Marketing is the lifeblood for growth for many small businesses. Yet, many owners throw everything at the wall - flyers, social media, commercials - often overspending by a significant margin without the commensurate return on marketing.
The key is finding the right channels that can deliver consistent and positive return on investment (eg. the amount you amount you generate for every dollar of marketing you spend).
But what about advertising your business for free? Getting additional customers without any incremental cost will actually make your overall business more cost effective as your blended marketing cost comes down. And lowering the overall cost of your marketing will allow you to do even more.
Here are some ways to market your business without breaking the bank:
This is often associated with expensive PR campaigns to generate attention. But did you know you can actually generate free publicity with the right media outlets?
Publications such as The Straits Times are constantly sourcing relevant topics and content for their readers. The best way to get some initial exposure is to follow the writers that cover your industry and to reach out to them when you have something interesting to share.
Try sponsoring a content for your existing customers enticing them to fill out a customer survey, one that you think will provide insightful feedback. You can share the results with your favorite media outlets. Publications love these kind of surveys and will help you share it with their readers in a meaningful way.
2. Community service
People love businesses that are active participants in the community and have a genuine interest in making a positive impact on those around them. Word of mouth comes naturally to organisations that are actively involved.
Why not get involved today with something you are personally passionate about? There’s a wide range of volunteering opportunities available in Singapore. Consider a team event with your staff to do some volunteering together. This is a great opportunity for them to get together and share a common mission in helping the community.
Depending on your budget, you can also consider donating a portion of your sales to a charitable organisation.
3. Guest speaking
This is one of the most underlooked opportunities to advertise your business. Events organisers are constantly on the lookout for interesting people from diverse backgrounds to feature as their guest speaker.
Look for events that have attendees from your target audience. Participating regularly will allow you to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and provide additional social validation of your business. In fact, what often happens is once you become a guest speaker, you often get more invitations from other event organisers as they know you are willing to participate.
You are now ready to start looking for opportunities to generate free exposure for your business. As a small business owner, you carry the vision of your brand with you. Stay passionate and make sure you go the extra mile when engaging with those who want to learn more about your brand at these venues. You never know, they may become your best advocates tomorrow.