Saturday, September 29, 2012

3 Marketing Strategies to Stretch Your Dollar

As you start planning your business marketing strategy, there are many considerations to make. How much money do you have to spend on marketing? What's your budget? What are you doing now? What's working? What's not? What can you do that's new?

Here are three suggestions which may help you get the most bang for your marketing buck.

1) Build a website. Almost 50 percent of small businesses in the U.S. do not have websites. Yet, more than 90 percent of consumers search online for businesses, including local businesses, before making a purchase. If nothing else, your website should provide the consumer with basic information about your business such as products, services, hours and location. The more information you have about your business on the website, the more the customer can find out about your business and the more interested that customer will be. Setting up a website does not have to be expensive but you will reap its rewards for many years to come.

2) Establish a Google+ Local Business page. While Google+ is fairly new, it's a powerful online marketing tool. Users can utilize it to make posts, to share photos, videos and articles and to communicate with followers. It also has several advantages over Facebook, including the fact that it lets you separate your followers into "circles." These circles let you target messages for specific groups. If you have a business with different products and services that appeal to different audiences, then you can divide your audience and target your messages rather than sending the same messages to everyone. Another advantage Google+ has over Facebook is that Google+ is not a closed community. You can share posts publicly on Google+ and those will be indexed by the search engines so more potential customers can find your business.

3) Conduct a press release campaign. A campaign is not just sending out one press release which announces a special offer. A press release campaign includes sending out 1 or more press releases over a period of several weeks. Each press release focuses on a different aspect of your business. This could include special offers, new products or services, or what awards or certifications your business or employees have earned. Press releases can also focus on current events and how your business addresses those. For instance, a lawn care business could issue a press release on how to deal with drought conditions.

Press releases distributed online can help drive traffic to your business website. Also, those distributed to local media gets you noticed as an expert in your field and industry. This can lead to media interviews related to your industry and your business. Media interviews are free publicity.

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