Small Business Concepts: How to Make the Most Out of Your Small Business with Inexpensive Marketing Techniques

When determining how to rework the marketing plan for your small business, it can be difficult to stay on brand while also doing something new. What techniques work best? What will get the best ROI on your limited budget? What will catch your customers’ eye? Which colors are best to use? Good news: within the answers to these questions there are a lot of options. Here are seven tips to make the most out of your small business marketing without blowing your budget.

Traffic in Sales 

Maximizing your budget is integral to the success of any small business. One extremely important way to make that happen is to turn the local foot and motorist traffic into in-store traffic. Billboards can be very pricy, so consider low-cost alternatives. Whether you create a larger, more engaging store sign or full-color vinyl outdoor banners, making your store pop is step one.

One Foot in the Door

If your business is part of a strip mall, town center, shopping area – anywhere there is significant foot traffic – you need to focus on getting some of those feet in your store. Sandwich boards are a great tool for doing just that. They work for traffic going in both directions and have the flexibility to be changed as often as necessary. From daily menu specials to seasonal or clearance sales to funny content that strengthens your brand voice, these versatile tools have the ability to increase store traffic day after day.

Color Me Impressed

Psychological research provides valuable insight into the power of color on the human psyche. This gives us actionable information when creating marketing collateral. For instance, people are drawn to bright colors instead of dark ones, and within that, different colors have disparate effects on mood. Red means stop or attention; green means tranquility and nature; orange increases optimism and happiness; blue gives peace and serenity; and purple spurs the imagination. This information is vital when considering the colors you want to represent your brand.

Devil’s in the Shading

There are actually elements of color that you should avoid as well. For instance, using too much red can dissuade people from choosing your brand and products; a little goes a long way because of its overpowering and aggressive effects. Black and Grey mean sophistication but too much of it means that your brand is not fun or inviting. Brown is boring because of its unmotivating and dull cognitive attributes. These colors should only be used as secondary colors because while too many of them can be detrimental, they can provide positive, complementary support to colors such as purple and green.

Social Webbing

Putting your name out on the internet is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to attract new customers and get your message out there. Creating social media profiles is therefore job one. Start with Instagram and Pinterest; these two platforms showcase merchandise and pictures best and have been proven to be able to build a business all on their own. Then build in Facebook and Twitter accounts, as these are great to support a brand as well as provide immediacy in addressing any customer support issues. 

Google It

Once your social media game is underway, revamp your website after your profiles are set up, and make it indexable with Google by investing in SEO. SEO is your friend and you can actually learn to do it yourself. Classes are short and inexpensive and can be found on a lot of different education outlets online. Once you’ve mastered basic best optimization practices you’ll be able to make your website appear at the top of search results. And if your website shows up at the top or near it, then your website will get more hits. More hits mean more money. More money makes your accountant very happy.

Window of Curiosity

When establishing your ad design, you can take short, inexpensive online classes to learn how to DIY your letterhead, logo, and other integral marketing materials the same way you learned to master SEO. Once designed, have people look at your new signage layout. Does it make them wonder what your business has to offer? If so that’s great news, because that means the advertising is working. If it’s working, that means it’s turning people’s heads. And if it’s turning people’s heads, it’s bringing in more customers. 

Cling to Sales

A plain or tacky window is an easy way to deter people from checking out your business. Clean, attention-grabbing displays right on your storefront glass can change all of that. They grab attention and increase customer awareness for everything from sales to promotional events. Think low cost, reusable solutions like window clings or decals that apply easily to windows, display engaging graphics with vibrant colors, and then can be just as easily removed and stored for next year’s event.

Up Close and Personal

There’s no better way to get to know your customers than staging interactive events and promotions. In addition to being a low cost, they are also fun for both staff and customers alike. Think of demoing and giving away samples of new products, or hosting an informational event to teach clients/customers on how to improve a skill, such as a specialty grocery putting on a weekly cooking seminar. You can take full advantage of your event by including data gathering not only about the products they are interacting with but about them as well, thereby not only increasing your database but also gleaning important information on their habits and preferences.

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