Marketing your business doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune. There are plenty of low-cost marketing techniques that you can use to help you attract new customers and build long-lasting relationships with existing ones. Use these tips boost your marketing results without putting a big dent in your wallet.
Attend Local Small Business Networking Events
Small business networking events take place all over South Africa, making it easy to network with other business owners in your area. To learn about upcoming events in your area, join your local Chamber of Commerce or the National Small Business Chamber. Remember, even though the people you meet at local networking events might become customers or refer clients to you, they are meant for building relationships not selling products. When attending an event you should:
- Be yourself – when you try too hard to impress people it often backfires
- Listen to what other business owners are saying, ask relevant questions when appropriate, and offer advice on discussions in your field of expertise
- Arrive prepared – bring business cards and be ready to answer basic questions about your company
Once you’ve built solid relationships with the attendees, don’t be afraid to ask them for referrals. People love referring people to companies when they’re sure it’s a reputable business. If you find a local event that meets on a regular basis, you should consider building a referral network within the group to encourage members to refer customers to other members.
Create a Loyalty Programme
Loyalty programmes are ideal for increasing repeat business, because each time a customer makes a purchase from your company it gets them one step closer to a reward. For example, once a customer makes 10 purchases, they would get a significant discount on their next purchase. You can track online purchases by having each customer create an individual account, and you can track in-store purchases using rewards cards that can be scanned or swiped at the register. You can also use a loyalty programme to increase new and repeat business at the same time. Simply, design your loyalty programme so that each customer who refers another paying customer to you gets a discount on their next purchase.
Build a Website
Internet usage in South Africa is growing and building a website could give you an edge over your competitors. The best part is, you can build a website for free. FWBuilder, hostking, Yola, and Weebly all have free website builders compatible with .co.za domain names. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to use a free website builder, either. You build the entire site using a template. Keep in mind, most of the internet users here are mobile internet users, so you need to choose a responsive website template to ensure your site looks great on a small screen.
Leverage Social Media Platforms
After you create your business website, you need to drive traffic to it. Social media marketing is a cost-effective way to do this. Facebook is the most-popular social networking site in the country, followed by Pinterest and Twitter, making them ideal for marketing your business. You can build a page on each platform for your business and include links to the pages on your website and business cards. Also, consider investing a small bit of money into placing paid advertisements Facebook. The platform’s intricate algorithm lets you target a narrow audience, which saves you money because you pay for the ads per click.
Trying new, low-cost marketing techniques can be profitable, but to know which techniques work best for your company it’s important to track each marketing campaign. Using cloud-based accounting software, such as QuickBooks Online, can help you track the expense of each marketing campaign. Then, you might compare the expenses and results of each technique to determine which ones are the most profitable.