Spread the Word! 5 Easy Marketing Ideas for a Small Business on a Tight Budget

As a small business, it is sometimes hard to make your voice heard above the noise of a crowded market. The big names in the industry have the lion’s share of the advertising power, so how do you get the word out about your products or services? Here are five simple marketing ideas for small businesses. The best bit, though, is that they won’t cost you a fortune!

 

Make a Video

It has never been easier to make great looking online video content with little or no outlay. This is particularly handy because a video is the single best marketing medium in terms of the way customers interact with it. If you have a smartphone, you are already well on your way to making that all-important marketing video.

But what does the video need to include? You have a few options here. ‘How-to’ videos related to your business bring in decent search traffic and build trust for your brand if they are easy to follow. Product description videos are proven to help potential customers make up their minds over whether to make a purchase. Finally, funny videos about your business and the people who work there create a human connection between viewers and your company.

Once you have decided on the type of video you want and shot the relevant scenes, you need to edit it. Most computers and laptops come with free editing software, such as iMovie and Windows Movie Maker, on which you can easily edit scenes together and add titles and other effects. There are also a number of options for editing on phones and tablets too. All of which are relatively easy to learn.

After that, simply upload it to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and promote the heck out of it. All it costs is a little bit of your time for maximum potential effect.

Online video gives the most amount of information in the shortest amount of time. Click To Tweet

 

Host an Event or Webinar

The best way to draw in new customers is to become the local expert on something relating to your business. But to do this, you need to blow your own trumpet and present yourself as such.

A great way to do this is to organise your own event or webinar. For instance, if you are a florist, you could host a flower arranging class. If you run a computer repair business, you could hold a class to go through the most common issues that occur with people’s laptops. Obviously, you might want to limit this event to only show the really simple problems that you wouldn’t charge for, such as people accidentally turning off their trackpads.

This allows you to meet your prospective customers, who will now think of you when they next need flowers, their computer fixed, or whatever it is that you offer.

People love to learn new skills, so you should easily be able to find enough willing attendees. You could offer it as a free course on your premises, or rent a venue and charge a small fee to cover the costs. If the classes become very popular, it might even turn into a decent money-making wing of your business.

Webinars work in a similar way, but you broadcast your class on the internet, rather than in person. Either way, these are great marketing ideas for a small business on a tight budget.

 

Encourage Online Reviews

One of the simplest marketing tools available is the humble online review. Simply encourage your happy customers to take two minutes out of their day to tell others about you. This could be on Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, or anywhere that offers customers the chance to rate your services.

 

Survey Audience and Promote the Findings to Local Media

Your local media is desperate for stories that originate in their patch. If a story is driven by a local company, they are likely to run with it. With that in mind, you should consider putting a poll or questionnaire online for your audience about something relevant to your business.

An example is a mechanic asking their customers which jobs they are confident of being able to complete on their own cars.

Encourage people to take part and to share the survey with their friends in order to beef up the statistics. Once you have some results, stick them into a handy press release and send that to your nearby radio stations and newspapers. You should be able to spin a story from the results. For instance, in the mechanic’s example, you could lead with “Local Garage Discovers 80% of People in [local area] Can’t Change a Tyre”.

Both papers and radios stations have a remit to include a large proportion of local stories within the news sections. Even if your survey is on a national topic, the fact that it is compiled by a local business is enough to give it a regional angle that these outlets will love. You may find your company name prominently in print and broadcast all day thanks to this handy marketing tip.

 

Blog

The fifth of the marketing ideas for a small business on a tight budget is simply to blog. There is no better way to keep your website fresh with the new content that Google craves when it works out its rankings. You can stamp your authority on your local area or in your chosen sphere by producing regular, SEO-crafted, compelling content.

A blog gives current customers reason to return to your site, making them more likely to use your business again. It also makes it easier for new users to find you through search, increasing the chances of them making a purchase with your company for the first time.

In addition, you can also create entertaining and informative posts that people will share with their friends. This means they do your marketing job for you. Supportal can organise your web content, including regular blog posts. Take a look at the Services page to find out more.

Google is your best friend when it comes to your website rankings. Give them what they crave! Consistent, informative content! Click To Tweet

 

Marketing Ideas for a Small Business – Get Help

If you don’t have the time to plan these marketing ideas for a small business on a tight budget, contact Supportal today. We can help plan your marketing strategy. Drop us a line and we can discuss your needs.

How to Avoid Screwing Up Marketing to Dads This Fathers Day

Father’s Day is the obvious choice for a push on marketing to dads, but it is very easy to get wrong. Today’s dads are not the 1970s sitcom cliches who don’t know the steriliser from the stroller, even though many advertisers seem to believe that is still the case.

Modern dads change nappies, do the night feeds and take a keen interest in their kids. None of this is a big deal; it’s just what they do. The only time it becomes a big deal is when a brand comes along and tries to suggest the opposite is true. Take a look at this guide to how to avoid screwing up marketing to dads this Father’s Day.

 

Brands Who Got it Wrong


Here are two brands who dismissed dads at their peril:

Amazon

The world’s leading online retailer offers a family discount scheme around the world. In the UK, Japan, France and pretty much everywhere else, this was called Amazon Family. In the US, the home of the company, it was Amazon Mom.

The implication was that mothers are the only ones who care about the running of the home, and dads were angry. In 2012, Jeffrey Harrington, a stay-at-home-dad from Kansas, launched a petition to make the online giant change the name. Dad blogging groups jumped on board, and 13,000 people signed the form.

In 2015, Amazon US quietly changed the name of Amazon Mom to Amazon Family.

 

Heinz

Sauce firm Heinz felt the brunt of an army of angry dads too, and for similar reasons. On the side of a jar of the brand’s baby food, a printed message read, “inspired by a recipe from Sophie, a mum just like you.” More dad bloggers vented their ire at this suggestion that only mums could possibly be feeding their kids.

 

Marketing to Dads – What to Keep in Mind


Marketing to DadsWho Are the Modern Dads?

Modern dads are not the ancient, out-of-touch beings they once seemed. Fathers today grew up dancing the night away to Madchester and Britpop, and you need to reflect that. They care about how they look, they keep up to date with technology and hate being patronised.

Think less Jim Royle from the Royle Family and more Tom Fletcher from McFly. If you’re hoping to appeal to dads with some targeted marketing on Father’s Day, that’s the direction in which you need to skew your message.

 

What Do Modern Dads Want?

Google dug deep into data collected by Babycenter on the role of the modern dad and found that they despise the old wafer-thin stereotypes of being ‘the fun parent’ or ‘the incompetent one’ or ‘the absent breadwinner’. In fact, they rank becoming the ‘perfect dad’ as of far greater importance than their significant others do.

They turn to digital outlets to help them grow and improve as a parent, not to be told how silly or inconsequential they are. Be constructive with your dad marketing, that’s what they are looking for.

 

Listen to Modern Dads

There are thousands of dad blogs out there. If you want to know what dads want, listen to what they are saying. Consume all the dad vlogs you can and browse the dad-based Instagram accounts. The clues are out there.

You will certainly learn one thing early on; don’t try and suggest a dad babysits his kids. It’s called parenting.

 

Help With Marketing to Dads

If you want help directing your marketing forces towards dads, contact Supportal today. We work with expert writers and marketers to think beyond the cliches and talk to your targeted audience on their level, rather than talk at them in a way that fulfils every washing powder commercial stereotype going.

Too Much Information – Why Infographics Are a Beautiful Solution for Displaying Your Data

The internet was once full of page after page of text walls, but things have changed. No longer do you have to write vast tracts of dense wordage to express yourself, you can do it through stunning visuals too. If you have a lot of information to pass on to your readers, infographics are a beautiful solution for displaying your data. Here’s why:

 

Bitesize Information

You can find yourself getting carried away when writing plain text, but you can’t with infographics. Everything has to fit into the template and around the images. This forces you to pick out the relevant bits of information.

It’s easy to complicate text marketing messages, even though we all know that simplicity is the key. Your readers are so busy, they want the important takeaway points handed to them. Infographics do just that, they stop your audience having to hunt for the meaning in whatever data you wish to display.

If you want to show that one in ten people buys a certain product, display that in an image. Your readers know then that this is an important fact, which they might miss if it is lost in the text.

 

Infographics Are Flexible

Infographics work in blog articles, in static content and also as social media posts. You can use a full infographic, or even just a section of one, as a tease on your social feeds to get people to click through.

If social reach is your aim, design an infographic that crunches your data into a beautiful design in the optimum dimensions for the network. If it answers a question or adds to the debate, you will find that it is shared by your followers, by their followers, and their followers and so on.

 

Infographics Provide Visual Stimulus

The brain responds to visuals such as infographics with much more enthusiasm than it does to plain text. This is particularly true when there is a lot of data to pass on.

90% of information directed to the brain is visual, which processes it 60,000 faster than text. 60,000 times faster! You still need text to provide a more rounded explanation of the figures and to help Google better assess and rank your page, but a stunning infographic captures the attention and can inspire the user to read on.

 

Infographics Are Great for Storytelling

Your readers’ attention struggles to survive a statistic storm, so let your infographic tell a story. In a series of simple images, you can show cause and effect of the data you’re promoting. Display the stages of the data flow; make them human, cutesy and fun. It’s an easy way to lead your audience through the facts.

 

Look Gorgeous

Infographics look appealing and brighten up your site and a perfect opportunity to incorporate your branding. They catch the eye of your users and entice them to stay on the page. The whole point of marketing is to attract people to listen to your message, so stand out from the crowd with a gorgeous infographic.

 

They Just Work

Even discounting all of the above, infographics are the best and most beautiful solution for displaying your data because they work. They really do. There’s a stack of research on this very topic.

Marketers who use infographics report 12% faster traffic growth than those who do not. It leads to three times as many leads as traditional marketing tactics and 90% of customers admit they find this type of content helpful. Powerful arguments, right?

 

So what does it look like?

We have put together an infographic so you could get a good idea of what we have been talking about.

Why Infographics are a beautiful solution for displaying data

 

Want to Start Displaying Your Data With Infographics?

Supportal works with top designers to turn your data into beautiful, effective custom infographics that bring people to your site. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business.

 

Slay the Marketing Dragon – Five Great St George’s Day Content Ideas

St George’s Day is just around the corner, but how will you celebrate England’s patron saint? The received wisdom used to be that English people don’t bother marking the occasion, but more and more brands jump on it every year. If you want to prove your English credentials, here are five great St George’s Day content ideas you can use to slay the marketing dragon this 23rd April.

 

St George’s Day Dress Up Competition on Social Media


Embrace the fun side of the St George story and issue your social media followers with a challenge in the lead-up to the big day. Provide a prize for the best George and the dragon dress-up picture on social media, with your company tagged of course, and watch their imaginations run wild.

Expect entries from everyone from parents of young children using it as a rainy day activity to groups of workmates larking around. It all creates buzz around your social feeds. You can even put the best pics to the vote on 23rd April, ensuring plenty of interaction as nominees beg their friends and followers for votes.

 

Direct Your Users to a Host of Local English Activities


Take a little time in advance of St George’s Day to research the planned activities in your local area. Does the local school have a St George’s Day fair? Is there an offer on at a local restaurant? Is there a medieval festival in the park with a recreation of the dragon slaying?

Write a blog featuring everything even vaguely St George-related for the 23rd April and the weekends before and after. You can even add in details of the best place to tuck into a full English breakfast or information about the next meeting of the district croquet club. Become the authority on celebrating St George’s Day in your town.

 

Facebook Live Event From The George and Dragon


Broadcasting about your business live on Facebook from a pub with a George and Dragon-related name is a great way of putting a fun, topical spin on what is really a big advert for your company. It also helps build links and encourages cooperation between local business, namely your firm and the pub. You could even invite other businesses to join in and bill it as a St George’s Day local business showcase.

There are more than 130 public houses called The George and Dragon in the UK and over 230 named The George, so you should be able to find one reasonably local to you that will be willing to host it.

Whatever line of business you’re in, set up stall in the snug or beer garden (weather dependent) and use the video to tell the world about what you do. The novelty of the St George’s theme will attract views and perhaps win over new fans. Encourage viewers to come down and say hello for an extra opportunity to sell or network.

St George's Day

Provide Tea and Scones for Customers


People love free stuff and there is no better way to get them through the door. With all things English in mind, why not lay on an afternoon tea spread? Free tea and scones for everyone who visits between certain hours on St George’s Day will increase your footfall and provide plenty of fun content for your social media and blog.

 

St George’s Day Video Recipes


With people searching for simple ways to celebrate St George’s Day, making some fun and simple social videos detailing fine English recipes is worthwhile. You don’t have to set up a kitchen and cook from scratch as if you were filming an episode of Masterchef, but rather record your staff members giving their tips.

Ideas for the perfect batter for fish and chips, a special twist on a Lancashire hotpot, the perfect way to brew a cup of tea, it could be anything. Obviously, the more props and samples you can add in, the more interesting it will be to watch, but people love these little life hacks and they should lead to plenty of interaction, even if it is from people claiming to know better!

 

More St George’s Day Content Ideas


If you want more ideas for how your company can rule St George’s Day, contact Supportal now. We provide expert marketing and content professionals to support your business. Rather than taking time away from all of your other tasks, let us make your website and social media shine brightly above the competition.

 

Boss Your Mailing List: The Essential Email Newsletter Marketing Checklist

Building your mailing list is an essential tool in moving your business forward, but it is only part of the battle. You need to know what to do with this database in order to turn recipients into customers. You need to hit them with mailouts that they open, read and act upon. Before you put finger to keyboard, take a look at this essential email newsletter marketing checklist.

 

Newsletter Marketing Checklist


Grab Their Attention

Your first task is to get the recipient to actually open your email. They can’t buy your products if they delete the email as soon as it pops up, so grab their attention. You need a striking headline, of course, but you also need to consider the first few lines of text, which will appear in the preview pane of their email client.

The content needs to be punchy, straight to the point and it must encourage further reading. Tease an offer that is situated deeper down in the email, promote an exclusive piece of content you are giving away – give people a compelling reason to open that email.

 

Keep it Relevant

There is a reason people signed up to your email list, so don’t veer too far off topic. Yes, email newsletter marketing is about moving people from being ‘interested’ to becoming customers, but you can only shift people so far from their expectations. They need to know that this email is designed specifically for them and their interests.

If you sell bananas and people have signed up to your ‘We Love Bananas’ list, don’t suddenly start trying to sell them hamburgers. Your mailing list is a collection of people with a shared interest, so concentrate on moving them on to banana milkshakes or banana bread rather than coming completely out of leftfield and watching as those unsubscribe notifications roll in.

 

Use a Clear Call to Action

You should have already worked out what you want to achieve with this email. With that in mind, make the call to action as clear as possible.

Do you want the recipients to visit a specific page of your website? If so, a big button marked ‘Visit the Buy Bananas Page’ would make sense. Do you want them to sign up to your banana bread baking workshop? Use a bold colour for the text that should read ‘Call Now to Book Your Place’.

It seems obvious, but a surprising number of email newsletter marketing shots bury their message amongst vast tracts of text or take three lines to say something they could have written in four words. People are busy, they scan-read a lot of emails, so tell them exactly what you want them to do. They will appreciate the guidance.

 

Boss your mailing list

 

Check Your Spelling and Grammar

Seriously – you can’t recall this email when you hit ‘Send’. If your spelling or grammar is off, it’s a direct reflection on
your company.

 

Check the Design Works on all Formats

Your potential customers will open this email on desktops, mobiles or tablets, so it needs to look perfect on each platform. Optimise the images to make sure they load quickly.

 

Check the Design Works in Plain Text

If a recipient opts to open the email in plain text, it still needs to look professional and enticing.

 

Is Your Information Up-to-Date and Do the Links Work?

Sending out-of-date information to your mailing list can result in frustration for people who act on your calls to action only to find out you’re not offering what you promised. In addition, if they want to act but find broken links, you miss out on a sale.

 

Include Contact Details

Another seemingly obvious point, but there is no point whipping your mail newsletter recipients into a state of excitement about your business, only for them to not actually be able to find you either online or at your physical premises. It’s surprisingly easy to forget.

 

Include Your Social Media Links

In addition to your contact details, give your mailing list recipients the opportunity to follow you on social media too. It’s another great opportunity to keep your brand in their minds.

 

Boss you mailing list

 

Ensure You’re All Legal

There are some strict Data Protection laws in this and most other countries, particularly with the introduction of GDPR this year (find out more about this here). Make sure you’re compliant, and add in an unsubscribe option too.

 

Track Your Campaign

Make sure you review the email and its performance afterwards. Did it bring in enough new business? Did enough people open the email? Did you receive more or fewer unsubscribers than usual?

These details can help you tweak your next piece of email newsletter marketing and become a mailout blitzing machine!

 

Help With Email Newsletter Marketing Checklist

If you need help putting any of the above into action, Supportal can help you. We have content, design and marketing experts waiting to craft your perfect mailout and bring you in a whole load of new business. Contact us today to chat about what we can do for your business.