Money is tight but one business strategy should not change—low- to no-budget marketing. Even now, you should be using these tried-and-true marketing tactics to keep your brand top of mind with your existing customers and turning prospects into new customers.
Think locally. In addition to FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, include your business on highly trafficked sites like Yelp, Google My Business, Foursquare, Bing Places for Business, Manta, Alignable, Merchant Circle, City Search and Crunchbase. Add your business to the online Yellow Pages (YP.com), White Pages and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. BizJournals.com is an ideal advertising media if you want to reach business decision makers online or in print. Owned by the American City Business Journals, contact them to create a media plan to reach your niche.
Support local activities. At low cost or a donation of your inventory, you can sponsor an activity to help your neighbors in these uncertain times. Then, when we resume more activities, try sponsoring sports events or charity runs. Be sure to keep your digital community in the loop about what you are doing via blogging and social posts.
Partner with local non-competitive small businesses. Cross-promote products and services; distribute each other’s fliers and coupons; and bundle products at an attractive price to gain new customers. Agree to include links to each other’s website. You can track your co-op efforts with codes to determine if these partnerships are worth continuing with. At the very least, you will have data to decide if looking for new, look-alike businesses is an opportunity.
Is this the time to get your feet wet conducting a webinar or podcast in your area of expertise? If you already have engagement with an online community, this is a good next step for you.
While this is not the time for onsite networking, it is the perfect time to leverage the relationships you already have. When was the last time you looked at your customer list with the sole purpose of contacting them for a referral or testimonial for your website? Step up your email marketing, providing helpful information—not just a sales pitch.
Stay focused, strategic, and enthusiastic about your venture. And always remember to be authentic in your marketing and communications.