Starting and running your own business can be tough, you hear horror stats about the amount of businesses shutting down every week. Competition is fierce and with the major players in any market seeming to have all the power to flex their money muscles as they wish – it can be a little daunting for independent businesses.

Marketing your business successfully in the right way can mean that your business won’t be putting up a ‘Closing Down Sale’ sign anytime soon. However, money is tight and with so many different ways to market, what’s the best way? The most cost effective way? And can it be done on a shoestring?

The answer is yes. You don’t need huge amounts of cash to market your business, you just need a bit of know-how and to trial different ways and learn from what works and equally what doesn’t.

First off decide on your monthly budget for marketing, think about this carefully, don’t put in your business in any jeopardy, think of the worst case scenario – how much money can you afford to lose without getting anything back? In the example below we are going to use £500.

Let’s start with social media.
It’s free and pretty much everyone is using at least one social media platform.

Don’t spread yourself too thin and try to have a presence on every platform, think about what suits your business and what your customers will be using, then make sure you use those platforms and are good and active on them.

Let’s take Facebook. Run competitions where you give away free products or services – this will up your customer engagement and will build up your likes.

Either promote a post about your business or maybe your competition post – boost to existing customers or potential… Spend £50.

For more details about how to market on social media – click here

Google Adwords
Now this can be a bit tricky and a little daunting, however the clever friendly people over at Google are always happy to help, and making sure your business is visible when your customers are looking is important.

Try setting a budget of £150 a month.

Email marketing
Sending out little updates and news via email is a good way to keep in touch. And with MailChimp it’s completely free and they have some great little templates you can use.

Spend £0

Mobile marketing
Now this can be your secret weapon. Emails, social media and Google are all good but the response rates can be a little hit and miss as it is easy for your posts and emails to get lost and unseen. However mobile marketing can virtually guarantee your message will get read, so try sending out an offer to your customers and track your results.

Spend. You can send out big bulk campaigns relatively cheaply – with Text Marketer you can get 20 thousand SMS credits for £300 and sign up is free, so it really won’t break the bank.

So that’s our £500 spent, but we have reached a lot of customers… 20 thousand through our mobile marketing campaign, 5-10 thousand through Facebook, however many through our email campaigns and anyone and everyone who searches for our keywords on Google.

Now it’s very important to track and check-in with these results to see what’s working and what’s not. With all of these platforms, you will be able to see the click and response rates so that’s great. You are not going to get everything spot on first time, it’s all about learning, experimenting and actually doing – and ultimately seeing what works for your business and customers.

How to market your business