Most people know how essential marketing is but with so many having a lack of time and budget, what are the best ways to market a small business?

Here are some of the easiest online and offline ways to market your business:

1. Be social

Even if you only target one social media site,  it’s worth doing. Social media is a fantastic, free way to get attention for your business and attract new customers, as well as being a great way to connect with existing customers. Start conversations with your followers, engage in forums and get people to follow your company updates.

For tips on social media, why not read the previous ‘Top Tips: Social Media article.

 

2. Get listed

There are a lot of free and low-cost online directories that you can add your profile to. Think about who you want to target and then build your profiles on the directories that are most appropriate. Keep a list of sites you have registered on and try to schedule in updates to the profiles at least once every couple of months.

If you have website analytics available, you should be able to see the number of referrals coming from each profile – don’t forget to review this every so often and perhaps remove profiles from sites which aren’t providing any leads.

 

3. Networking

Find out which local networking events you could attend. Networking can often lead to new business and referrals so keep your business cards handy!

When you get back to the office, don’t forget to make a note of any contacts you’ve met – there could be opportunities for referrals or collaboration.

 

4. Create a newsletter

Sites like MailChimp and DotMailer provide both free and priced package resources to help you create database lists and develop professional looking newsletter templates.

Decide who the newsletter should go to and how often, taking into account how much content you will be able to provide for the newsletter. After all, there’s no point sending out the same information week after week – better to send a quarterly or monthly newsletter and increase the frequency once you’ve reviewed its effectiveness.

Don’t forget your Data Protection obligations! The ICO provide some useful information about email marketing and the Data Protection Act.

 

5. Get out and about

Whether you’re just attending or actually exhibiting, trade shows and conferences provide a good promotion and networking opportunity.

If you’re exhibiting, why not spend some money on promotional items – it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! Tiernan Marketing has contacts with a number of suppliers and would be happy to help you if required.