When you set up a new company you need to let people know about it, in order to grow. But this costs money – money that you are unlikely to have in the early stages of your business, or even a few years in for that matter.
You could spend thousands of pounds getting your company name, logo and message on billboards across town but this will leave you very little to spend elsewhere in the company. As a result people will know about you… but without money to invest in other areas of the company that’d be pretty pointless.
With this in mind, you need to consider cost effective marketing – marketing that enables you to reach a large number of people, so you can build your business without breaking the bank.
Here are five things your business needs to try – that come at little to no cost, but with big results.
Social media, initially a tool for friends and family to stay in touch and share updates has now become one of the most powerful marketing tools at a company’s disposal. At a base level this is free – and can reach thousands and thousands of eyeballs. It can be used to engage with existing and potential customers, share new products and ideas, find new customers and get instant feedback – to name just a few things. A major benefit of this is that others do the marketing for you as they share links to your website and blog and discuss you for all their followers to see.
Leaflets and business cards
You might think that all your marketing has to take place online but you would be wrong. While digital has, of course, grown to become a key part of marketing strategies it is vital that you still use offline techniques to work alongside and support your online efforts. This means leaflets and business cards – that can be handed out, posted through letterboxes and included in promotional material – are essential and bulk buying this is actually much cheaper than you might think.
Website and e-newsletters
It will cost you to build a decent website but this isn’t something you can do without. These days would you trust a company that didn’t have a website? It is a cost that will benefit you in the long run – plus your website can be used to give customers and potential customers all the information they need. Make sure there is a link to your website on any other marketing material such as your business cards and social pages. Use this to gather email addresses, then you can start to send out an e-newsletter – but make sure this is 90% educational and 10% promotional – you are building brand awareness and a community as much as looking for sales at this point.
Alongside your website you should create a blog – this is free to set up and can be used to reach a wide audience. Again, this is to build brand awareness and a community – not to push your product. So, create a content calendar of relevant and timely information to share on here. This should be content that the reader will find interesting and useful and therefore want to not only read but share too.
Networking is free and the perfect way to meet the people who will potentially use you or even work with you. You can attend relevant events, but you could also set one up yourself. This doesn’t have to be costly, for now it could simply take place in your local coffee shop over tea and cake.
It is also the perfect opportunity to hand out your business cards which, with links back to your website, blog and social media pages means that potential customers and clients can find out all the information they need to know about you.