Connect to Your Existing Customer Base.
Word of mouth is an invaluable tool when starting and growing a business. A recommendation from a friend will always be more highly considered than an add seen on Facebook. Make your customers feel valued. Consider sending customer surveys out through email to get an idea of what your customers value about your business. This is a great way to narrow down your niche market, which will help you focus your marketing time and budget on the right demographic.
Creating Engaging Content.
Whether it’s blogging or instructional videos, creating content is a great, free way to communicate with your audience. If you have a skill that directly relates to your business, such as repairing bicycles and you sell bike tires, posting instructional videos is a great way to stay in touch with the consumer while opening doors to new customers.
Eye Catching Business Cards.
Yes, I know this is not a new concept, but business cards are still a great way to promote your business. Even with all the newest technology, face to face advertising is still invaluable. And with many companies offering deals and simple to use templates, business cards are a quick and easy marketing tool.
The price of running a contest is completely dependent on what prize you choose to offer. One option that can work very well is offering a free product or service that you already provide. For instance, having the prize be a free oil change if you own an auto repair shop. This gives the added bonus of showing off your skill to the winner. It’s important to remember, however, that the participation will reflect the prize. If the prize is a television, many more people will participate than if it were a dozen cupcakes. There are several ways you can set up a contest for marketing. Having it through social media will have the best participation and reach. Many businesses require a participant to follow their business page and share the contest post in order to be entered. Others use websites that manage the contest for you, but these generally charge a fee. If you want to do an in person contest, business card drawings are a great option. Once you’ve drawn the winner, you can send emails to the remaining participants inviting them to join your email list to get notifications about upcoming promotions.
Create Business accounts on as many platforms as possible. Especially if your target demographic includes individuals between the ages of 13-30, social media is a must. In addition to giving you an easy way to stay in contact with your customers, social media serves as the perfect stage for any blogs or videos you create.
Customer Loyalty and Referral Perks.
Once you have customers, you want to make sure they feel valued so they continue to purchase your products or services. Loyalty programs are great for accomplishing this. Offering a “10th is free” type of reward works well without cutting into your profit much. To encourage word of mouth like we talked about above, consider offering referral bonuses to existing customers. For example, continuing with the auto repair shop idea, offering a free oil change for every five referrals.
Get One The Radio.
Especially if your target demographic is 40-years-old and above, your local radio station can be a wonderful tool. Depending on the station, this can be a free source of advertising.
Be Involved in Your Community.
One of the best ways to generate word of mouth is by diving into community activities. Sponsoring a rec sports team or donating to a community event is a great way to show everyone that you are invested in the community’s well-being and future. Good publicity is invaluable.