Small businesses owned by women can often struggle to effectively market their products and services. Mainstream media is dominated by the big boys who use their immense marketing budgets and purchasing power to swallow up traditional media venues like radio and television. Small women owned businesses face a lot of competition for media marketing opportunities from international brands as well as their local rivals.
There are some simple techniques any business can use to get effective marketing from a smaller investment and compete on a level playing field with big brands both on a local and national level.
Use merchandising for marketing
Never underestimate to power of strategic merchandising. T-shirts, hats and caps, and other apparel can all act as a billboard for your business without the costly overheads, and if you give free merch to the right microinfluencers, you never know what kind of eyeballs and opportunities you can get for your business. Merchandising is big business and is incredibly cost-effective these days. This form of marketing can have a bigger impact than traditional marketing methods like ads or airtime, which also has costs that are often prohibitive for small businesses.
Branded merchandising could make the perfect free gift for loyal customers or as a bonus on a big order. You can find custom T-shirts from Bolt Printing, which provides a quality service. Their fast T-shirt printing service can get your merchandise to you quickly so you can start using it to market your business right away. This cheap t-shirt printing also gives you the option to use your branded apparel as a uniform for staff, helping promote your brand even further.
Take it to the streets
Pounding the pavement is a tried and tested way to increase your sales and grow your customer base. If people do not know about your business or its location, how will they become customers? By getting out on the street and marketing your company directly to shoppers, you can generate new sales and gain new customers almost instantaneously. It takes some work and patience, but can be incredibly effective.
Passing out pamphlets is simple, but not very effective. On-the-street advertising needs to draw attention, and bring potential customers to you. Then it is up to your sales technique to convert their inquiry into a sale. This is where a costume or mascot can come in handy. Someone walking around in a costume always generates a lot of attention, and once you have that you can start marketing the business to the audience. Like a social media following, if only a small fraction of this audience makes the jump to becoming a regular customer this small marketing effort is worthwhile.
Communicate with your existing customer base
The best route to better marketing is through market research. How you perceive your business, its quality of service, and the products it offers may be very different from how your customer base sees it!
Just as researching the surrounding market can help you find niches to exploit, researching your existing customer base can help you identify areas where you can improve. It can also give you data you can use when considering whether to add new products and services to your business.
Engaging with your existing customers can give you a whole new perspective on your business and how you can add value to the customer experience. Find out why they keep coming back and use that information as a cornerstone in your next marketing campaign. If your customers like your delivery service, for example, you should put that front and center in your next advertisement or focus some social media posts around that feature. What works for your existing customers will work for potential customers too.
Create a social media following
And I don't mean an Onlyfans! Even for a small, local business social media can be an incredibly useful marketing tool. The biggest benefit it offers is the ability to engage with your customer base and potential customers.
Most marketing does not connect you to consumers in real-time. Social media marketing creates a conversation with consumers and turns your business into a brand that can be interacted with, adding value to your products and services without adding cost.
Viral posts and high-quality photography can both help build your following online, which will lead to more customers walking through your doors or visiting your website. For a big boost to your following, work with local influencers to bring attention to your business. Social media influences can put your posts on the screens of thousands of users and turn a three-figure follower count into tens of thousands overnight. If just a small percentage of these new followers become new customers, your sales figures will skyrocket.
Just one of these small business marketing ideas can help you boost your profits and increase your customer base. Combine all of them together and you soon may have more customers than you can handle. It is important to have a plan for growth that matches your marketing plans. Do not become a victim of your own marketing success and have the tools and resources you need to service a new group of customers, or they will not be customers for long.