Tools for better marketing from Arizona Small Business Association
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Posted by: Rhette Baughman
In a recent issue of the Arizona Small Business Association magazine, ASBA (www.asba.com) marketing director Rhette Baughman comes up with some pretty meaty and insightful ideas on how small businesses can compete with effective marketing on a small budget.
The digital revolution offers small businesses many outlets for marketing and many are free. "If you haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon yet, you’re missing out on a great, free way to connect with clients, vendors, partners and the community,” Baughman writes. "Set up your business on as many platforms as you can and even if you don’t use the, you should reserve your name so that someone else doesn’t take it.” By now most of us know the most popular sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Claim your location (if you have a physical location) on Google Places, Foursquare and Yelp.
Baughman suggests to invite everyone you meet to connect on social media and make it easy for people to find you. Add the information on social media to your email signature, business cards and stationery, brochures, flyers and even bumper stickers on company vehicles. Above all he warns businesses to be honest when interacting on social sites by helping people learn something by being social. Don’t hype a lengthy sales pitch on this type of media.
Get your brand out in the community in a multitude of ways. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to sponsor a community event.
· You and employees should wear clothing with your brand on it. Be a walking billboard for your company. It may just spark a conversation with someone where you talk about your favorite topic, you company.
· Leave an action tip (a coupon, a clever saying on a card) to spark some interest in your connection.
· Getting involved in community events will mark you as a responsible community member who not only cares about his or her business, but cares about other people around them. It is not only productive, but fun to volunteer for community events. Besides, it gets you and your company noticed. If it is appropriate wear your company branded clothing and have others wear it too.
Baughman suggests sponsoring fun activities like contests with prize for those who get you the most referrals, people who help you get the most "likes” on Facebook or the most "followers” on Twitter. When using social media this type of activity is a fun way to get people involved in helping your company gain more visibility.
Baughman realizes figuring out the right marketing mix can be difficult and stressful at times, so there are always consultants who can help. If you want contact people who are professionals at marketing, advertising or public relations. He suggests checking out the ASBA directory for local talent to help you.