Marketing a small business on a budget is a testing task but one that is far from impossible. Instead of casting envious glances in the direction of giant multinational corporations like Microsoft who can pump tens of millions into any marketing campaign, you need to be more creative and understand what makes your customers tick. The first step is to acquire more customers, then you can get them to buy more expensive products as time goes by and hopefully recommend your company to their friends.
Round Up Your Customers
The two biggest mistakes made by small business owners when trying to market their company’s products and services is to try and reach everybody and failure to effectively utilize social media. First and foremost, it is impossible to market to the whole world unless you have an extraordinarily large budget. This means you have to do research and establish your target market. Going after everyone in the world who you think will be interested in your services is a recipe for disaster.
Don’t mistake target marketing as a method of eliminating certain people. It is simply a method of focusing on advertising that will appeal to the market that is most likely to buy your product or use your services. If you have a company that specializes in interior decorating, you could decide to market to people between 30-60 years of age who own their homes and live within your state. Be sure to see who your rivals are targeting. There is the possibility that they have ignored or forgotten to target a potentially profitable niche market.
Define your target market by writing down a list of product or service features and who they benefit. Take into account factors such as the age, location, gender, ethnicity, income and education level of your target market. It is also important to consider their personality, behavior, lifestyle and hobbies to paint a reasonable picture of who will buy from you. Once you have defined the market, ask yourself if it is big enough to sustain your business and if they can afford it.
The Social Media Phenomenon
The next step is to connect with these customers with social media the greatest free marketing opportunity in history. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are free and easy to use. Facebook alone has an estimated 500 million members who spend numerous hours per week online. It is a perfect chance to quickly market to your target audience. It is fairly easy to gain friends on social networking sites but far more difficult to get those followers to put their hand in their pocket and actually provide you with a sale.
The first step is to ask questions relating to your business that causes your followers to answer. For example, you may ask your followers “under what circumstances would you use my product?” People who answer are potential customers. Be bold on Twitter and ask your followers if they know of people who need your services. If they do, ask for referrals. Ask another company who offer a different service to you but have a similar target market to praise your goods online and offer to do the same in return.
Although your small business will never be able to compete with the big boys in terms of marketing finances, a combination of clever social networking and target marketing will see your company punch way above its weight and generate the type of sales revenue you could only dream of.
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