Running a small business is challenging. In fact, 45% of don’t survive the first 5 years.
The truth is, you can stand out from the competition and get more customers if you focus on marketing. It doesn’t matter how great your product is — if you don’t market your brand properly, your chances of success are low.
Unlike popular belief, marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. We understand that small businesses run on a limited budget. So whether you’re selling books out on the street or coaching material on the internet, here are 7 marketing strategies for small businesses on a shoestring budget.
1. Build a website for your business
With the rapid use of the internet today, it is very important to have a website for your business. This way, you will be able to easily reach a large audience without much effort.
Websites provide a platform where you can conveniently display the goods and services offered by your business. You should ensure that the website has a friendly user interface and that the prices of all your products are clearly shown. With solutions like Instamojo, you can also start collecting payments for your products and services from your website.
Besides, if a website sounds scary to set up right now, you can always rely on the Instamojo free online store. Find out how you can set it up here.
2. Ramp up customer service
Happy customers are the best marketers for your company. Customer satisfaction is an important part of any business. Knowing what the client likes and dislikes enables you to know which areas of your business are okay, which ones should be eliminated and which ones should be improved.
You should interact with your customers regularly and understand what they perceive about your brand.
Never compromise on customer service, no matter how limited time you have. Make sure you respond to queries, comments, and complaints, especially on social media.
3. Social selling
Social media is a great place to market your business. A study shows that 61% of organisations that engaged in social selling saw a spike in revenue.
Here’s how you can leverage social media to market your products:
- Find out which platforms your target audience is active on
- Create relatable and valuable content around your niche
- Use hashtags
- Direct followers to your eCommerce website
Here’s a guide to know more about the importance of social media for business.
Don’t take on all the burden of selling yourself, set up mutually profitable systems to do that for you. Starting an affiliate network to help you with the sales of your products is the right way to go. The affiliate program works by having others market your products and in turn, you pay them a certain percentage as commission for each product sold.
Affiliates enable a business to penetrate into areas that it may not have reached otherwise. With Instamojo.com, you can set up your own affiliate network for free using the Merchant Affiliate System, which is available for all the sellers and can be activated with just a couple of clicks.
5. Discount sales
Try not to undervalue your product by giving it away for free, but the next best way to attract eyeballs is discounting.
Use discounts as a marketing strategy to draw more clients to your business, it’s a powerful pull mechanism. You can generate public or private discount coupons or even create links that redirect customers to special promotions sites.
When a customer successfully buys your products at a discounted price, they will in all probability refer others to you and your business will continue to thrive. Either way, once you have a customer it’s easier to pitch to him/her than to a stranger.
With Instamojo.com you can create discount codes and discounted payment links. There is also an option to limit the number of items that are sold with a specific discount code.
6. Upsell and cross-sell
Keeping a record of your customers is one of the areas where most businesses go wrong. The probability of a person who has purchased a particular good or service returning to order more is very high.
The details that one should keep include the full name, email, postal address, and phone number. Include other details that you might deem important, specific to your business. All this can be captured in a checkout form or an opt-in form on your website.
This way, any time you have new products or promotions on offer, you can send the information to all your current clientele.
With Instamojo.com it is easy to get in touch with your customers. All the customer details are available from your dashboard. With the Bulk Email App, you can send emails to your customers from right inside your Instamojo dashboard.
If you want to get a bit more advanced, you can run drip marketing campaigns. Drip marketing helps you stay in touch with your leads, prospects and customers in an automated way. Drip email marketing is the most common form of drip marketing.
When adopting marketing strategies for small businesses, you might not have the needed expertise in all areas that pertain to running a business. You might also not have enough resources to hire highly skilled professionals to work with you full time. This is where outsourcing comes in.
Get other people to market your business for you. From designing your website, logo, or even writing the content for your websites, there is a large base of freelancers ready to do the job for you at a fair price. This way, your business will be properly presented in order to increase the number of sales. Money invested in money gained.
Here are some resources for getting help with marketing & branding:
- mTurk.com (Amazon Mechanical Turks)
Marketing on the Instamojo online store
Always remember that marketing strategies for small businesses, when done the right way, will boost your income. The ideas mentioned above will give you a head start.
Once you implement them, you will be able to steadily increase your earnings and sustain the business. And of course, Instamojo should be your go-to if you want to collect payments online!