5 Marketing Hacks When You Have No Budget
Often times we meet with frustrated business owners who feel they can't truly promote their products or services because they have little or no marketing budget. It's as if it's something they can only tackle in the future when they have a large budget to hire someone. Often times agencies can do some amazing things on a shoestring budget but there are also some simple and mostly free solutions that can go a long way in promoting your company and supporting sales.
1. Spoil Your Retail Sales People
We can tell you from working years at Whole Foods Market that this makes a big difference. We remembered the companies that gave employees free samples, showed up for morning huddles to sample their products, or offered employee give-aways and prizes. Those products were top of mind and employees on the floor made an effort to highlight the companies they like. It's just a bit of product and it can go a long way. Take the time to educate and take care of the people on the retail floor who are constantly asked for recommendations from customers.
2. Reward Your Influencers
Take some time to thank and appreciate your most vocal supporters. Giving them free product or asking them to do a takeover on your Insta-stories can take turn their loyalty into an undying love. It might sound counter-intuitive to give free product to those that are paying for it but they will be even more enthusiastic about sharing their love for you.
3. Pinpoint Those That Should Be Your Customers
Programs like the analytics dashboard that ShopandShout.com offer enable you to find out who is talking about your competition, trending topics, or relevant themes. If you're an organic chocolate company, find those that are talking about organic desserts and offer to send them some product. It's a higher cost per person then demo'ing but you're chances of converting them into a loyal customer who will promote your product on their own is much higher.
4. Start Your Own Clique
There is strength in numbers. Find other businesses who are similar in size and agree to support each other. That can mean engaging with each other's social, promoting each other's events, or partnering for events. Not only are you doubling your audience for your messaging but your audience is likely to assume that you're bigger than you are. Just ensure that you're aligned with other high-quality products and companies as to ensure you're not diminishing your own brand.
5. Introduce Yourself Online
Building up a social media audience generally takes some time, especially with today's crowded platforms. But it's worth it. Think of how valuable it would be to have an audience in the thousands at your fingertips who already know and love your business?
Spend time engaging, commenting, and introducing yourself on social media. Make sure it's not a generic message. You'd be surprised how effective a short personal note is. Don't forget to tell people to check out your own page!