It is said that 50% of new businesses in the US fail in the first 12 months and that half of those left will not be in business after three years. There are two main reasons given for this. One is a lack of funding and the other is not enough effective marketing.
The thought of marketing frightens some businesses as they imagine it to be very expensive, but it does not have to be.
Offer a prize on social media and you will get more followers than you imagined possible. It does not have to be anything huge, just something that would be useful to most people. As part of the entry, say that they must click the link to your website and the more that do this, the more will turn into customers. They should also have to like your social media page.
Friends will tell other friends and as most people like something for nothing, the number of followers you have will grow enormously. This is a trick you see employed often on social media and that is because it is so successful.
It is no use giving free gifts that can be purchased anywhere; they need to be something a bit special. Among the many marketing ideas for small businesses is having some items personalized with the business name, logo or both. If you did this with coffee mugs or beer steins, for instance, every time it is used your name is seen and it keeps it fresh in the user’s mind. Keyrings are another good option or maybe notebooks or something similar. It just needs to be something that will be used and seen often.
It does help a great deal if the freebies are good quality, as anything too cheap will soon be discarded.
Many consumers will be guided by the recommendations of friends and family. Establish a program whereby an existing customer gets a bonus after the first sale has been made to a new customer recommended by them. It could work on a points system, similar to how loyalty cards work. The more points they collect, the bigger the thing they can buy. This has the same tone to it as the competition. People are getting something without having to hand over any cash, and that always goes down well.
Be seen at local events, perhaps sponsor a children sports team or have a stand at the school fair. The more your name is seen, the more likely people are to buy from you. When they keep seeing a brand, whether that is on social media or at a trade show, they start to trust it. Trust turns viewers into customers and at the end of the day, that is what marketing is all about.
One important thing to remember though is that you can put a lot of time and effort into getting new customers. Do not ignore your existing ones, as keeping a strong and loyal customer base can be as important as trying to build a new one.