Everyone knows you need to stay top-of-mind to be successful, but local or family-owned businesses typically have a smaller marketing budget.
So, does that mean they’re destined to be up the creek without a paddle?
All this baby wants is more marketing budget. Shhh we know, child.
No! There’s things that are free or cheap you can do that provide a respectable return on investment.
Of course, if there’s anything you find here you would rather us help with, we work with companies with all sizes of marketing budgets.
Let’s put our creative thinking caps on and get to work.
Businesses with small marketing budgets should be blogging
Blogs are an integral part of search engine optimization. AKA getting your site to rank higher on Google.
What? Did you think we’re doing this for fun? OK, looking for funny gifs and pictures to accompany these blogs is kind of fun.
Blogged before and didn’t see any results? Before we get into how to blog correctly it’s important to remember you can’t just do a few and expect your website to be flooded with traffic.
First, you have to have a fast-loading and properly structured website that Google feels comfortable sending traffic.
Second, this is a long-term play that will slowly ramp up traffic.
Now, here’s a few tips on how to write and structure your blogs:
- Make them fairly long — Aim for at least 400 words. There’s no golden rule here but Google likes content that completely answers the question for the searcher. Whatever it is you’re writing about, tell the whole story.
- Do NOT cram the article with keywords — Search engines ain’t dumb no more. They’re actually learning to read (John and Sarah Connor save us before it’s too late!). Google, Yahoo, Bing, and co. will now severely penalize content that is trying to game the system by plugging tons of keywords into its content. In fact, they understand syntax and synonyms much better, so there’s no need to do this anyway. Just provide quality content and you’ll be fine.
- Link to one of your applicable pages — If your blog is about something applicable to one of your main pages, link back to it! Just highlight the text of the keyword applicable to that page and insert the link. There’s been some talk about not always using the keyword as the anchor text (the text you use to insert the link) because Google thinks that’s also gaming the system. So, occasionally highlight some other words instead just to be safe.
Before you go getting yourself labeled as spam and have 0.003% of your emails opened, let’s go over some best practices.
First, be very careful with what you put in your subject line. It’s been rumored the word free is toeing the line, so only use it if something is actually free or BOGO.
Also, refrain from using exclamation marks.
Basically, use your best judgement as to what is a factual but enticing subject line.
Moving along, do not send an email every day. You’ll irritate your audience and they’ll unsubscribe or report you as spam.
Whatever you do, keep them short and to the point. Please.
How does free press sound?
There’s a couple ways you can do this.
One, there’s some websites out there in which you can respond to media inquiries about things you might be considered an expert in.
This is a little tedious to check in with every day and the stories may not be much of a plug for your business but, hey, it’s free.
Two, you can write simple press releases if you have a newsworthy event or can provide information that is relevant to the times.
For example, 2oddballs helped the Strafford Sports Center to stay on the minds of prospective visitors by issuing a press release to Springfield’s KY3 News that turned into a story.
Just don’t make your pitch sound salesy or promotional. Write it like it’s a news story.
Video. The king of all content.
Fact: no one reads your all-text posts on social media.
Ok, maybe that isn’t exactly true. However, open your Facebook right now and see what pops up first.
For me, the first thing was a picture from a page I follow closely. The next two posts…videos.
It’s become a not-so-secret algorithm change by social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Videos are being pushed hard.
They’ll default to the content you regularly interact with but otherwise they’ll show you video first.
A few tips here:
- Upload directly to the app you’re using. They love native content.
- Don’t beat yourself up about having a pretty set or the best equipment at first. Just start filming.
- Keep posting consistently!
- Small businesses should try doing some live videos to further separate themselves from the competition
Film funny stuff happening around the office or store (get consent from your subjects and, if you’re not the owner, get permission from your boss). Do videos about new, popular inventory. Or maybe a how-to video applicable to your business.
Use your phone if that’s all you have!
Even if you have a face only a mother could love. #JoinTheClub
Direct mail is a cheap idea for smaller marketing budget
This one can’t be done for free like the previous options. However, it can be done fairly cheap if you stuff the envelopes yourself.
Don’t buy the fact someone would remember your brand or make a purchasing decision based on something you send in the mail?
Check out these statistics:
- Up to 90% of direct mail is opened (per Data & Marketing Association)
- 75% of people who receive direct mail can immediately recall the brand (per Marketing Profs)
- Direct mail offers a 29% return on investment (per Marketing Charts)
- 73% of American consumers say they prefer being contacted by brands via direct mail (per Epsilon)
If you need help with professional graphic design for your mailer, that’s something 2oddballs can do.
Now, sit back and count cash
Alright, maybe it’s not as easy as that. However, we hope you’ve gotten some info here that’s going to help your business grow.
Again, if there’s something here you’d rather us do to free up your time we’re happy to schedule a free consultation.
Just give us a call at 417-986-ODD2 (6332) or hit us up using the form below if you have any questions or comments.