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Marketing your business on a budget

Marketing your business on a budget can be a difficult task, especially if you are finding it difficult to know what to do and where your money is best spent. The following blog article will point you in the right direction and take a look at some of the most popular and effective forms of marketing that are out there.

Marketing your business online

There are many online tools and platforms that are available to you to market your business, some are free to use and others may charge a monthly subscription.  If you are marketing on a budget start off by looking at who your target market is and where they most frequent online.  If your target market is for a younger demographic or seniors, why not look to a social media platform such as Facebook to get started?  Seniors are still one of the fastest growing demographics on social media, so publicizing your products and services on the facebook platform would be a great way to get started. So the question then becomes - how do I effectively market using facebook?

Facebook has a number of options open to you.  The first, and by far the easiest to get going is to create a facebook business page that can be used to open discussion with customers and people searching the web about your products and services. Your facebook page should have all of your company information, contact details and an overview of who you are and what you do. Simply putting information about your products and services isn't enough to get people interested (unless they happen upon your page and are looking for your product), you need to start conversations (with your co-workers if necessary) to start generating interest in you, and invite others to join the conversation - remember, the most important thing about internet marketing is finding ways to interact with people online.

You can also consider facebook ads - these are the small text or image ads that appear in the sidebar of the facebook pages when you are viewing facebook. Ads are a great way to get brand recognition - your company name will be clearly visible to several hundred thousand people, but it does come at a cost.  Ads are a great way to raise the profile of a product or service, but the ad has to be carefully worded and designed to have impact and to get the person - who may be only skimming the ad - to click on it. Your ad must be educating, informative and enthralling - you need to convert the reader fro a reader to someone who wants to know more and who will want to click on the ad.

Word of Mouth

By far the least expensive option of all and yet the most powerful!  If your business has a number of happy customers, then engage with them and have the customer be the salesperson.  Ask your customers for a testimonial or offer an incentive for them to refer your business to a friend.  often, giving exceptional service and having a great product is enough to have people singing your praises.  Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools that you have at your disposal.  Always look at what you are doing and see how you can evolve a situation into a glowing referral and a super-happy customer. Take part in business networking events and expo's - talk to your Chamber of Commerce and find out where other businesses meet and discuss ideas.  For example, a creative industries group meets once a month in Vancouver, and they are in so much demand that people literally hang onto their browser to book tickets as they become available.  Network, share, discuss, invite and spread the word about who you are and what you do. Don't be afraid to tell people how great you are!

Targeted Mailers

Your local postal service offers a great way to market directly to your customers using a direct mail service. Direct mail is a good option if you have a product to sell or an event or premises.  You can use direct mail to promote the piece, with a combination of great marketing text and supporting images, and an incentive to generate a visit or sale. Large companies do this frequently, and you can do it too! The cost of print is reasonable, using an offset print press.  The cards or pieces are usually batched into fixed numbers for mail sorting (check with your postal service as to the best number) and then you simply drop them off at your post office outlet and pay the fee.  A typical fee can be as little as 14 cents per card - and you get to chose which mail routes or postal zones receive the mailer.

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