Marketing Never Ends
It’s a new month and the month that kicks off for many business owners the holiday marketing season. Marketing is never-ending. Marketing does routinely pick up at certain times. It is also time we started to think about the end of the year which means shopping, snow, colder weather, and people talking nice and pushing us out of the way for that most valuable holiday find. We don’t like the thought of the cold, but we are all in the service business.
When it comes to services we need to think about sales which result in money for our businesses. We all love money as it keeps us in business and something for-profit and not-for-profit strive to gain. Whether you have a physical or virtual store selling goods, sell an intangible product (e.g. health, home, or life insurance), search for and take donations, or are truly a service business in the real-world (e.g. restaurant, furnace repair, construction, etc.) marketing is the way to get your business and brand out there.
We’re going to discuss several ways to market and grow your business not only the coming months but years as well. Marketing is definitely a marathon and not a sprint. You shouldn’t market when things are starting to go south. You need to be marketing not only in the bad times but the good times as it’s when you market consistently people learn about who you are. We’ll cover free ways (yeah!) and not-so-free ways to grow your business.
Although there are many ways to drive traffic to your business the first place everyone thinks of is where can I get something for nothing? We know marketing costs as even in a free newspaper or flyer you have to pay for advertising. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look for free areas to advertise and stretch our marketing dollars farther. Below are the most common spots to get your good word out for no cost.
- Google My Business - https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
- Google Analytics (so you know who is coming to your site) - https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/
- Bing Business - https://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url
- Facebook - https://www.Facebook.com/
- Instagram - https://www.Instagram.com/
- Facebook Groups
- LinkedIn - https://www.LinkedIn.com/
- Pinterest - https://www.Pinterest.com/
- Newsletters with MailChimp (until your list gets too big and then they charge; 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month is free) - https://MailChimp.com/
- Volunteering / Donating
- Free classes or seminars
- Write good positive reviews about other businesses (negative ones can make you look like sour)
- Ask for reviews
- Facebook Live
Not So Free Ways
Marketing as I’ve said isn’t free. Some areas cost more than others. If you are fortunate to be in a small or growing town like Valparaiso, Merrillville, Crown Point, Chesterton, etc. you are fortunate that the costs will typically be less. Especially if there isn’t a lot of competition for your business or those that might be competition don’t bid on certain words/phrases to increase their marketing reach.
- Social media using social media managers
- Chamber of Commerce
- Google Ads - https://ads.google.com/
- Bing Ads - https://bingads.Microsoft.com/
- Facebook Ads
- Instagram Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Press Releases
As you can see from above there are as many ways to get free marketing as there are paid marketing. Now free marketing is not free. Hate to say that but it’s true. Don’t undervalue or underestimate your worth. When you start out many business owners feel their time is “free”. Your time is extremely important and valuable. If you want to evaluate what are your best marketing options to grow your business we would love to sit down, talk, and see how we might be able to help you grow. It’s free (yeah!) and if we don’t feel we can help you grow we’ll tell you but know you’ll come out with some great ideas no matter what on increasing your bottom line without breaking the bank.