10 simple marketing tips for small businesses.

As a small business, you may not have the marketing budget for major advertising campaigns. However, there are plenty of proven methods you can use to raise your profile and get your message out there.

1. Giveaways.

At trade shows, in-store or by mail, free gifts or introductory services are a great way to get your business noticed. Giveaways increase brand awareness and interest in your business. Of course, you can add a business card, printed leaflet or brochure to further promote your business and get your message across.

2. Create a strong online profileonline - small business marketing

A strong online profile is essential for your business to be taken seriously. Potential customers will not only look at your website, but will search for you on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. These are free to register and great for not only advertising your business, but engaging people both professionally and informally.

3. Networking

There are business groups and networking events everywhere and they’re excellent opportunities to make new contacts and forge business partnerships which are beneficial to both parties. Many are free to attend and attract large numbers, so make sure you’ve plenty of business cards, leaflets or samples with you!

4. Host an event

Other small business holders love networking events, for the reasons outlined above. By hosting your own, you can not only ensure people notice your company, but you can also make your own business presentation. And you can increase your brand awareness with pull up banners, banners and a variety of take-away marketing materials.

5. Be an expert in your field.

Blogging, giving advice and commentating on your field not only raise your profile and brand awareness, but portray you as an expert on your subject. This builds trust and credibility, helping your business become a first stop for prospective customers.

email marketing - small business marketing6. Email marketing

A great way to get your message across, email marketing can take the form of advertising a service or sending information or e-newsletters. Keep your email marketing informative and regular but not too frequent to be annoying. You’ll soon find that it’s a great way to attract new business, as well as upsell to existing customers.

7. Sponsorship

By sponsoring an event, organisation or a sports team, you’ll not only get your brand out there but have a readymade supply of new customers you can contact. For charities and non-profit organisations who may have little or no budget themselves, you can also offer free services instead of financial sponsorship, which really increases your reach to potential new customers.

8. Attend trade shows and events

These are excellent opportunities to meet and forge relationships with like-minded people. Many events will allow you to display marketing material and they’re a great way to make contact with other professionals as well as potential customers who are visiting the show to see what’s available.

9. Apply for awards

Simply applying for business awards lends credibility to your business and validates you as a brand in the eyes of other companies. You might find yourself alongside larger, well-known names in your field and publicity like this can really put you on the business map.

10. Offer free help and advice

It’s not always about the quick sale. Consistent, long term business and customer relationships can be gained by offering advice in your field, either on online forums or through printed newsletters and marketing material. It all builds trust, credibility and ultimately, sales.

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