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Top 10 money saving marketing hustles for your small business


More money is not the only solution to business marketing
Photo by Collins Lesulie on Unsplash

More money is not the only solution to improve your businesses marketing. Money is only a tool, which you will still need to put to productive work. That’s the reason why you should look beyond money when thinking about your next marketing campaign or customer communication.


Take some time before choosing your next actions, as you might only need a new marketing plan, a new business plan or a different marketing strategy to reach your goals.


The world has been hit by recessions, global pandemic and technology shortages, which caused many entrepreneurs to rethink their businesses, change and come back stronger. This shows there must be several options to grow your business, which will not always require massive financial investment or an infinite marketing budget.


What are normal business responses during uncertain times?


The usual response would be to reduce marketing, reduce prices, reduce staff, find cheaper suppliers or reduce products and services.


Reducing marketing should be the last thing you consider. Marketing is the only way for you to get new customers into your business. A new customer relationship can happen in any form; word of mouth, response to an ad, website lead or social media post.


It’s worth considering some zero cost marketing options, so you can increase your business and grow when your competitors are reducing their communication.


The more you communicate with your customers, the better it will be for you.


  1. Plan your marketing with strategy, plans and calendars.

  2. Increase how much value you can provide your customers to justify your pricing.

  3. Provide your customers with an experience above and beyond their expectations.

  4. Find more like-minded businesses and form more relationships.

  5. Increase your customer knowledge by talking to your loyal and not so loyal customers.

  6. Current customers can introduce you to more like-minded and potential customers.

  7. Introduce your current customers to other products and services within your portfolio.

  8. Go deep into social networks and get involved within industry conversations.

  9. Regularly blog or video blog to get your message out to your customers.

  10. Don’t ignore physical networking; one-to-one or one-to-many meetings, events or trade shows where you can become known within your industry.


1. Plan your marketing with strategy, plans and calendars


Taking your time to plan your next marketing campaign means you’re more likely to stick with your plan and coordinate your actions towards a focused goal.


Focusing on your goals with a plan and dates within your [marketing calendar] (link: marketing calendar internal) will help you with tracking and measuring your marketing performance on a regular basis.


2. Increase how much value you can provide your customers to justify your pricing


Your customers want to believe their money is well spent. If you provide what you say you were going to provide; your customers will be satisfied. If you meet your commitments, your customers will be satisfied.


However, if your product or service improves over time. Your business will naturally maintain and grow your customer relationships by doing what you say you will do and therefore, justifying your customer’s decision to spend money.


3. Provide your customers with an experience above and beyond their expectations


Your customers expect to receive your product or service. However, if you understand your customer, you can have an experience over and above their expectations.


If you can provide the customer with something beneficial, such as adding a new product, service or experience related to what they decided to buy or provide a bonus or surprise. This could reinforce your customer’s original decision to make the purchase and increase likelihood of your customers independently talking to you.


To put this into one sentence...Continually provide more value for your customers and your customers will stay with you for the long-term and tell their friends.


4. Find more like-minded businesses and form more relationships


Everything is more difficult on your own.


Working with others can make a difficult experience easier. This is exactly the same for business. Find other companies, business owners or entrepreneurs that understand your proposition, have a shared perspective or complement each other’s offers.


Relationships or partnerships with other businesses can help form a group of businesses, products, services or solutions that could help your customers and your partner’s customers. This would increase the reach of your business and potentially add customer and revenue opportunities.


5. Increase your customer knowledge by talking to your loyal and not so loyal customers


Take the time to engage and communicate with your customers. A customer transaction should not be the end of the relationship, particularly if you’re just starting out, you should get to know your initial customers, so you can understand why they chose to buy your product or service. By checking in with your customers regularly, you will understand the areas of the business that could require additional improvements or areas that are working.


For example, you could have a great product that meets your customer’s expectations, but you don’t respond to social media messages. It’s possible your customers may choose a competitive product with a better customer service experience.


All positive experiences can be quickly outweighed by negative perception.


6. Current customers can introduce you to more like-minded and potential customers


It’s hard to help your customers and their contacts unless you keep in touch with your customers.


Communicate with your customers and provide them with a reason to engage with their family or friends and introduce your product or service.


This could work in several ways, either you provide an incentive for your customers to introduce a friend in the form of referral only offers, discounts or exclusive products and services.


Alternatively, you could provide your customers with a range of services or exclusive access to information or products based on their referrals.


7. Introduce your current customers to other products and services within your portfolio


It’s cheaper and easier to keep a customer than it is to gain a new customer.


If you can meet or exceed your customer expectations you can be confident you will keep the majority of your customers.


However, keeping your current customers is only half the battle. In an ideal world every customer will buy everything you have to sell. Unfortunately, life is not so easy.


If you understand your customers and you meet their needs, they might be more likely to try other areas.


For example, using suggestions, similar to the Amazon suggestions, ‘we think you would like’ or ‘often bought with’ are good examples of trying to increase customer spend over time.


8. Go deep into social networks and get involved within industry conversations


Your small business, side hustle or project exist within a world where everyone is interested in something important to them. They do not need to engage with anything unless something speaks to what they feel, believe, need or want.


That’s why you must be close to the people within your industry, talking about problems or similar products and services.


Providing your customers and industry with interesting information could make a difference within your business. Demonstrating knowledge or experience within your industry will increase your credibility at the same time.


This constant communication with your peers will help you appear like a real person (not just a faceless logo), stand out from the crowd and also show industry followers you’re someone who believes in their product or service.


9. Regularly blog or video blog to get your message out to your customers


Talk about your customers' problems or solutions.


Maintaining a blog or video blog is a necessity for any business. Credibility was mentioned with respect to social media, but a blog can also help you build authority within your niche or industry.


Your blog allows you to have a voice in your niche and talk about problems, needs, wants and solutions directly to your audience. You should use your blog to relate to people searching for similar problems and solutions.


A keyword targeted blog or video blog can improve traffic over the long-term and is one of the most productive ways to keep talking to your customers, prospects and random visitors.


10. Don’t ignore physical networking; one-to-one or one-to-many meetings, events and trade shows where you can become known within your industry


The Internet has not removed all physical contact.


There is still the need for industry gatherings, trade shows or other events where you can speak with people face-to-face.


In person events will help your credibility and authority within your niche and gets you even closer to your customers and potential customers.


Although, it’s more difficult scaling physical events, it should be a realistic option if there are local events you could attend. You could talk to people, competitors, leaders and influencers about the industry.


Physical events require you to keep in touch after the event. This could be via social media, website, email or phone. All options are an additional low cost method to network with your peers and customers.


Conclusion


Businesses with the most engaged customers are the businesses that understand and empathise with their customers. That’s why the options above are all focussed on engaging and communicating with customers, partners and industry contacts.


If you can focus on your contacts, customers and people pushing you to succeed. There will be no limit to what you could achieve with your business.


Good luck!



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