Investing in advertising might not be on the top of the list for some small businesses and startups due to cost constraints. While insufficient funding and financial inflexibility can be limiting, it doesn’t mean you should completely overlook advertising you business altogether. Furthermore, print ads and banner ads are often extremely expensive and may not be effective for small businesses. There are definitely cost effective ways to advertise your company. Here are the best ways to get the greatest returns on advertising at low-cost for your company.
In the age of digital and Internet marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) is growing increasingly important in advertising your business online. If you’re tight on budget, investing in Google Adwords could give you a sizeable amount of traffic to your website, especially if your company belongs to a niche industry or market. You would need to invest approximately $10-$20 a day but it with the amount of traffic entering your website, the potential lead generation could easily earn you the profits to cover your advertising cost. Google Adwords work best when you focus on long-tail keywords that are industry specific and would generate the highest search rates and in-turn conversions. This would not only place your website on the top if search engines, but it would also improve your click through rate.
If you’re unsure of how to go about improving your SEO, read our previous posts on the topic, or simply, hire a consultant to help you out.
This is arguably the simplest and most effective way of advertising your business. Almost everyone, from potential customers to businesses have their own Facebook page. Thus their consumer database is the best resource to tap on. Facebook also allows you pick which level of advertising you prefer according to your budget as well as target specific audiences you want to advertise to. This reduces random clicks from Facebook users who are just browsing and just looking for information. With as little as $10 a day, you can generate substantial traffic from a focused demographic to your Facebook page or website. Even if these customers don’t end up purchasing anything from your site, they may end up liking your Facebook page and return for another look. If not, these “likes” would increase popularity on your page and improve your social media presence!
Look for influential bloggers or social media personalities to review your product or service. Pick those that are relevant to your industry and give them samples of your products or have them test out your service to see if they find it beneficial. In return, have them review and promote your product on their blogs or social media accounts. For example, if you’ve recently developed a maternity clothing line, approach some expecting mothers to review your product. Who better to review them than actual customers themselves! Not only will you tap on these blogger’s fan database, it also makes your company and product relatable to the masses.
Alternatively, some of these bloggers would also endorse your site for a fee. Typically these endorsements wouldn’t cost as much as a television or banner ad and would gain you as much traffic.
Donate Products or volunteer services
If you look at this carefully, it would essentially not cost you a single cent. Tap on existing resources in your company (e.g. existing stocks of your product, manpower in company) and donate your services or products to a charity event or for a charitable cause. For example, if you’re a graphic design company, you can volunteer your services to design some collateral for an upcoming charity event. Not only will your company name be featured on the sponsors list, you will also be able to showcase examples of your work to many potential customers and businesses. These would inadvertently serve as advertisements and have some attendees of the charity event approach you to engage your services as well. Even if it doesn’t generate as many leads for you, you would have still contributed to a fruitful cause!
Publish your thoughts online
Another effective way of advertising your business is online is to write on topics that you’re well versed in. This can be done on business forums like Quora. By providing some relevant insights into your industry or business tips, it could improve your company’s credibility and also allow you to include some backlinks to your website.
Alternatively, you can start your own blog and generate useful content articles. Not only would this improve your SEO, but also further boost your company’s reputation in the industry.
This basic method is not only cost efficient, but effective as well. Design and print out some flyers with important details of your company or maybe a promotion you’re carrying and give them out manually in public spaces or at events your company is participating. This is particularly helpful to businesses with a physical store. It could generate on-the-spot foot traffic and attract more customers to your booth or store.