Cost-effective tips to market and advertise your firm on a budget
Company promotion is an ongoing process that often puts a significant burden on firms – both in terms of time and finances. However, while the direct effects of positive marketing can often be hard to tie down and quantify, promoting a company is essential for its growth so this is not an area you can afford to ignore.
The effect of the internet
In recent years, the disciplines of marketing and advertising have been transformed by the rise in digital technologies – in particular the web and social media – that have brought about considerable cost savings for firms and offered opportunities for promotion to a much larger market. That said, promoting your firm online is just one small part of the overall marketing mix you should be trying to achieve.
If you’re finding it hard to promote your company effectively on a budget, below are some relatively cheap ways to increase your exposure and build an effective brand.
Pay for professional logo design
Pure and simple, your company needs a well-designed, instantly recognisable logo. While most of us reckon we can try our hand at logo design, really, you’re far better off engaging the services of a professional. Whether you go to a specialist design and branding firm ,or take your chances on freelancer sites like Fiverr, you shouldn’t fall for the temptation of trying to do the work yourself. A company logo is almost like its handshake with the world – it needs to be done right.
Signs and vehicle livery – the ultimate free advertising model
With a professional logo in place, you’ll now be ready to start advertising your firm to the outside world – and one of the most effective ways to do that is with signage outside your premises. You should also think about the considerable advantages of branding company vehicles for the ultimate free, mobile advertising solution. Also, you shouldn’t feel limited to only using local sign-making companies that happen to be on your doorstep – professional companies like Signman in Birmingham will deliver to any address.
Many company bosses often take a rather derisory view of social media platforms. However, the major players like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube offer tremendous opportunities to get your company front and center in the minds of your clients (both potential and existing). Perhaps more importantly, people these days expect firms to have a presence on social media and often look on accounts as a way to engage one-to-one with companies. If nothing else, being on the social platforms offers 100% free advertising, so set up accounts with the most popular services and start getting social with your customers.
Also, it’s worth remembering that the different social platforms tend to attract different types of users. While titans like Facebook and Twitter are almost essential, don’t discount the smaller services, which can be surprisingly effective, depending on your market.
For example, Pinterest has an extremely loyal female following, so could end up your best bet – particularly if you sell goods or services that are of interest to women (make-up, beauty, tights, fashion, etc). It can also work well for visually appealing items (e.g. advertising holidays, sports, etc).
Invest in a website
Whether you think you need a website or not, truth is, these days the web is pretty much the first port of call for almost all consumer journeys. The days of directory listings are long gone and most customers will want to check out your website first before committing to buy anything.
Web tech has come a very long way in a very short time and it’s now possible to get a reasonable website for a fraction of the price that was previously charged. At the lowest end of the scale, you’ll find design your site services like Six but, if you’re in any way serious about promoting yourself online, you should really think about hiring a professional firm for your web production.
Spend on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
With your website produced, you’ll now be in a position to start thinking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the highly involved and skilled art of getting websites higher up the search engines. As Google now accounts for around 92% of all online searches, this is the platform your SEO specialist will target as a priority.
While you’ll find a range of different SEO services available (at an equally huge range of prices), you shouldn’t scrimp in this area. At the end of the day, you could have the best-designed, most aesthetically pleasing website on the planet but, if you’re not getting visitors, it won’t be performing a useful function for your time and won’t give you a Return on Investment (ROI).