All business owners know that no matter how excellent a product or service is, if no one knows about it, profits are going to be low. Marketing is simply a business term for engaging the public. Whatever the size of a company budget, here are a few ideas to draw in new customers and have fun doing it.

1. Interact with Customers Online

Blogging has become a business in itself. Some bloggers make a full income from their blogs, but many more use their blogs to help market products and services. Online reading is becoming more popular. Businesses can take advantage of this to write engaging content about their products and interact with their customers. This is a great way to network with other businesses and get referrals as well.

It is very beneficial for a company to have its own website. This is a storefront that stays open 24 hours a day, after the employees have all gone home to bed. It should be a memorable place so customers will want to stop back often. Having a drawing or contest can generate interest among potential customers, but it can also generate leads if the entrants leave their e-mail addresses and agree to further contact.

Social media is also a great place for a company to get recognition. Businesses can post interesting and fun things on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest so that customers will be more likely to find them. Some companies have success by offering incentives to a person who “likes” their Facebook page. Once a person has done this, business updates will be viewed as often as they are posted. This will keep that company in the memory of customers.

2. Play on Popular Shows

While radio and television commercials are great advertising options, they can be pricey for low-budget businesses. A little ingenuity can allow a company to use the media without paying a fortune. At any given time, there are several television shows or movies that are extremely popular. Companies have had success with building a marketing theme around one of these and using it in their advertising banners, flyers and incentives.

3. Get Free Media Coverage

For media coverage, businesses can contact local television and radio stations with their ideas. If the advertising campaign promises to generate public interest or even raise controversy, the media may cover it as a news story.

A marketing strategy must be different than others for it to stand out. Create a fun cartoon or mascot and make sure he appears in all advertising. This will make your company memorable, especially to customers with children. One business that sells video games has a mascot of one of its most popular video game characters stand on a corner, directing people to the store. Another company sells pizza and has an employee stand in front of the shop, offering attention-gaining entertainment while advertising the daily specials.

Some of the most innovative marketing strategies have resulted in businesses selling what would have been unsaleable items. Farmers have been known to package smaller fruits and vegetables together for sale when they could not sell them singly. This gives the customer the impression that he is receiving something extra. A variety of smaller items that go together can also be sold as a package with a unique name.

5. Be Generous

Customers like to feel that they are getting the most for their money. A small Greek breakfast cafe welcomes new customers with a sample of baklava, its in-house specialty. Implementing a special birthday club where customers can get something free on their birthdays will encourage repeat business as well.

Everyone loves a party. When it is time to introduce a new product or service, a business can invite customers to an open house event with special activities, games and prizes planned. One key to drawing larger crowds is to make sure there is something for the children to do while parents are perusing the new products. Planning children’s activities makes the event more fun for everyone. This gives the company a family-friendly reputation as well.