Small business owners usually rely on local customers and more traditional forms of marketing to gain a larger target audience. But some marketing ideas can help a local business thrive with a limited budget.
If you own a, let’s say, small beauty salon or a local restaurant, you probably don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on branding and marketing strategy. The loyalty of local customers and word of mouth is sometimes more than enough to keep your business afloat. But, some simple marketing tricks and general advice can help you get even more customers.
Here are some ideas that will help you, and won’t cost you a lot of money.
Have a catchy and professional branding design
When you initially establish a business, one of the most essential things you can do is develop an appealing, professional, and consistent visual identity. The creation of a logo and the selection of a design scheme are the initial steps in developing a visual branding identity.
Most of the time, you’ll want to employ an expert to create your logo. However, if your company specializes in graphic design or you have professional logo design expertise, you might be able to get away with developing your own logo. Your logo should be distinctive and provide a clear message about what your company does and how it differs from its competitors.
To keep your message consistent across all of your marketing platforms, the remainder of your print and digital marketing materials, such as your website, social media profiles, and print marketing pieces, should utilize the same color scheme and similar design components as your logo.
Your company’s visual branding is the first impression that potential consumers and clients have of it. You want to make a good first impression. Your logo and design scheme should be distinctive, consistent, and accurately represent your company.
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Use social media to promote your business
In today’s corporate environment, knowing how to use social media correctly is critical. While having a great website for your small business is vital, clients will connect with your brand more on social media.
Ensure that you have accounts on all of the main platforms and that you keep them up to date with regular social media posts. Simply having a social media presence isn’t enough. To establish relationships with your followers, you must communicate with them and provide fresh information on a frequent basis.
Rather than bombarding your followers with sales pitches every day, try to publish fascinating material that people love to read and share.
You might be able to get away with keeping up your social media accounts on your own when you first start. Once your company and following have expanded, you may want to hire someone to handle your social media accounts so you can focus on other parts of your business, while someone else keeps posting quality content for your followers.
Small businesses using Instagram to promote their products
Google ads can be expensive and not that useful for a small business, especially if it only operates locally.
However, one way for your small business to be visible for free is through Google My Business. GMB is the short snippet that comes up in the top right corner in your Google search when you are looking for a restaurant, store or any other kind of local business.
It contains the most important business information like website address, contact information, working hours, driving directions and a short description of what you do. A GMB listing can also include several photos, like your logo and additional photos of your place of business, products, etc.
Using high-quality photos in your Google my Business page will greatly improve your online presence, bring you new potential customers and as a result, help you with local SEO.
Having a GMB page is very important, because it will help you rank better locally thanks to the way search engine algorithms work, and it’s a great free digital marketing tool. Once you connect all your social media accounts and website to it, people will click and discover your business and learn more about it.
Make good use of offline local marketing
It might seem that the era of flyers and posters has passed, but for small businesses, they are as useful as ever.
When it comes to businesses in the hospitality, beauty or retail industries, small print handouts such as flyers, brochures, coupons and similar can bring new customers to visit.
At the same time, any vacant local space that can be used for a traditional print marketing form, such as a billboard or poster, can also be useful to gain brand recognition and awareness within the local community.
Even a local radio channel or TV station where you can afford a short ad or guest appearance can help your local customers remember your business well.
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Write helpful blog posts
Blogging is an excellent way to generate organic traffic, especially from potential customers who have not yet made a purchase decision. It can also help you gain a reputation in your field and position yourself as a thought leader.
You may use a cheap or free website builder to create a free website and use one of their themes to start a blog. Simply adding some branded visuals will help your website become distinguishable.
Even posting once in a while will increase your website’s online exposure and educate your potential consumers about why they should trust your brand.
Once you’ve started content marketing, you can include a call-to-action on each of your posts to encourage readers to subscribe to your blog and get emails. This is an excellent approach to start gathering leads and giving potential consumers a means to find out more information if they aren’t ready to buy yet.
With good-looking, consistent and well-branded email marketing, you can remind your subscribers about the products and services you offer, as well as limited-time-only possibilities that they can enjoy.
The psychology behind email marketing is quite simple: whether people like it or not, they remember the company and its services well. At the same time, you offer a consistent communication channel with your subscribers, and through your newsletters, you can inform them about any news and special offers.
Email marketing might cost you a bit, since a large database of emails can be hard to manage manually and you will need an email automation system. But, there are plenty of affordable ones that you can pay through a monthly or yearly subscription, which will also help measure the success of your email marketing. On top of that, they have vast libraries of email templates that you can customize to suit your needs.
Use your customers as brand ambassadors
For small businesses, word of mouth from current customers can be incredibly effective. Think of how many times you’ve seen a shoutout to a small restaurant on Instagram, or a friend referred a good hairstylist to you so you decided to give them a try.
As a small business owner, you can find a way to hone that potential to your advantage.
Whether you kindly ask them to post on social media, give them a small extra item or a gift or their loyalty to inspire them to post about your business, or go above and beyond with your customer service to achieve an amazing review on Google, Yelp or social media, these positive reviews from customers will be of great importance to your business.
Tight on your budget?
Custom social media posts, email banners and branding assets can be very expensive. However, there is a solution if you need a quick turnaround and a quality design for your small business’ needs: ManyPixels! For a flat monthly fee, our on-demand graphic design service can provide you with logos, landing pages, menus, flyers, social graphics and much much more. Check out our service to know more.