Small business marketing is an interesting process. To accomplish it successfully, advertisers need to take aspects of large scale advertising and tweak them to work for a small business. This is mostly because big businesses have larger budgets and more financial wiggle room.
Small businesses, on the other hand, need to make sure that no money is wasted on an unsuccessful advertisement, as that budget isn't a luxury. Rather, it's a necessity. That means that small business advertisement needs to be more focused and precise. Here are a few ways to make this happen.
Make sure you know your niche
It's extremely important for a small business to have a handle on the market they are trying to attract. If their potential customer base is college students, an ad campaign that talks about the benefit your product has for retirees will likely fall flat. Instead, small businesses would do well to research the needs and styles of their potential customers and tailor the marketing to them.
Include a promotion
One of the main goals of a smaller company should be to get people into the store immediately rather than to gain potential future customers. A good way to do this is to include promotions in ads. Include a coupon in print ads to encourage recipients to go to a business or store while the deal lasts. Promoting sales on radio and television ads will bring in customers and allow for the creation of commercials that only need to run for a short period of time. Besides being effective, this can save companies a great deal of money.
Create deals with other small businesses
Cross promotion can be a great tool for small business marketing. Because many small businesses focus on a specific niche in a smaller market, they don't have to worry as much about a conflict of interest. This can allow for cross promoting opportunities with other companies. If a company sells specialty outerwear for hiking or skiing, a cross promotion with a small hiking boot or ski manufacturer would be a great way to take advantage of a shared customer base while not having to discount as heavily for a sale.
Take advantage of online couponing
Online couponing is a growing trend, largely because of easy access to coupons and the dip in the economy. Saving money has become more important to today's consumers and has even lead to reality shows that focus on using coupons to save huge amounts of money. Taking advantage of this mindset to appeal to the many customers who wish to save money and get a deal is a great way to quickly build up an appreciative customer base.
Advertising and making them available through social networking or a popular radio station is a great way to give local customers a way to easily access the coupon and have a reason to visit the business. Websites like Groupon or LivingSocial can even allow a business to gain multiple customers, as the social aspect of those coupons means customers will be splitting them with friends.
There are hundreds of promotions a company could run, but the important aspect of those promotions should always be a focus on gaining customers immediately. If a business could benefit from a grassroots word of mouth campaign, then one should develop naturally because the service and products are outstanding. Small business advertising budgets would be better spent on giving local customers a reason to visit and purchase.