There are lots of things you can do for free or at a low cost to make an impact; even the simplest ideas can work wonders for your business.
Here’s how to make your PR and marketing work on a budget!
Start with a plan
It sounds obvious, but thorough planning will increase your chances of success. Your communications plan doesn’t have to be complicated, but you should have one.
Keep it simple and easy to manage and you shouldn’t go wrong. Follow these five guidelines for creating yours:
- Set some SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound) objectives: what do you want to achieve, and by when?
- Research your target market and how you will contact potential customers/stakeholders
- Plot in any relevant events or key dates (eg an exhibition at the NEC, a new product launch, or seasonal products)
- Consider what channels or methods of communication you will use
- Set aside a budget and work out how and where you plan on spending it
We advise working on a quarterly basis, plugging in your activity around things you’re doing, including any events and awards ceremonies you’re attending.
Make sure you keep track of your progress by revisiting your plan and objectives, and don’t be afraid to revise them if something isn’t working; there’s no point in wasting precious time or money.
Keep things personal
We’re all aware that people do business with people and it’s important to remember the value of human connection. But when you’re busy, it’s easy to forget thatand meeting new people can be a great way of marketing your business at a relatively low cost.
If you’re one of those people who just show their face at a networking event to tick a box or please your boss, then step outside your comfort zone for a change and introduce yourself to at least one new person. Who knows what may happen as a result?
Here are our top tips for getting personal with your marketing:
- Meet people face to face or pick up the phone
- Get networking. Take time out to go for a coffee or – even better – lunch!
- Try approaching some of the clients you have the best relationships with, to see if they would consider recommending you to anyone they work with; word of mouth marketing is incredibly powerful
- Show some personality, but do introduce some rules or guidelines around how you market your business; stay consistent and you’ll achieve great things
Remember why you started your business
Talk about why you do what you do, not necessarily what. Think about what drives you to get out of bed in the morning; this will help people relate to you and understand your business and differentiate you from your competitors.
Consider Facebook advertising
It allows you to control what you spend and, because it’s so targeted, you can generate great results on a tight budget.
Content is king
This is a phrase you’ll likely have heard a lot, but it’s true: producing regular, fresh, engaging and relevant content will not only help the Google ranking for your website, but it also ensures that your customers are always receiving the most up-to-date information about your business.
An easy way to generate content is to use key events or activities to talk about your business, including, national days or celebrations such as birthdays, and new customer wins.
Celebrate milestones,and achievements to help keep your colleagues engaged too.
Social media is free, but make sure it’s working for you. Use your insights and analytics to identify the channel that works best for your business and invest time (and money) in it.
Analyse, analyse, analyse
Listen to your customers and be open to a meaningful relationship with them. Share some more personal things to do with your business or ask for feedback and comments on things you’re perhaps thinking of introducing. People will soon tell you if they don’t think they’ll work and it’s a great way of engaging with your followers and potential customers.
Keep an eye on what’s going on: you don’t need to be a numbers geek to understand what is and isn’t working.
Need our help?
How much or how little support you need depends how much you can do for yourself. But don’t worry – doing some promotion well is better than doing none at all.
However, if you’re struggling to pull things together, then feel free toand we’ll be more than happy to help.