I know you are tired of hearing this so I will only say it once. The economy STINKS! So what does a small business do as their marketing dollars continue to dwindle? It's time for small business to be like Jack in the nursery rhyme. "Be Nimble and Be Quick!"
There are some smart marketing and advertising strategies that won't cost thousands of dollars to implement. The first step is getting over the idea that marketing is an expense for a small business. It's an investment because a small business will fail unless you get the word out to your customers. But there are ways to make it cost-effective so your marketing dollars aren't getting burned by the economy candlestick!
The approach of, "I'm too busy, I'll try to get to it tomorrow," absolutely will not work! Those businesses that move quick and wisely will be the ones with open signs on the door. But being quick doesn't mean you take a shotgun approach and hope something hits the target. Small businesses often do this and spend a lot of money with little return. Target your marketing with smart marketing campaigns and strategies that are low cost.
Here are some suggestions:
Online marketing is perhaps the most inexpensive for the reach it offers at a certain investment. Done effectively, companies have access to a larger audience for a small fraction of traditional advertising budgets. Here are some inexpensive online marketing tools you can do immediately to boost your marketing efforts. Clean up your website, start a blog, build your SEO, and advertise online with banner ads and PPC as it is less expensive than traditional methods. If some of this sounds foreign to you, that might be a good sign that you need to outsource. Don't know how to build SEO, hire on online marketing firm. Can't set up a computer network? Hire a computer expert. Don't know how to write good copy? Hire a writer. This may sound expensive but there are a lot of good companies that can get all of this done at a fraction of the cost you might expect. It's much cheaper to outsource and get the job done right the first time.
Second, take advantage of Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter. Consider Social Media your website online community. It's a place to network, share knowledge and get recommendations. Social Media is the new way for word of mouth to travel. Start by looking at the big Social Media sites and then search for smaller ones that are targeted to your client base. Once you find where your clients hang out, join them and help them!
And third, be a leader in online video. Creating compelling videos is financially accessible to everyone. Whether it's shooting your own video in your restaurant kitchen interviewing your chef, getting video testimonials or paying to have a professional ad, it's frankly more affordable all across the board. People retain 55% of what they see. By utilizing video wisely you are driving your message home to customers. Once you have your video, upload it to increase your VSEO. Put it on website, Social Media sites and free video hosting sites such as Adwido.com. Also take advantage of Adwido's free online local business listings.
Other ideas include getting free publicity, joining local clubs and organizations to network, communicating via email with your current customers and offering customers discounts or coupons to motivate them to keep coming back.
In this economy, it's tough seeing these small businesses closing their doors. I hope many of you will take some of these inexpensive ideas and battle back against the economy, as the "Jack's" out there will survive!
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Kelly Singleton is Director of Strategic Internet Marketing for Adwido.com, a commercial internet and video marketing company dedicated to small-and medium-sized businesses.
If you would like to learn more, go to Adwido.com to learn more about how you can unleash the power of video marketing on the internet.
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