26-06-2016 03:53 PM - edited 26-06-2016 03:57 PM
I'm just about to take out a number of print and digital ads for our business, which isn't exaclty a cheap proposition. It's got me thinking about what you can achieve for little to no money, especially if you're on a shoestring or just testing the waters.
A press release to a local newspaper is the classic one. They're always looking for stories to fill up their pages. Approx 1/3 of our product goes to the USA, and another 1/4 to Europe - I wouldn't say ours was a local business by any stretch of the imagination, but I must have had a dozen enquries off the back of it.
If you already have an audience (even if it is predominatly a social one), then that is an asset. Make use of it! Sharing with friends & family on social media is so easy to do. Some people may not think it's worth it, epspecially if you're B2B, but you'll never know unless you actually do it. If you're on a budget, lots of little steps like this can add up. It's better to do something than nothing.
The little details still matter. We lent a sample product to a couple of respected people in the industry to try out, and included a handwritten cover letter with it. The fact that it was handwitten didn't go un-noticed, and it got put on thier Facebook page along with a very positive mesage. That's before they even tried the product out. We instantly gain 20 page followers off the back of it. Even if that helps influence just one sale for us (which it did - to the value of £1,900), that's one heck of a return for a bit of paper! A couple of days later, they put up another positive post about the product. That's two plugs instead of one.
Those are just a handful of examples on how you can help maximise your exposure on little to no budget. Anyone got any other tips?
on 26-06-2016 04:27 PM
I have done flyers to hand out and put through doors and I may run an online store but have also done a market stall and school fetes so would still class it a local business in a sense and I find these to be useful and very cost effective but it all depends on what you are selling I guess.
You mentioned that you are not a local business by any stretch so why would you do a press release in a local paper and I think a press release in a local paper is a great idea but when I approached them, they simply tried to get me to pay for advertising which could cover the whole of London or the UK but where extortionate prices but may approach them again now the business is a little more established.
Calling Radio stations could help and depending on your business, join many free business listing websites and fan sites like I do which are full of collectors who buy the type of products I provide but again, it all depends on what the business is about.
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26-06-2016 04:50 PM - edited 26-06-2016 04:52 PM
Whilst our business has a global reach (and wouldn't be viable without out it), it does not mean that there isn't a market on our doorstep. I wouldn't take out an advert in a local publication under any circumstances, however a PR in a local paper requires little investment. What I'm saying is that if you're on a budget, try and grab all the opportunities you can. To someone starting out every single sale counts. On top of that, it'll be a nice momento to be proud of! It's not just about the money...
I think the trick with getting into papers is to present your story in the most creative way possible. If it's a straight 'advertorial' piece, then they may take a cynical stance. I suppose some types of business lend themselves to that more than others, and the same goes for papers (it may be easier to get into the paper of a market town in Herts, vs that of London) but it's always worth a shot.
on 26-06-2016 06:11 PM
I have always found places like Virgin Media and othe publications (business focused) the best place to spread the word about our brand without the hefty costs. You just have to make sure you have a story. Their editors are looking for stories there readership will actually read.
Another obvious one is social media and making sure you are posting valuable content and consistently. One way you can help this add value to your business is linking it back to your site and offering something of value in return for data.
I.e. A free sample of your product, all your customers do is pop in their email address.
This way hopefully the people getting your sample are people with an interest in your product, therefore valuable data. All you now have to do is target them with your marketing to convert them into sales!
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