We All Want to Get the Most Out of Our Marketing

 

It’s understandable that small business owners want to get the most out of their marketing.  And they have to, if they want their business to survive.   Business owners main effort must be to build their brands.  They need to get new leads, sign-up’s, and sales.  

And business owners have to be able to show that their marketing efforts are a good return on their investment.  Owners of new businesses usually are running lean operations.  They don’t have a lot of money as they struggle to establish their business.

Their first goal, is survival.  Operating with a limited budget, in most cases the first item cut from their budget is marketing.  It’s hard to put money into marketing if you’re struggling to pay your utilities or make payroll.  Especially if bills are due and your sales have been sluggish.

 

What Happens if You Don’t Have a Marketing Budget?

 

If you don’t have a marketing budget, do you have viable options?  Actually there are plenty of marketing ideas that won’t cost you a lot of cash.  In fact many of them are free.  Or at least mostly free.

They will cost your time.  Time has a money value, but they do make the point that your marketing doesn’t have to have a dollar figure attached to it.  For years, we have all heard about how something can go viral.  You have to think about using free things first instead of just good things.

Your digital marketing strategy is how you build your brand in the eyes of your audience.  Let’s look at some of the good things your business can do to overcome not having the cash for robust paid marketing.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Public Speaking
  • Publishing Relevant Content
  • Word of Mouth Marketing

 

Now, let’s examine each of these:

 

You Need to Know How Speaking Engagements Can Help

 

The first thing you have to do is get over your public speaking fears.  You have to develop a presentation around a topic that’s important to your industry.  Remember, you have to deliver something of value to your audience, not just a sales pitch.

It doesn’t matter if it’s at a small gathering like a local chamber of commerce event or a big deal conference hosted by Google, one of the best ways to build leads is to speak them out. 

Joe and Dawn Pici, co-owners of the motivational marketing firm Pici and Pici, rely on a heavy speaking schedule to help them make new friends and grow leads.  They were the guest speakers at our local, WP Bloggers and Social Media Meetup.

During their speaking engagements they incentivize their email signups during the presentation.  It’s an effective approach, I follow them both on LinkedIn.  And I’ve learned a lot from doing so.  They’ll joke that if you hate them, you can unsubscribe immediately after the speech.  People don’t hate their approach.  

Bottom line, it’s your marketing strategy that needs to encourage people to sign up for emails or follow your small business page on LinkedIn and other socials networks.  Achieve this by offering a fun incentive.  You might offer a discount on a service or a product sample during your speech. 

 

You Must See How Publishing Amazing Content Can Help

 

You don’t have to publish an entire book.  However, regularly publishing good content helps your small business build awareness and, in time, grow leads.  Publish great content on your website, your emails, your blog, your newsletter and your social media platforms.

The key word in the previous paragraph is “good.”  If your content is unfocused, boring, or poorly written, it will be ignored.  Your small businesses needs a focused and relevant content strategy.  It doesn’t help you to publish content that covers random topics.

You have to understand what topics your audience is searching for.  Then you need to focus and present a point of view that gives your audience information that will help them succeed.  Your small business needs to establish a narrative and a content strategy that publishes content that others will find to be authentic and helpful.

Do you have a unique perspective on your industry and your product/service.  If you don’t know where to start with your strategy?  Read the handy LinkedIn starter guide. Would you like to know the three words that can help shape your content marketing?

 

What Happens With Your Authentic Word of Mouth Content

 

Word of mouth may be the most powerful force in marketing.  In a recent study by Jay Baer in his Talk Triggers column, 83% of Americans said that a word of mouth recommendation from a friend or family member made them more likely to purchase a product.  

It makes you wonder if the 17% who don’t respond to word of mouth hate their friends and family?  Perhaps that provides a topic for a future study, Talk Triggers.

While you may think you can’t control the conversations about your brand and industry, there are concrete actions you can take to positively influence your small business’s word of mouth. 

A strong testimonial strategy helps you build brand credibility and develop the larger story about your small business.  Even if it’s someone who’s more of a friend than a client, if they believe in your service or product, get them to go to bat for you. 

Getting someone to take the time to write you or give you a soundbite for a testimonial might be your biggest challenge.

 

What Next?  How Can You Implement These Strategies?

 

These strategies shouldn’t take long for you to implement.  Are you wondering about how you can get started?  What’s a good place for you to start?  Whatever you do, don’t procrastinate.

Start today.  You could just take an hour today to map out your thoughts.  Decide how each of these techniques could help you get started.  Once you get started, you’re on your way to getting new customers for your small business at little to no cost. 

 

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