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.

10 Cunning Tricks to Find the Perfect Hashtags for Your Instagram Page

Instagram is a powerful marketing tool for your business. Images and video are well known for attracting the attentions of potential clients, but how do you make sure they see your content? The answer is through carefully targeted Instagram hashtags. With that in mind, take a look at these 10 #cunning tricks to find the perfect hashtags for your Instagram page.

 

What Do Industry Leaders Use?

Companies across all manner of different industries are on Instagram now, so check out the kinds of hashtags your rivals are using. Research those in your niche who gain the most interaction and borrow a few of their hashtags for yourself.

If it could bring a whole load of new eyes your way, it’s worth adding to your future posts. They could turn out to be the perfect hashtags for your Instagram page too.

 

Look at Instagram Hashtag Popularity

When you post to Instagram, as soon as you start to type a hashtag, it brings up suggestions based on the first few letters. More importantly, it tells you how many times those tags have been used.

For instance, if you post about fashion, it brings up this list as soon as you start to write that word.

‘Fashion’ is obviously a major hashtag in this industry, but with more than 500 million tags, you will struggle to get noticed. As you can have up to 30 tags in one post, you might still want to use #fashion as a positioner for your business. However, you should then look for variations that are in wide use, but are not as oversubscribed as #fashion.

If you look for terms with between 20,000 and 2 million posts, you stand a chance of hanging round near the top for long enough to earn some sweet interaction when people click on that tag.

 

Topical

As Instagram no longer shows posts from accounts that you follow in chronological order, hashtags help you jump on current trends. If you have a piece of content related to the X Factor final, make sure you use the correct hashtags. As with the example of #fashion, aim for the tags within that sweet spot to capture fans searching for related content.

 

Following Hashtags

The opportunity to follow hashtags is a fantastic development for any business on Instagram. By choosing relevant terms for your business, your posts could appear in people’s timelines, even if they don’t follow you.

People often follow hashtags to answer problems or alert them to interesting information. The perfect hashtags for your Instagram page when it comes to follows could be things like #freefamilyactivities or #cheltenhampubs. If there’s someone out there who could benefit from your business, make sure they find you.

 

Hashtag Suggestions

Instagram itself can help you find your perfect hashtags! If you follow tags, take a look at the ‘Following’ section on your profile page. Select ‘Hashtags’ and partway down the page you’ll find suggested tags you are likely to find relevant. Obviously, these are based on those you already follow, so do this on your business profile rather than your personal one!

It could throw up some suggestions you hadn’t even considered before, helping increase your reach.

 

Keep it Relevant

One note of caution when targeting hashtag followers is that you must keep your tags relevant to your post. If you add a silly selfie but tag it with #cheappetrol, followers of that hashtag can tell Instagram not to show your post. Although this is intended to improve a user’s stream, too many reports like this about your content could harm your rankings.

 

Avoid Spammy Hashtags

On a similar theme, do not use spammy hashtags to try and game the system. Tagging a post with #freebeer might gain some views, but people won’t interact in a way that will benefit your business. This could see the Instagram algorithm bury your content.

 

Mix Your Instagram Hashtags Up

Another reason Instagram may penalise your posts is if you constantly use the same hashtags. It was once common practice amongst lazy marketers to merely post the exact same tags on each picture. Of course, there will be some crossover, but Instagram wants to know that each video or photo is there in its own right and adds something different.

It is a great idea to find new variations on the central theme of your business anyway, as that opens you up to even more potential new followers.

 

Community Hashtags

If you target certain, definable groups, it could be that there is already a thriving community around the perfect hashtags for your Instagram page. Community hashtags are hugely popular. Whether it’s #cambridgemums, #yorkshirevintagelovers, #labradorownersinglasgow or anything in between, you can leap into the conversation. Think about your target audience and find out which Instagram tags they already use to speak to each other.

 

Feature Accounts

If a feature account snaps up your content, you could earn a stack of new follows. These accounts collate the best posts under a certain hashtag and can have thousands of followers. An example is a Live Folk, which reposts travel posts with the hashtag #lifeofadventure. If the page regrams you, it means a great deal of exposure in your chosen sphere. Take some time to research the feature accounts for your niche.

 

Need Help to Find the Perfect Hashtags for Your Instagram Page?

One of the services Supportal offers is social media management. We use the latest trends to help you beat the algorithms and get your brand in front of as many people as possible.

Contact us today to chat about your social media and content needs.

How to Make Effective Social Media Posts That Snap Crackle and Pop

Social media is a fantastic way to create a conversation with your potential customers. You can put your brand in front of their eyes whilst they scroll through their feeds, so you need to make the most of this opportunity. Here’s how to make effective social media posts.

 

Cut Through With Clear Language

There is a lot of clutter on social media and people tend to scan through the swathes of posts. Your message can be easily missed. You might fancy yourself as a flowery wordsmith, but social media needs a more direct approach.

Keep the language clear and as simple as possible. You need to cut through the noise of people discussing their lunch and sharing videos of their cats. A concise, to-the-point status from your brand catches the eye; a five-paragraph essay full of waffle does not.

Try to inspire emotion in your readers. You could amuse them, pull their heartstrings or invoke some nostalgia, but include something that causes a reaction and keeps your brand in mind.

 

Make it Interesting to Look At

Because social media is a barrage of information, another way to catch the eye is to add an image or video to your post.

It’s not just about getting seen though, it’s also about your audience digesting the message. In one recent survey, only 10% of people could recall a text-based post three days after seeing it. In comparison, 65% of those who read the post coupled with a relevant image recalled what it was about.

Video is even better than that. Social media posts paired with a relevant video bring in 1,200% more shares than text and image posts combined.

 

Pick the Perfect Image Size

Image size is important on social media. Post a picture in the incorrect dimensions on Twitter, for example, and it won’t appear as you wish. If you make it 1920 × 1080 pixels, it will appear in timelines exactly as you intended.

Facebook and Instagram used to be rigid too, but are more forgiving now. You can post images of all sorts of different sizes, but a good tactic is to make them square on Instagram. On Facebook, you could even try to make images longer than they are wide. This way they take up more of the screen when a user views them on mobile, meaning your brand is even more prominent. The same goes for Facebook video.

 

Tease Tease Tease

Social media is a great way to bring people to your website. Whack up a link to your latest blog post or cracking offer and anyone who follows it is a step closer to becoming a customer.

However, to maximise the numbers clicking through, you need to make them feel like they can’t hit that link. You need to master the art of the tease.

Posting “Click the link to find out why you should tease content on social media” is fine, but it doesn’t snap, crackle and pop. It’s too easy for someone to dismiss unless they specifically want to know about teasing. A better post would be “Click the link to discover the single most effective tactic for making people click links”. In the first example, the reader knows pretty much what to expect, in the second example their interest is piqued and they won’t want to scroll past until they have found out what the mystery is about.

Be careful not to stray into cliched clickbait language, though. We’re all too wary of posts that over-promise, nowadays. When a tweet insists we won’t believe something it links to, we can be fairly confident we definitely will believe it. The content has to match the build-up if people are going to trust your posts.

 

Each to Their Own

One important thing to remember about making social media posts is that they are all different and require different tactics. The temptation is to link all of your social accounts together and write one post that goes out on all of them. It saves time, but it looks terrible.

As already mentioned, there’s a difference in the ideal image size on each network. In addition, hashtags all over Facebook posts are ineffective and ugly. Tagging people works well to increase reach, but Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all do this in different ways, so you can’t cut that corner without at least one network’s post being messy.

Some people set their Facebook or Instagram posts to immediately share with Twitter. What you actually get is a usually cut-off part of the post and then a link to the other network with no explanation. They offer no reason to click through and you can bet that people don’t.

Each network has a different purpose too. Twitter is a running stream of consciousness, which would be out of place on Facebook. Facebook is very much about quality over quantity, and Instagram is a showcase for pictures and videos first and foremost.

 

Let Us Make Effective Social Media Posts for You

We all have access to social media, but it takes time and effort to make effective social media posts. Let us take on the responsibility of your hands. Supportal can handle all of your social networks to maximise your interaction with potential customers and to bring new people to your site. Contact us today to discuss what we can do for you.