You already know about the need for marketing your small business. But is it possible to market a business with a whopping budget of $0? YES! There are two ingredients to make it work though. Creativity and hustle. It’s important to get creative and think outside of the box on how you could get your product or brand in front of folks, rather than focus on traditional marketing methods.
If you are a brick and mortar location, a jewelry store for example you could host a free event. Maybe it’s a fun fashion show, or an exclusive look at new jewelry. Guests can learn what you’re all about, try on your jewelry (or eat your cake, look at your artwork, whatever you do..) and have good ol’ fashioned fun. Encourage folks to take photos and ask them to share on social media (tag you and your location). Have fun with it! This is your time to show off your brand personality and build great relationships with your audience.
Partner With Other Locals
You could potentially partner with another local business or organization to co-host an event or social contest. If you are starting off small and don’t have a large network, this gives you the opportunity to tie into their customer base. Maybe partner with a local non-profit, and commit to a certain percentage of your sales that can go to them. Ask them to promote to their audience as well - giving you and them more exposure by crossing over to new audiences. You could even simply approach a complementary local business and enquire about a partnered give away - if you’re a jewelry store, maybe you could partner with a makeup brand or clothing brand.
Create Engaging Content
You’ve heard it. Content is king. Now get creative with how it could work for your business. Create video/blog content around your niche. In the example of a jewelry store, you could show people how to wear the jewelry that you offer with different outfits, or tricks for wearing the jewelry in unique ways. Entertain and educate. The content needs to be digestible, shareable, entertaining, and helpful. Post to your website/blog and social media. Use video as much as you can to really show off your product and your personality. YouTube is the second most popular search engine next to Google so you could benefit from serving your niche content they want. Serve your niche by helping them, and folks will come your way.
Use Social Media Consistently
Social media is free and your audience is spending large amounts of their day on these platforms. With consistent use you can build up a decent following. Be consistent and serve your audience. Provide value. Make sure you’re being ‘social’, though, and not simply promoting your products. Start conversations with your audience! See our article 6 Ways to Grow Your Reach on Social Media for more tips.
Create A Contest
You already have products. So use what you have to gain more fans without spending extra money. Create a contest with an aim to get more user generated content (photo/video contest, etc). Even better, encourage pictures with you, your products or even your location. Make it game, but do it in a way that folks will engage with you or get them through your doors. User generated content is an extremely powerful way to get people to see you as a credible business and bring excitement to your local digital audience.
If there is one thing we love, it's coming up with marketing ideas on a budget. It requires us to get crafty and hustle a little more. Want help coming up with ideas for your business? We're ready to listen.