Marketing can often seem like a big and daunting expense, and while we’ve previously pointed out that it’s not a luxury but a necessity, we also understand that in your day to day operations it just seems like there is no way you can squeeze it into the budget. That’s why today we wanted to provide three easy ideas on how any small company can grow their business while spending little to no money:
Loyalty & Referral Programs
Implementing a loyalty program is inexpensive and a great way to increase customer retention, even something as simple as a punch card for a free coffee or sandwich. It gives your customers an incentive to return and patron your business, it is also an incredible value add as they feel like they’re getting more for the money they spend and their loyalty is being rewarded.
Similarly rewarding your customers for referring new customers is another great way to grow your business. Your customers can become your biggest brand champions if you give them a reason to be.
Find a local business in the same area and cross promote with them. As we always tie everything back to brand, we want to reiterate to make sure it makes sense for your brand. A vegan café might not want to partner with the local butcher shop. But do you own a hot yoga studio? What about the beauty salon in the same business park? Or a doggy day care can partner with a local carwash, as all pet owners know what a day at the dog park can do to their car interiors. Think about products and companies that naturally complement your brand and approach them for a partnership that is mutually beneficial.
While we are conflicted about the over- and misuse of social media, it is still is a great tool for small businesses to get the word out about their brand, IF, done right. That’s where a lot of businesses fumble, they think having social media for the sake of having it is enough, and it never is. That said, 81% of shoppers research products online before making a purchase, 61% read product reviews and 86% read online reviews. So make sure your Yelp Profile and Social Media Profiles are current and accurate. It is never a bad idea to give your current customers an incentive to leave positive reviews as well, as they can play a critical role in growing your customer base.
While these methods might not turn your business into an overnight success, they are easy, affordable and put you on the right track to building a stronger brand and growing your business.
If you need help with some organic marketing tactics, give us a call for a complimentary consultation!