Whoa, marketing! That means i need to set out a big chunk of my finances to market the business" is the first thought that pops into an entrepreneur's mind when they set out to promote their business. But in reality, a big budget is not really needed. All the marketing campaign needs to be is effective and chalked around the business objective. The only point to note is to ensure you reach out to the target audience and are not shouting out to the world at large. Create a marketing plan, stick to it and keep editing the approach as you go along, based on reviews and returns earned. It is as simple as that.
Here are top 5 low cost marketing tips:
1. Customer is King:
Yes, it is true. It is the customer who decides the fate of any business, big or small. If they have had a good experience, they will tell the whole world about it and same applies if in case of an unpleasant experience. With just a computer or a smart phone, one can market their product, reaching out to people in various corners. Krithika Nelson of Shopo.in shares "we rely on those who are as part of our Facebook page and listen to everything they have to say. Their word is all that matters to us and we let them know the same."
2. Direct approach is the key mantra
Rakesh Raghunathan, founder of PetaWrap says, "Today the traditional marketing tools don't work; it is going onto the social media platform, connecting with the community that drives the business ahead. He relies on nothing but Facebook. Keeps interacting with members, draws new members into his clan, and is there announcing to the world of the new updates and flavours. He has also become a part of a few communities/groups on Facebook where he has run campaigns inviting new flavours, which received an overwhelming response." Listen to my customers, interact with them directly, chat with them or message them on Facebook. Take their word as bible, observe, respond and keep updating them on what you are upto. Skip the agencies, take the direct approach to your customer!
3. Community building
For a travel portal to succeed, they don't have to go out and do print ads or advertise on the radio. Today, they can create a community website; send out mailers to people they know and others in the travel domain. Once people come over, visit the site, become members, the interactions begin to flow. This is how a community is built. The same can be achieved through Blogs as well. Websites like Travelmike and Tripadvisor are so popular only because of the reviews they receive and queries that are resolved. Even twitter is used to a large extent by people when travelling or curious about a new product or service.
4. Promotional events and activities
Brands these days are taking the chosen path, which is the social networking websites and online platform. Planning months ahead in time, they run campaigns, promotional events, contests across various websites. Travel houses, Publishing houses and retail stores are all following suit, trying to attract more customers, inviting new ideas and growing further. By running a contest, giving away free books or T-shirts, the brand is slowly sneaking into the mind of the customer, thereby promoting their brands.
5. Meet the people
Going online and chatting with the fans on a page is good and easy. But the entrepreneur must take the time to meet atleast a few. It could be during an event, a launch or a specific blogger meet. The agenda should be to interact with the members who have helped the brand grow and who are influencers, drawing in more customers with every passing second. Raj from a leading PR firm says " one of the restaurant brands we are working with invited a group of 6-8 people and gave them a tour of the restaurant, and a lunch hosted exclusively for them. All the members had to go was enjoy the experience and write about it on their blogs". Not only did they enjoy the day, but word spreads like forest fire.
There you go, use these 5 tips and promote your business at a fraction of the cost.