Embarking on a new business venture is an exhilarating endeavor, teeming with lofty aspirations and boundless potential. The journey is characterized by ambition and commitment, and after investing effort to establish and operate your business, it is only natural to desire rapid expansion and prosperity. Despite common misconceptions, there is no clandestine recipe or exclusive shortcut to propel your business to instant triumph. Surprisingly, an extensive budget is not a prerequisite for acquiring new customers; instead, by pinpointing specific strategies, even a modest marketing budget has the capacity to yield favorable outcomes.
Blogging is a simple and affordable method to increase website traffic, build an audience, and attract more customers for your small business. Statistics show that businesses that blog receive 97% more links to their websites. Additionally, blogging provides an opportunity to inform potential customers about your products and brand or share your insights and opinions on specific topics. This establishes credibility and positions your business as an expert in its field. Regular blogging also improves your visibility in search results. By consistently publishing relevant content, your website becomes more easily discoverable. Search engines recognize the value of content that is worth linking to and sharing, resulting in higher rankings. Moreover, blogging can improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) without requiring additional knowledge in the field. At Buffer, we have been blogging since 2011 and have found it to be a valuable way to showcase our company’s personality and work culture, while also providing resources and guides to help small business owners like you build and market their businesses.
2. Email marketing
Email marketing is an affordable and effective marketing strategy that allows businesses to reach and connect with their target audience personally, as well as build strong, long-term customer relationships. It is reported that 81% of small businesses consider email as their main customer acquisition channel.
- On average, email brings in $36 for every $1 spent. That’s a 3,600% return on investment!
- And 60% of customers have made an online purchase because of an email marketing message.
- Email marketing is close to 40X more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined for acquiring new customers.
After implementing an email marketing tool such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or MailerLite, gradually cultivate your subscribers’ interest until they are prepared to make purchases. One effective strategy for achieving this is crafting email campaigns that provide educational content to your audience, such as tips, tutorials, and recipes.
3. Social media
With a huge majority of internet users using social media every month, social media marketing, both organic and paid, is a highly effective and cost-efficient method to showcase your products and services to a wide audience. By creating social media profiles on various platforms, without any cost, your business can naturally establish brand recognition, interact with existing and potential customers, and effectively increase leads and sales without spending money.
To achieve organic growth for your small business on social media, we advise implementing five straightforward strategies that resulted in a 350% increase in our social traffic. Additionally, we recommend trying out a few growth hacks, such as posting at off-peak times. Furthermore, you can utilize social media advertising to boost online sales and enhance brand awareness. The advantage of opting for this type of advertising is that it will never exceed your available budget. For instance, if your Instagram Ads budget is $10 per day, you will never spend more than that amount. This also highlights why social media marketing is highly advantageous for small businesses, as it offers flexibility in terms of expenditure.
4. Influencer marketing
One misconception about influencer marketing is that it necessitates a large budget due to the high costs associated with influencers. However, it is possible for small business owners and entrepreneurs to benefit from influencer marketing at a low cost by targeting a specific niche. The fees for collaborating with influencers vary depending on factors such as follower count, engagement, and partnership terms. It is advisable to collaborate with micro-influencers or brand ambassadors as they usually offer more affordable options. Furthermore, many of these influencers are willing to collaborate in exchange for free products.
5. Pamper your existing customers
Ensure that you do not overlook the individuals who already have knowledge of and confidence in you, as it generally costs approximately five times more to sell to a new customer than to an existing one.
One way to consider is to take your top customers out for dinner or golf, using the chance to inquire about enhancing your business. Another option is to personally send letters to your ten most valuable customers, expressing gratitude and informing them of their inclusion in your new loyalty program or extending an invitation to a preview of your latest product.
6. Turn employees into ambassadors
Consider inviting your employees, along with their extended families, to a fun event at your business, recognizing the fact that they are an integral part of the community and possess various connections that could be beneficial to you. This initiative could lead to obtaining new word-of-mouth referrals or even discovering potential business partnerships. At the very least, your team will return to work on Monday with a renewed sense of energy.
7. Give back
Sponsoring a hockey team or taking part in a charity drive by placing a cheque and a collection jar in your lunch room or by the cash register helps you contribute to the community while also building positive relationships with customers and potential clients.
8. Use all your real estate
When considering options for displaying signs and banners, your building, surrounding land, or sidewalk can serve as excellent locations. Additionally, you can utilize your vehicles as mobile billboards. However, keep in mind that your images and messages ought to highlight the products or services you are promoting rather than emphasizing your company’s name.
9. Work at public relations
In the current age of reduced media presence, it has become increasingly difficult to grab the attention of journalists. Nevertheless, a media feature on your company holds greater significance compared to an advertisement as it enhances the credibility of your business. Hence, it is crucial to remember that journalists seek interesting narratives to share. Assist them by informing them about your unique product, extraordinary customer interaction, or successful high-risk venture. Consistently fostering connections with the media will eventually yield positive results.
10. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Although SEO requires additional knowledge, having a higher ranking in search engines will give your business an advantage over your competitors by attracting new customers. Search engine users are more likely to trust websites that appear on the first page of search results compared to websites that are not. With approximately 68% of online experiences beginning with a search engine and 53.3% of website traffic originating from organic search results, it is crucial to have a well-developed SEO strategy to enhance both the quantity and quality of traffic to your website. The good news is that learning the fundamentals of SEO may seem complex, but it is not. If you are already blogging, as we recommended earlier, you are already improving your SEO. To increase traffic from your content, concentrate on one or two areas, such as keyword research. This involves finding popular search terms and incorporating them into your website. Ahrefs, an SEO tools company, offers a beginner-friendly guide on keyword research that is informative without being full of technical jargon. Although SEO takes time to yield results, it is more cost-effective than paid advertising in the long term. This is because SEO involves making free adjustments to your website to target individuals who are already searching for content like yours, rather than relying on paid promotions that many customers find intrusive.