As soon as you jump head first into your latest business venture, you are faced with the quandary of choosing how to promote it. The common sense tells us to leave it to the pros, since advertising and marketing are big words loaded with mysticism and a supposed magical skill that marketing experts possess and use it to entice the public to check out your service or your product.
In reality, marketing is simply a combination of common sense logic and decades of experience, with a touch of creativity sprinkled in to sweeten the pot. That is not to say that it is an empty science devoid of content. There is plenty of value in the experience and the knowledge of a seasoned marketeer, and, for some of you, letting an expert take care of business might be the best possible course.
However, if you’re operating on a tight budget (and who isn’t?) and if you’re blessed with a healthy logic, there are plenty of things you can do to, if not completely do away with marketing agencies, at least limit your reliance upon them. Here is a step-by-step to designing and implementing a marketing strategy on your own.
The first thing you need to do whenever you’re planning on promoting a business is to think long and hard about the very nature of your business. Try to identify all of its strengths and find something that clearly separates you from the competition. You should focus on a unique quality of your service, or perhaps a particular value you wish associated with your business. Whatever you go for, make sure that the message you’re trying to send to the public is clear, simple and effective.
Most small business owners operate on a relatively small level, which can be a powerful marketing asset. Word of mouth is a very effective marketing tactic in a smaller market, and you need to ensure that the quality of your product or your service is up to par. Quality service will ensure your potential clients not only check out your business, but come back for more.
With advertising prices getting higher and higher, the importance of anything that comes for free cannot be overstated. Utilize all of the online platforms that cost you less than nothing. Build a functional, easy to use website and use the social networks to try to engage the public and get much needed feedback from your clients. Be available, be accessible, and be creative.
The value of highly publicized charity work is another thing that can’t be overstated. Identify worthy causes in line with the values of your business and get behind it. It doesn’t have to come in the form of a hefty charity donations there are plenty ways to support a cause, a lot of them very much PR friendly.
Once you’ve designed a striking logo or a catchy slogan, don’t hesitate to stamp it on everything around you. Your logo needs to be ever-present, and a particularly effective way to achieve that is to put some thought and effort into designing promotional items. They are an effective long term marketing tool, because they let your logo into people’s homes and keep it before their eyes. In this day and age the options are numerous, and you can go with anything from your run-of-the-mill, pen-and-notebook variety to promotional labels on water bottles at your business function.
Keep in mind that nobody is an all-around expert, and that at some point you will probably need to hire a professional for a specific task. Still, if you keep these guidelines in mind and apply common sense you will find plenty of promotional work you can handle on your own.