7 inexpensive ways to advertise, build your brand and not break the bank
So you’ve mapped out a business plan and you need business marketing products. You know your ideal customer and you’ve got a handle on the periphery consumers you’re likely to draw in as well. The product or service you’re offering is something you know inside and out – and you’re ready to sell it. So what business marketing tools do you need on hand to help your brand take off? Consider these essential venues and opportunities for marketing a new business. They’re sure to help you reach a wide audience as effectively as possible.
Business Marketing Strategies Spotlight: Promotional Products
- Promotional items. When it comes to viral marketing, the pen is definitely a mighty tool. Promotional pens are one of the greatest success stories in marketing history. Just rummage through your desk drawer or bag for the closest pens at hand – chances are, at least one of them is advertising something. Banks, five-star hotels, mom and pop coffee shops and major pharmaceuticals have all found success with these pens, so why not give them a try? There are a host of other promotional products you can use as well. In fact, they’ll come in handy at trade shows and other events for building your brand’s reputation.
- Trade shows. If you’re a business-to-business company, trade shows are an absolute must. Before you head out to set up your company’s stand however, make sure you’ve assembled a killer press kit. These should contain essential company information in an attractive package, and don’t neglect to put some fun freebies in there for trade show attendees and reporters. Custom notepads are ideal business marketing ideas!
- Sponsored events. A local festival, 5K road race or charity drive is another excellent use for promotional products. Not only will you build goodwill within your community for your sponsorship, but you may get your brand name on the back of a race T-shirt or on a banner or pamphlet. Why not take the opportunity to hand out fun promotional items as well? For instance, if you’re a small-time restaurant catering delicious snacks for the event or a local coffee shop providing cups of joe, handing out custom mints is a great way to ingratiate yourself with local visitors.
- Advertising. The word “advertising” has broader meaning today than ever before – and while expensive, it can be extremely useful. Consider using mailers, or run an ad in local or national publications. Used well, traditional advertising can be lucrative in the long run. But some small companies can be hesitant to write the check in the first place. Luckily, two alternative tools provide cheaper or even free alternatives!
- Web content. Having a web presence at all is extremely important in business, small or large. But your home page or list of products and services isn’t likely to draw in huge hits online. This is where search engine optimization, often called SEO, comes in. By creating web content – such as a blog – attached to your site that produces articles written to capitalize on SEO, you’ll pull in more Google and Yahoo! searches than ever before. This can help build a significant online media presence, especially if you’re canny about how you use popular SEO terms while also grooming yourself as professional and not the least bit spammy. Best of all, for the price of hosting a site, your web content is essentially free! But blogging isn’t the only way to drum up some attention. Facebook can help out, too!
- Social media. Sites like Facebook began life as a convenience, letting college students quickly catch up with one another from across campus or the country. Now, social media – be it Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest – is one of the most effective online marketing tools available. Create a Facebook page, garner “Likes,” open a Twitter account, accrue followers – get active. It can feel like a full-time job, but mobile technology has taken a lot of the work out of social media already. And interacting with customers and other industry experts online can be a blast.
- Customer relations. Who hasn’t fielded a few calls from angry customers that not only ended well, but may have improved your overall standing? Word of mouth counts for something, and you’ll find that pacified customers are sometimes even better advertising than satisfied ones. Make sure you’ve got the best customer relations team there is, because tact and friendliness go a long way in any industry.
What Business Marketing Ideas Work for You?
Have some business marketing tools you’d like to suggest? Share your very best on- and offline marketing strategies with the group. Just let us know what works in your industry!