You don't need fancy marketing campaigns to get the job done
If you are a small business owner, you probably know that advertising can attract new customers, but fancy marketing campaigns may not be in your budget. Fortunately, simple advertising techniques that target your key audience can be just as effective as big-budget campaigns. They won't break your budget and they will build a buzz about your business and draw in new customers.
Build a Website
Every small business needs a website to educate customers and keep them updated. Make your own by using a basic software program or hire a professional to craft it for you. The investment in time and money will pay off once new customers find you on the Web.
Make it Effective
Don't just build a generic website; create an effective one by using search engine optimization. If you use keywords correctly, your business will end up on the first page of search results instead of buried under your competitor's pages. Determine the keywords that your customers are most likely to search for, then integrate them into the title, text and meta tags of your website. Update your website frequently to keep customers informed. Post regular blogs, videos or newsletters, then engage your customers by asking for feedback and comments. Fostering a conversation will keep them coming back for more.
Get Involved in the Community
Improve both your reputation and visibility by getting involved in your community. Nearly every city sponsors some sort of annual events whether they be Veteran's Day parades, restaurant weeks or summer festivals. Get in on the action by setting up a booth, offering free samples and educating the community about your business. Boost your reputation even more by donating to local charities. Take out an advertisement in a high school's year book or sponsor a raffle at a local charity event. Make your products or service the top prize. It is a win-win situation: the community benefits from your donation while you introduce your business to new customers.
Get in the Holiday Spirit
One of the most effective advertising ideas for small businesses is to take advantage of holidays and special events by building your marketing efforts around them. For example, offer deals for the back-to-school season, 4th of July or Christmas to cash in on holiday shopping.
Network with other local business owners and combine your advertising efforts. For example, if you run a day care facility, partner with a local business that makes children's toys or clothing. Refer others to your new partner and count on them to do the same for you.