Businesses of all sizes have taken a hit in the last couple of years. With money tight for everyone, consumers are purchasing less while business owners, trying to maximize profits, have cut back on valuable marketing funds. Although understandable, the latter is a mistake. The only way to keep customers coming to you during a recession (or any time!) is to consistently remind them of why they should. To that end, take advantage of these easy, budget-friendly marketing ideas to promote your business now.
- Update loyal customers. Creating and printing postcards is an affordable way for most businesses to pursue a direct mail campaign. But the Internet offers a host of ways to do the same thing online for free (or almost free). Tailored Mail and Constant Contact charge a minimal monthly fee and allows you to design, write, and send e-newsletters to permission-based addresses. Or use social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to keep customers and prospects informed—and ensure that your business stays in their mind.
- Participate in charitable events. Whether it’s forming a company team for Relay for Life, building a home with Habitat for Humanity, or simply buying a table at a charity dinner, participating in charitable events gets your business recognized for all the right reasons. You could also look into sponsoring local events; as you contribute to your community, you’ll also basically get free advertising built in!
- Maintain a connections database. In other words, collect contact information from anyone you meet who shows an interest in your business, provides similar or complementary services, or who has a use for the product or service you provide. Add these people to your social networking sites, and ask if you can contact them about your business. By maintaining these connections now, you’ll be a step ahead of the competition when the economy shifts.