We live in the era of smartphones, smartwatches and smart homes – so basically everything around us is getting smarter, meaning that technology found its way in every aspect of our lives. Entrepreneurs know that they have to keep up with times if they want their business to thrive and be relevant in such a competitive market. Gaining new knowledge through continuous learning and adaptability are key factors to any successful activity.
However, focusing only on technological advancements and trends and ditching the old ways completely is not a healthy approach if you want to achieve your goals. The old saying if it’s not broken, don’t fix it is true to some extent. Change is great, it’s needed to keep moving forward, but ignoring traditional marketing won’t help you in the least. There’s a middle ground and you can find it by combining the old with the new so you can reap the benefits of both marketing strategies.
If you’ve just started a small business, you definitely know the struggles of trying to stretch your budget in order to get everything done. Sometimes it works, but most times you probably have to cut corners and decide where to invest money first. If you can’t afford to build a website just yet or you have one but you can’t afford a SEO specialist, don’t worry. Until you get there, there are plenty of things that you can do.
Let’s start with the basic low-cost marketing techniques that are still effective and can help you get your business rolling.
Leaflets, brochures and handouts
Another traditional promotion method that still works today is leaflet distribution. It’s easy and cheap to create professional looking leaflets, brochures and handouts by using desktop publishing. You can then spread them around town, in strategic places, where you know they’ll reach your target audience.
It’s a good idea to distribute leaflets and brochures in shops, cafes or libraries – of course only if it’s allowed.
Word of mouth
It might not be a very fancy technique, but it’s still as effective as it’s ever been. Based on the idea that people love to gossip and enjoy talking about all things new, using word of mouth is a great way to start making your business known. It’s just how information gets around, from one person to another, and all of a sudden people know who you are and what you do.
So you can talk to your friends, peers and everyone who’s interested in hearing about your activity and ask them to spread the word. They’ll probably do it anyway.
Free publicity in the media
If your business becomes somewhat popular, there’s a good chance that the local media will want to hear about it too. You can get in touch with local newspapers, radio stations and television networks and share your story with them. Give them all the catchy details and interesting facts about your business venture and they will be more than pleased to share it with the world.
A story of a brave entrepreneur and how he managed to get his little business going against all odds is something that will catch most people’s attention.
Yes, newspapers are still a thing and some people still read them. Besides, newspaper advertising is a relatively inexpensive way to promote your products and services, so it won’t cost you a fortune to make yourself known.
Depending on what type of business you’re running, you can approach newspapers that are read by certain groups of people, such as college students. If you want to reach different demographics, you can publish your ads in widely read newspapers, although you’ll have to pay more for this.
Small things do count. Giving away products that have your brand name and logo on them is a sure way to gain some attention. Products that people will use daily such as bags, cups, pens, keychains etc. are perfect as an offline marketing technique. People appreciate these small gifts and by using the merchandise with your company’s logo, they will make it known to other people as well.
Every business owner should have a well-designed business card that he can hand out every time he has the chance. Be it at an event, meetings, presentations or even in an informal setting, handing out business cards is simple, fast and effective.
They contain all the relevant information about your business – address, email, phone number, the services or products you provide and your company’s logo. So if someone is interested in what you have to offer, these details can help them find you and learn more about your business.
A good discount can catch everyone’s attention and small businesses can definitely use some attention to help them grow. Coupons are an efficient way to attract customers and make them interested in your products or services.
There’s a greater possibility for people to try what you have to offer if they feel like they’re going to save some money. You can hand out coupons just like you hand out leaflets and brochures, by placing them in public places, preferably in crowded locations or you can give them away at different events.
Discounts are attractive, but even better than saving money is receiving stuff for free. Running a giveaway in the social media is something common these days, but you can also organize giveaways through radio stations and television networks.
A giveaway doesn’t necessarily mean giving away a product. You can also offer free services such as a free treatment. This is a smart way to gain free publicity, win the hearts of your customers and attract new ones as well.
While online marketing can be a gamechanger for every business out there and especially for start-ups, there are undeniably a lot of benefits that offline marketing can bring as well. A smart entrepreneur will know how to combine the two in order to achieve the best results.