Promoting on a budget

January 30, 2012

For small and medium sized businesses it can be difficult to justify expenditure on promotions and advertising.  However with the right strategy and a creative approach it is possible to achieve a great deal with very little resources.  The bad news is there are no quick fixes, it really takes planning, time and a great deal of self-promotion.  The key thing to remember is that to compete in the global business world where customers are bombarded with promotions all the time you need to innovate.  Small businesses can be quick, reactive and creative as they don’t have room-fulls of executives to get on board with a new idea.  However there is a degree of planning required too so you do not run off down a blind alley.

Remember anything you send out is promotional including emails, letters, tweets, product packaging even the side of your van!  One of the biggest promotional tools at your disposal is yourself.  Attend business breakfasts, go to industry networking events and plug away to whoever will listen about how great your product or business is.  Offer a freebie with your business details on and always have business cards to hand then the next time the person you were chatting to needs a product like yours it is easy for them to find your contact details.

You can also write about your business or product and capitalize on a wealth of free marketing opportunities.  By using keywords which relate to your product for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) you can create extra traffic to your web pages and find new customers.  By blogging, writing for ezines and creating interesting content for your website that will be picked up by search engines you can access a wider internet based market.  For customers who are not part of the internet community send out press releases to the local press, they are often keen for content, especially if they don’t have to write it themselves!

If you are finding it tough to go it alone then work with a supplier or complementary product.  More promotional opportunities are good for them too and sometimes two heads are better than one.  So if you find yourself lacking inspiration or feel shy about self-promoting, find someone else to work with who can help you with ideas, share the costs and get twice the result for the effort.

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