In today’s world characterized by innovative technologies and changing customer preferences, reaching potential customers and retaining existing customers are challenges for any business.
Unless you find new avenues beyond existing conventional marketing and promotion methods, you are unlikely to survive, let alone be successful.
There are many inexpensive and even free marketing tools available today to promote your business in order to increase your revenue.
Here are ten methods for MSMEs to develop an effective marketing strategy without spending the extra money to generate traction, scale and grow the business.
The website is a basic necessity for any business of any size and in any industry. Potential customers search the internet for their needs, and the websites that lead them to their search are likely to win their heads.
Besides SEO optimization, businesses should reach out to those who have relevant content or blogs on the internet to get the brand mentioned in their content. This will increase website traffic, which can be converted into sales.
MSMEs can partner with related companies to market their products or services. It’s a win-win situation for both companies and doesn’t require a lot of work and money.
For example, if you specialize in online business consulting services, you might recommend a technology consultant or a company to your client if they are considering developing an online platform. The recommended consultant or company is your cross-promotion partner. In turn, they will direct their clients to your consulting services.
Blogging and content are some of the best ways to drive traffic to your website and social media pages. You can write blogs and content on your website by hiring a freelance writer or other websites.
Right now, it is one of the most popular marketing strategies. While copywriting immediately promotes your product, content writing addresses a topic relevant to your product or service using traffic-generating keywords, which your website is linked to and CTA is included.
Blogs, on the other hand, educate readers, through whom they are invited to visit frequently to check out the posts on your website.
Networking is of two types: in person and online. In in-person networking, on forums, you can bring up your product or service in conversations. Although these opportunities are not used for direct selling.
For online networking, the business needs to be active on various social media platforms including Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pintrest, etc. to connect with potential customers.
Referral and Affiliate Programs
With referral programs, MSMEs can leverage the customer network by using their referrals and word of mouth to generate leads for the business. Rewards can take the form of payments, discounts, or free goods or services.
Affiliate marketing, which involves a third party promoting your business and brand to earn a commission, is almost similar. Businesses can hire affiliate partners – sales and marketing professionals and businesses – and pay them to deliver a specific outcome in the form of leads or sales.
Take advantage of social media
Social media has become a powerful marketing platform and it is impossible to overlook it as part of a company’s marketing strategy.
MSMEs need to know which medium has the most target customers and design programs accordingly. They must understand each platform from the point of view of target, traction, cost, ease and flexibility.
You can also let them know about your products through posts, blogs, videos, audio clips, webinars, discussion boards, polls, surveys, etc.
With the emergence of social media, influencer marketing has become an essential marketing strategy. Businesses use bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, and other social media enthusiasts to promote their products to followers and fans.
They offer the same results as a brand ambassador, but at a fraction of the cost. Notable influencers regularly post content on their websites and social media accounts with high engagement rates.
Influencer marketing can work locally or globally, depending on the demands for products or services.
User Generated Content
User-generated content is created and shared by customers based on their experiences, opinions, ideas or comments, especially on social media, in the form of online reviews, product photos, etc.
If businesses want to generate content without spending money, they can motivate their existing customers and fans to write reviews, testimonials, and blogs to endorse their products and services, which can be viewed by potential customers.
There are many methods to boost brand visibility and popularity, but most are very expensive. Brand promoters can participate in social interactions and gatherings, organize webinars, participate in current affairs debates, etc., in order to improve the visibility of their product in the market.
Increasing the visibility of the brand in this way allows the product to be promoted without any additional investment.
This is a proven and popular marketing strategy used by small businesses and startups. Businesses should explore opportunities to meet their target audience at various events to talk about their offerings.
Many companies choose to attend events, seminars, exhibitions, etc. to showcase their products. This method not only helps the brand gain exposure, but also sells the product or services to potential customers. Attending such events also boosts word of mouth marketing.
New business models challenge conventional marketing methods by leveraging advancements in technology to gain brand visibility and traction without spending a lot or no money.
This way, businesses can manage their cash flow well while getting a good start in the difficult process of building a business and implementing a go-to-market strategy.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)