Starting a business isn’t easy, and entrepreneurs can find themselves facing unique struggles that other, larger businesses may have already left behind. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), around 20% of new businesses in the United States fail in the first two years. Only 25% of businesses make it past the 15-year mark, a statistic that’s been fairly consistent since the 1990s. This can sound disheartening for any small business owner, but it is possible not to fall into that trap.
How? An important element is marketing. It goes without saying that the right marketing technique can often be the key to success. While it isn’t exactly a magic pill, a good marketing strategy can net you more responses, higher engagement, and more customers, which is always a good thing for any business.
But marketing can be tricky, and more importantly, expensive. Not all beginner businesses have the tools or resources to go all out on sophisticated campaigns. Still, a lack of budget doesn’t mean a lack of opportunity. So, here are a few affordable yet effective marketing techniques you can use to get your fledgling company off the ground and into the sky.
1. Video Marketing
It’s no secret that digital marketing is a powerful tool in today’s day and age. Companies are now well aware of the power a well-maintained online presence has in engaging with customers and increasing brand recall. Increasing traffic and generating leads through SEO, content marketing, social media engagement, and more are all tried and tested methods for maximizing the strengths of digital marketing.
A rising star in the digital marketing world that your company can take advantage of is video marketing. In a list of statistics compiled by Business 2 Community, video marketing was found to be preferred by over 54% of consumers. Video is engaging and easy to share, and will soon account for 82% of all Internet traffic by 2022. Small businesses can create short explainer videos, demos, and even question and answer videos to increase engagement with customers without having to rely on pay-per-click ads or other expensive advertising methods.
2. Business Partnerships
Another low cost solution to marketing for small businesses are partnerships. You can link up with other companies and create a network of customers and referrals that is constantly working towards both your benefits. Entrepreneur has written about the benefits of small businesses partnering up with other small businesses, including brand recognition and affinity.
Business partnerships can include simple strategies such as referrals, and more complex tools like product partnerships. You can also use your partnership to capture the market more thoroughly by providing services that your partner company doesn’t, and vice versa, ensuring that customers are constantly revolving between your two companies.
3. Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail marketing might seem like a relic from times past, but it’s far from dead. In fact, it’s one of the most effective low cost marketing strategies around, generating some of the highest ROI among diverse marketing techniques. Triadex Services found that direct mail advertising yields the lowest cost-per-lead conversion and has several times the conversion rate of electronic mail marketing.
Direct mail marketing is simple and easy to execute, and direct mailing lists can often be higher quality than electronic mailing lists. It’s also one way to stand out from among your competitors, as direct mail materials can capture your customers’ attention for longer periods of time.
4. Social Media
Finally, one of the most affordable but highly effective (when done correctly) marketing methods is using social media. We’ve spoken about this before in a previous article titled ‘5 Ways to Market Your Product Without Spending a Dime on Facebook or Google Ads’: by building engagement through your social media posts, you can move your company forward without having to spend on advertising.
Social media engagement can be stimulated in a host of different ways. You can create content in the form of blog posts, infographics, and more in order to stimulate conversations and sharing. You can also provide incentive for customers to engage with your page, such as through contests or giveaways. You can also simply respond to your customers’ comments and create a personalized experience for each one. There are tons of different ways to maximize your social media pages, and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny.