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What Marketing Makes Sense for Small Businesses?

October 2, 2017 No Comments

Featured article by Emily Roberts, Independent Technology Author

Any small business enterprise is at a disadvantage to the large ones that it’s competing with. One of the main reasons this is true is because the marketing budget is small in comparison. Because of this, SMEs have to be smart and efficient with their ad spending and promotional efforts to wring as much benefit as they can out of what their budget permits them.

Here are some cheap ways to market properly when there aren’t many pounds to go around.

Leaflet Handouts

The good old leaflet hand out is still a great way to let local people know where your business is situated and what it has to offer. Whether you have a shop front or not, print leaflets can promote products, online sales and other deals. If your business operates out of a home office, then promoting the website address is a useful way to drive traffic to the e-commerce site without relying totally on Google to do so.

The advent of cheap leaflet printing has made it possible to deliver flash promotions to the people who are most likely to respond to them without breaking the bank. The quality of leaflet printing has improved markedly over years’ past. It’s now possible to get all kinds of leaflets produced using multiple colours, intricate designs and strong visual messages that people really respond to.

Issue Press Releases

The press release isn’t just for the big brands. Small and large businesses now take advantage of the issuance of a press release to get the attention of local newspapers, magazines and other media outlets that are interested. Depending on the media station, many are crying out for local or topical news stories to show that they have their finger on the pulse. A press release helps them keep current with what’s happening in the business world too.

Press releases are not all sent out in hard copy form and promoted through an expensive public relations agency. Many respectable PR agencies now run online either through paid or free services providing access to their database of contacts. Alternatively, it’s possible to build up a list of notable contacts who can be placed on your internal PR distribution list.

Looking beyond the PR list, some pieces of information can also be tipped off to subscribers of services or newsletters within the company as a “Coming Soon” piece that might create some buzz within your existing customer base too.

Flyers for All Occasions

The flyer used to be quite similar to the leaflet, but it’s now come into its own. Modern flyers are built around matte or glossy cards with beautifully produced imagery and persuasive copywriting. Flyer printing enjoys multi-coloured designs, sharp print quality and colours that get noticed. With the help of websites like print24who create premium print flyers for a relatively low cost, you can get whatever design you wish developed and delivered in under a week.

Print flyers use quality card stock that stands up on its own to proudly show off its message. They’re useful to add to mail out promotions, at your trade show booth, or in the showroom. Anywhere that they’ll be noticed works great.

Do You Already Have an Email List? Why Not?

The idea of an email list hasn’t caught on with every business owner yet. Perhaps they think that writing up a weekly newsletter won’t be fun or that the receiver won’t interact in a meaningful way when receiving the latest missive from the company. Whatever the size of your customer base, it eventually gets to a point where you simply don’t have the time or personnel to communicate directly with every customer on a regular basis. The email list lets you do that digitally in a single action.

The cost of newsletter services is based on the number of free subscribers, not the volume of emails sent out. This means that bigger companies with larger lists pay much more than SMEs with a far smaller group of contacts. Usually, only the most interested people bother to subscribe to the company newsletter anyway, so you have a ready-made engaged audience waiting to hear about the latest news, product releases and updates.

Promotional Freebies

Promotional freebies are an interesting way to test the water, whether they bring a direct return on your investment or not. It’s a good idea to pick either something that’ll be useful to someone (like a pen with the company’s brand or logo on the side) or a specific thing that reminds them of the company itself.

Some thought needs to go into what to order as a freebie to hand out or send with a welcome pack. The idea is to keep the business or brand in the mind’s eye of the customer so they don’t forget it the next time they go to order something that your business provides. It’s a simple concept, but it’s an affordable one because most promo items are inexpensive.

As you can see, promotion for SMEs is all about coming up with smart little ideas with a low-price tag that promise a lot. Not every idea will be a big hit, but it’s a question of building some critical mass over time through brand awareness and positive word-of-mouth.

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