Small companies lack the capital, manpower and time to keep up with large, expensive marketing campaigns. Fortunately, they really don’t need to as there are many ways, old and new, to reach an audience and find customers. Building a website with the addition of a blog, creating relationships with complimentary businesses, and sending out mailings are just three cost-effective strategies that can help any company increase sales.
Build a website with a blog
Everyone who needs anything tends to look for it online. Whether it is a service or a product, those that have a strong presence online are far more likely to attract and retain customers than those who do not. This means not only building a website, but one that offers more than just the basic contact or advertising information. A strong website is an interactive one, where customers can not only find information, but also connect with people. One of the best ways to do that is with a blog. Building and maintaining a blog is highly cost-effective. It requires fresh content so that customers have a reason to check back, and can be made much more effective if there is a way for customers to comment and ask questions. Done right, companies that have blogs get more traffic to their sites than those that do not, especially if they publish often. Your blog should offer tips and provide help to potential customers while keeping them interested with new, informative and entertaining content.
Don't go it alone
There is no need for a company to go it alone in the world. There are so many ways businesses can work together for their mutual benefit, especially if they are in a related field where they do not compete, but instead complement each other. They can combine marketing resources to reach and contact each other's customers and potential customer base. Companies whose products or services complement each other can thus boost the other's outreach, and share marketing and even advertising expenses when doing so.
Old-school ways still work
There are many good reasons why business leaders join civic organizations and clubs. These not only offer contacts in or across industries and fields, but also free publicity and exposure to a wider audience. When a business is affiliated with an organization that performs great work in the community or hosts an event that raises money for a good cause, press will cover it. Local media coverage is good, and even better it’s free exposure and positive. Being part of something also makes for good, fresh content on a company's blog, and opens that blog up to a new audience. Increased awareness among a local audience can also make an old-fashioned print mailing campaign far more effective. Email can be blocked by spam filters, but nobody stops the postman from delivering the mail. As fewer and fewer companies use postal service, a piece of mail is no longer lost amidst a pile of ads, and can even stand out, especially if the company is local and familiar to the community.
This article was written by Mark G. McLaughlin for Small Business Pulse