Small Business Saturday Blog

Marketing on a budget

Friday, October 16 at 09:00

Nick Deane and Lauren Ascroft, the Marketing team behind Rockford IT, share their tips and experience for making the most of your marketing when you’re operating with tight purse strings.
Contrary to popular belief, marketing isn’t all about spending large amounts of money. At Rockford IT, we’ve found that success can be had by making the most of what you’ve got and, most importantly, being creative.

"Last November we were lucky enough to win Opus Energy’s “Business Boost” competition and received some great marketing advice and resources. Here are the top five tips for small business budget marketing we’ve learned along the way:

Build your brand on social media
A great way to promote your business is via social media. With well-frequented sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ all available for free, it’s a no brainer. As they’re so content-friendly (from creating posts, to photo sharing, to sponsoring links) you can use these platforms to promote your business in different ways.

Concerned about this being too time consuming? Not to worry. You can use websites such as Buffer to schedule all your social media posts for the week or longer.

Tip for Small Business Saturday: Have a look at where the Small Business Saturday Bus Tour is coming near to you in November and join in the conversation on Twitter, join the bus and share some pictures of other small businesses and customers attending. Follow @SmallBizSatUK for all updates.

Get your target market right
As a business, making sure you know your target audience is crucial. It’s vital you do your research and to get the best results for your budget.

Think about who your potential customers are and put some time into finding out what websites they use, publications they read and what other resources they may use when being influenced to buy.  Then, invest any marketing efforts within these targeted fields. A common mistake is assuming that a bigger channel is better (for example, national television advertising). Remember that no marketing channel is superior unless you can prove your audience is there waiting for you.

Tip for Small Business Saturday: sign up for a free Small Business Saturday marketing pack, containing posters and window stickers. Encourage people to visit your small business in store with the poster in the window (or with a digital poster if you’re an online business) and ask them questions about your products and business to learn more about your existing and potential customers.

Get involved within the local community 
Rockford IT is based in Shropshire, a great place for local networking events for local businesses. Check what your local area has to offer and get yourself involved with other businesses and support local causes where you can.

A good way to find out about local events is within social media groups, or ask other small businesses in your area if they’d like to collaborate on a regular networking meet-up.

Tip for Small Business Saturday: use the Small Business Finder to search with your small business’ postcode. You can find other small businesses in your area to get in contact with. You could collaborate for December 5th with an event, sharing each other’s businesses on social media or a community video on how you celebrated Small Business Saturday.

Email marketing 
This is one of the most cost-effective tools out there. From creating a customer/prospects newsletter to letting people know about the products and services you offer, it’s a great way to get your brand out there. Rockford IT have found that creating surveys and competitions work extremely well in getting a high interaction rate, as well as making the emails more targeted. Be creative, keep it simple and catchy.

Maximise supplier resources
Here at Rockford IT we have numerous products and services to market and receive a great amount of support from our suppliers to do this, so it’s always worth checking what partner marketing programmes are available to you. Most importantly, making sure you build and maintain good relationships with suppliers can make a massive difference.

To find out about the work Rockford IT do or to sign up to their newsletter and see examples of engaging email marketing, visit their website.

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