In order for businesses to survive, there must be some type of promotion. Whether it’s hard advertising, word of mouth or a big project that makes noise in the market, people must know about business to be able to make purchases or subscribe to their services.
In today’s article, we will look at some very cost-effective (one may also say ‘cheap’ ways of promotion).
1. Joint ventures. Not all costs must be shouldered alone. If you have a great idea, but it costs a bit over your budget, go to someone who may already be providing a part of the idea as a service (so your cost is brought down) and propose a partnership. For example, I have a big idea for my business. You own a newspaper service. I partner with you to promote the big idea where customers can win money. You provide me with ten full-page ads and I include your logo on those ads, plus all my other advertising, so people hear more about you, while hearing about the promotion. This will cut my advertising budget by quite a lot!
2. Testimonials. Let your customers sell for you. If you have delighted customers, create a referral programme that would entice them to bring in more customers through your doors. A car dealership did this very successfully a few years ago. They offered $500 to current customers who brought in persons who bought new cars. I remember being asked several times by different folks if I didn’t want to change my car! This not only created excitement, it spread the word about the business in a bigger way, without much added cost.
3. Free advice. Can you speak? Offer to go to companies to do presentations if you’re an expert on your topic. For example, you may be in real estate. Offer to do a ten-minute lunchtime presentation to staff or management on tips on purchasing a new home, or ten things to expect from a good agent. Whatever the topic, make sure you’re comfortable speaking about it; and then distribute your cards at the end of the presentation. The cost of this is your time, but it saves you spending money to advertise in hard dollars and cents.
4. As always, I am a big proponent of social media advertising. Ensure your ads are cool and concise so they make users want to engage with your business. Respond in a timely fashion to answer any questions (or out any fires) from your customers.
At the end of the day, there are many ways to promote your business without burning a hole in your pocket. Whatever you do, ensure it is done well, so that in times of plenty, you also ensure there is no wastage!
(Veoma Ali is an advertising executive with a Ph.D in Communication and Master’s in