As competition for consumers and market shares become more cutthroat day by day, small and medium business owners do need to be more aggressive when it comes to marketing their gods and services. Unfortunately, unlike big corporations who can afford to burn a lot of dollars for multimedia campaigns, small and medium businesses do not have this luxury.
When talking about marketing campaigns, the traditional means would be billboards, print advertising, and other forms of mass communication. However, as the internet and other forms of digital communications evolve, consumers can now be effectively reached through non-traditional and cost-effective methods. In this article, we discuss some of these methods, and discuss how small and medium businesses can thrive and hold their own by ingenious marketing.
With almost everyone checking their email inboxes several times a day, email campaigns are definitely one of the more popular ways to get your brand noticed. It can also quickly get the word out whenever you have something to share, like notices of clearance sales, or upcoming company events, or even just a monthly newsletter to help you touch base with loyal patrons. However, while it may be tempting to just buy or steal a list of email addresses, resist the urge. Sending emails to people who are not interested will actually turn them off your products and services. Make sure to include only those who do indeed want to be included in your mailing list. And just in case they change their mind, have a no-fuss ‘unsubscribe’ feature ready.
Companies are now realizing that profiles and memberships in popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are important for brand awareness and imaging. With hundreds of other businesses offering similar menus, you really have to find a way to stand out. Get connected with your public and encourage them to explore your brand by engaging them on a more personal level.
Putting up a company blog is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority in your own right. Internet users are all about information and content is king. By providing readers with insightful articles and informative blog posts, you are projecting yourself as knowledgeable about the industry, and consumers are more apt to trust you with their business. Of course, you need to make sure that you only publish quality content.
Bloggers and media people are the new critics, and their opinions certainly count. Exposure deals with bloggers can be a great way to get the word out about your business, especially if your products and services are not really that unique. Some businesses will pay for sponsored reviews or write-ups and while that may carry some mileage, be warned that readers are now very suspicious of anything which appears to be solicited. The more savvy PR people merely send out product samples to influential bloggers and leave them to form their own opinions about it. That way, any praise that you garner will be sincere, and will have more value in terms of publicity.
For business owners who need to establish a strong local presence, getting involved in local events such as fairs or trade shows is a fairly good way to start introducing yourself to the community. You can also sponsor certain charity drives or school events as a sign of goodwill.
Each business does have its signature profile, which is why there really is no single perfect marketing template that can be used for everything. It is important to see which options work for you. Generally, a combination of these methods tends to be more effective than any single one.