Do you shy away from spending money to advertise your business? With the ever rising costs and increasing pressures on our economy, marketing or advertising is often seen as a luxury item and pushed aside and if costs isn’t the reason for lack of advertising, many business owners shy away because they have no idea how to approach it or how to get the results they want from it.
But if you really think about it, if you knew that for every R100 you spent you could produce R200 or more, wouldn’t get you get cracking on this immediately? As a general rule of thumb, companies should spend around 5 percent of their total revenue on marketing to maintain their current position. Companies looking to grow or gain greater market share should budget a higher percentage—usually around 10 percent. According to studies done, the average return on ad spend is 2.87:1, meaning for every R1 spent on advertising, the average company makes R2.87. Of course, depending on your business / industry and advertising channels used / message conveyed, the success or failure could vary.
6 low cost ways to advertise your business for next to nothing:
1. Create a Facebook Page
If you aren’t online nowadays, it’s almost like you don’t exist, especially to the younger generation customers who may want to buy from you. Most start ups cannot afford to create a website straight away but anyone can afford to create their own Facebook Page since this is entirely free. Simply go to https://www.facebook.com/business and follow the steps to create your page. Once you’ve setup your page, share your page with friends and post in groups where people have an interest in your type of products/ services or simply allow Facebook to suggest advertising methods and budgets to get you started. For professional help with ad campaigns and content management, click here to be referred to our network of social gurus. If you need some help with integrating a card payment solution into your Facebook Page so you can sell directly through Facebook, chat to us about our online terminal options.
2. Do your own Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is easier than you think. It’s all about creating content on your website which focuses on the search terms that you want people to type into Google to find you. For example, we’re selling card machines so we’ll write content which brings in search terms like card machine, point of sale, speed point, card terminal hiring etc. Your content must appear in your headings, links, paragraphs, page titles and images. If you’re a hairdresser for example, unfortunately the market is much more saturated so you’ll need to focus on ranking for specialised services like hair treatments and make your content location specific e.g. Brazilian blowout Somerset West. Then, when people search for you, you’re guaranteed to get leads that are 100% interested in what you have to offer. Don’ expect results instantly, Google needs time to crawl the internet and there is quite a bit more to SEO of course but this basic trick should get you a little higher in Google within 2 weeks. It’s therefore important to check where you ranked before the changes and then check again two weeks later so that you can develop on this continuously until you reach page one.
3. Attend Expos / Markets / Festivals etc
An expo stand can cost anything from a few hundred rand at a market to a few thousand rand at a festival or expo but this is one of the best ways to get lots of traffic to your business in a short space of time. The organisers of the event are responsible for advertising the event and attract potential customers to the show for you. Most exhibitors see a massive return on investment but even if you don’t achieve the sales targets you set out to achieve, expos can help you generate leads which can turn into future sales as well.
Did you know that we are the preferred supplier of card payments at expos since 2004 and that we work alongside almost 500 events per year? Speak to us about our unique offering for exhibitors and renting a card machine for your next event or switch to us for all your card terminal requirements i.e. expos and online transacting.
4. Bulk Email Marketing
Build up a database of customers / leads and then communicate with them at least once a month. It’s a well known fact that existing customers spend 67% more if you can just get them to return. If you don’t yet have a database, we suggest setting up a loyalty programme to help you gather customer data and then choosing an email service provider like 123media or MailChimp to facilitate your newsletters and email sending requirements.
5. Google Paid Advertising
This is without a doubt one of the best forms of advertising money can buy. It’s based on a Pay-as-you-go system and you can setup daily or monthly budget limits to control spending. Google Adwords can be very daunting to navigate through so start by going to https://adwords.google.com/ and then consider what keywords your customers would search to find you. Setup ad campaigns around this and then watch as magic happens almost instantly when your ads go live. For professional help with ad campaigns and content management, click here to be referred to our network of PPC gurus.
Here is a video to get you started with Adwords:
6. Word of Mouth Advertising
Your customers are the best form of advertising you can ever get. Treat them like gold and one happy customer will turn into eleven new customers in no time. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile.