of 10 are necessary before people believe the reviews!
Understanding that it can sometimes be a struggle to get customers to review your business, products or services. Nevertheless, you should do whatever you can to get them to do so on high-traffic sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Reviews. As an example of how important this is, Google currently displays only the top three most relevant businesses for any search, and online reviews help determine who they are.