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The Best Free Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Use free Marketing strategies to grow your business

You might have an amazing product or service, but if no-one knows about you, that honestly doesn’t matter. The biggest companies out there aren’t delivering the best products to their customers. They’re leveraging the power of marketing to drive their brand into their audience’s brain like a catchy song you just can’t shake out of your head.

We know you want your small business to be the next equivalent of an earworm. So check out these free marketing ideas and strategies for small businesses that boast a great ROI (especially seeing as your only investment is time). 

 

First thing’s first – The basics of marketing your small business

Before you embark on any small business marketing strategy, you need to get your brand building blocks in place. Critically assess your business and the market you’re hoping to dominate, and develop the following:

      1. Your unique selling point (USP)
        What sets your offering apart from the crowd? Your USP isn’t what you do, it’s what you do differently. Going on about how you deliver quality on time every time is great, but that’s what everyone else is doing too. Find that one aspect of your business that is truly unique, or is at least something you can present as unique to catch the attention of your market.

      1. Your brand personality
        More and more, consumers are being drawn to brands that align with their values and personal identity. Develop a brand personality that speaks to your audience, while bringing a little flavour to your marketing efforts. Are you a cheeky brand? A professional one? Think about how you want to interact with your market and be consistent in everything you do.

      1. Get your elevator pitch down pat
        An elevator pitch is essentially a quick and attractive pitch for your small business that is short enough to deliver in an elevator ride. Boil your offering down to the core essentials, including your USP, and build it into your marketing collateral. 

    Got all that? Right. Let’s move on to what you’re here for – free marketing advice for your small business. In our humble opinion, these are the best ways to get your business noticed without spending a cent.

     

    Create a Google My Business account for your small business for free

    This is a no-brainer. A Google My Business profile is free, quick to set up and ensures that your business is on Google Maps. Make sure you fill in all your details, including opening hours, website links, etc., and regularly update them if any of your details change. The last thing you want is for your Google My Business page to say you’re open when you’re not – if your customers are more disappointed than a lightbulb manufacturer during stage 6 loadshedding, they’re unlikely to try again any time soon.

    Another good idea is to work some SEO (search engine optimisation) into your description. Put simply, this just means aligning your business description to what your customers will search for. If they’re likely to Google something like ‘fast business funding for small businesses’ and that’s what your company does, this should be a part of your description. What? Oh, you’re right – that’s exactly what we do at GroWise Capital. Just a coincidence, we’re sure.

     

    Own your social media for effective free small business marketing

    To be perfectly honest, you don’t need a full-time social media manager to have a great social media presence. Time is money (money is money too, and social media managers ain’t cheap), and the benefits of sharing happy Mother’s Day posts are pretty minimal, unless you’re a massive corporation. 

    Think about an aspect of your business that your followers would enjoy being a part of. If you’re an interior decorator, focus on before and after snaps of the spaces you transform. If you’re the fastest and most highly-rated small business funder in SA, share all the 5-star reviews in which your customers sing your praises (see what we did there?). And no matter what you’re doing, informative posts and videos are a great way to connect with your audience.

    When it comes to choosing which social media channels to focus on, pick the ones that your audience are most active on. The interweb has evolved to the point that most, if not all, social medias have a dedicated business platform, which we have linked here. Facebook is great for middle-aged to older generations. Instagram is better for visual brands and Gen Xers. LinkedIn is ideal for professional organisations and B2B companies. Twitter works for brands looking to leverage trends and current conversations. And TikTok is where you’ll find the youngsters. 

    You can also leverage the power of hashtags to put your content in front of the right audience – all for free.

     

    Get your audience to subscribe to your small business’s mailing list

    Email marketing is a vital tool for small businesses, but without people to send emails to, there’s not much point in spending time designing a beautiful and compelling email campaign. 

    Aside from the obvious step of simply asking your target market to sign up, there are some sneaky ways of convincing people to become a part of your mailing list. Host a social media competition with a small prize, such as a free product or service, with the entry mechanism being that they have to sign up for your mailing list. If you have a physical store, you can get customers to sign up on the spot for a free promo item, such as a cup of coffee or a small discount off their purchase. 

    Find out more about collecting client info in this article on the best free online marketing channels.

    Once you’ve got them hooked, it’s time to start reeling them in…

    Get your email marketing on point with free email platforms for marketing small businesses

    Now that you’ve built up a good mailing list, it’s time to put it to use.

    There are loads of free email marketing platforms out there, such as MailChimp, Omnisend and more. Each free plan has its drawbacks, such as limited mailing lists or emails per month, but as a small business, you should be able to fit into one of these categories. Spend some time researching the right platform for you and set up a free account.Once you’re all set up and ready to go, check out our informative blog on how small businesses can use email marketing to their advantage for some crucial tips and tricks.

     

    Get into WhatsApp Business, an important free marketing tool for any small business

    In our modern day and age, people are constantly on their phones. Luckily, with WhatsApp Business, you can take advantage of our digital obsession by putting your brand right into their daily chats. Not only will you be able to connect with your customers in the most direct way possible in the online realm, WhatsApp Business provides tons of valuable data, so you can assess what’s working and what needs some tweaking.

    If this sounds like something you’d like to try, our blog on why WhatsApp Business is useful for small business owners will give you a great starting point.

     

    Take your advertising – and your small business – to the next level

    Fair warning – this is where the free part of the article ends. Once you’ve maximised the potential of the free strategies and platforms above, you might find that your growth starts to stagnate. At this point, it’s time to put some money behind your advertising efforts. Boosted social media posts, print adverts, banner ads on complementary brands’ website, etc. can drive a real and measurable impact on your bottom line.

    However, as effective as these avenues can be, they require a bit of investment. If you’re ready to take your marketing strategies to the next level, but need the funds to do so, fast small business funding is the answer.

    At GroWise Capital, we pride ourselves on giving small businesses and SMMEs the funds they need to propel their company to new heights of success. We’ll work with you to design a customised agreement that suits your specific needs, goals and budget, giving you the funds you need seriously fast and without the nonsense. 

    How fast, you might ask? From start to finish, we can get up to R3 million in your account in less than 24 hours – in some cases, as fast as 45 minutes from the second you submit your application. 

    If you’re ready to take the next step, get in touch with us today to chat about your funding options, find out more about our services, or apply online now.

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