Posted on May 20, 2014
Filed Under (Marketing) by jennifer

social-media-iconsToday, businesses have more ways — and places — than ever to market themselves, online and off. But deciding on a marketing method, particularly when you are a small business with a small budget and limited resources, can be difficult. While social media marketing is generally free, it can be time-consuming; and the same goes for blogging. But traditional print advertising, as well as digital advertising, can be expensive.

So how — and where — are the best, most inexpensive ways to market your small business? I queried dozens of small business marketing experts. Their top seven  marketing strategies for small businesses appear below.

1. Add a blog to your website (or create a standalone blog that links to your website, and vice versa) — and write not only about your products and services and promotions but about topics and trends that are of interest to your customers and prospective customers.

2. Create a Facebook business page for your small business and be sure to update it regularly (at least once a week), with either new products or helpful tips or articles. Also consider Facebook advertising.

3. Post photos and videos of your products on Pinterest and Instagram.

4. Establish a Twitter presence, in your own name or your company’s, and tweet not only about new products and promotions but share links to articles that would interest your followers.

5. Use email marketing. A monthly or quarterly newsletter is a great way to let customers know about new products or promotions as well as a way to share helpful tips — and there are many inexpensive email marketing services that cater to small businesses (e.g., Mad Mimi, Constant Contact, Campaigner, Emma).

6. Try pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, e.g., Google AdWords — making sure to do some keyword research and decide on a budget first.

7. Don’t forget about press releases/PR! Don’t underestimate the power of a well-written press release, especially if you use a wire service to share it/get it on all the major search engines and major news sites. PR Newswire ,PR Web,  and SBwire all have inexpensive options for small businesses, as well as templates and writing tips, that can help you reach hundreds of thousands of potential customers around the world, or right in your own backyard.

For additional information and tips, as well as detailed explanations of each small business marketing strategy, read my article “8 Expert Online Marketing Tips for Small Businesses.”

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video_iconHaving a video that tells prospective customers about your products or services is now considered a must have for businesses of all sizes. But what if you are a small business with a small business marketing budget? Is it possible to create a video that looks like a million bucks for only a few thousand, or a few hundred, dollars?

The short answer is “yes” — as I learned from creating my first video, for my company Prepster Pineapple Clothing — if you follow these simple tips from video marketing experts.

10 Tips for Creating a Successful Business Video

1. Know who your target audience is.

2. Have a solid concept and script (before you start shooting).

3. Have a clear, simple message — and minimize (or cut) the corporate jargon.

4. Keep it short — typically under two minutes (though there are exceptions).

5. Film in a quiet place (preferably with professional-grade equipment) with good lighting — or hire someone who knows how to shoot a video.

6. Add music.

7. Include a call to action — and a link to your website or preferred landing page.

8. Brand your video with your logo.

9. Post your video to YouTube.

10. Share your video(s) on social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ — and with existing and prospective customers (via email newsletters).

For explanations of each tip, as well as additional tips, read my article “14 Tips for Creating Business Videos Customers Will Want to Watch.” For video marketing tips, check out my article “How to Make Video Marketing Work for Your Business.”

By the way, as one small business learned, your video doesn’t have to go viral to be successful. It just needs to get to the right people.

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