Comparing Small Business Marketing in Japan and the United States

 

As an entrepreneur, you know that marketing your business is essential to its success. However, there are many different approaches to marketing, and some may work better in some countries than others. In fact, the way small businesses are marketed in Japan may be quite different from the way they’re marketed in the United States! To give you an idea of what this difference looks like and why it matters, here’s a closer look at Japanese and American marketing strategies. (more…)

 

Japanese Small Businesses
Japan is a very small country, so marketing doesn’t need to be as aggressive or competitive. In fact, marketers often rely on word-of-mouth advertising. There are also no product guarantees, which means that if you buy a product and find out it doesn’t work as advertised, you can’t return it. Essentially, Japanese consumers are expected to take more responsibility for their purchases than American consumers. In Japan, sales techniques like volume discounts or time limits on offers are uncommon because prices tend to remain fixed for an extended period of time. US companies have learned to use these strategies due to the competition they face from other US companies, but Japanese customers typically do not react well when faced with these tactics.
Japan’s conservative culture makes it difficult for small businesses to stand out, but there are some key elements that all successful brands must focus on:

 

Japanese consumers have trust issues
Japanese consumers have very different expectations of a business, which is why they are not as trusting. This is because Japan has a history of being taken advantage of by other countries throughout its history. This distrust can be seen in many aspects of Japanese culture, but it’s most evident when looking at customer loyalty to Japanese brands. The Japanese people have a preference for domestic brands, even if they’re more expensive. Even though we may see this as irrational behavior, it actually makes sense from their perspective: They want to support their own country. So how does this affect marketing? Well, American businesses don’t need to go through the same lengths as Japanese ones do in order to get the attention of customers. A foreign brand will automatically have a disadvantage.

 

Japanese business owners are more receptive to non-traditional marketing channels
In Japan, many small businesses are more receptive to non-traditional marketing channels such as social media. One reason for this is because Japan has a lower population density than the US. Additionally, many small businesses don’t have the budget to spend on traditional forms of advertising like TV ads or print ads. Social media is an inexpensive way to reach their customer base, which includes younger generations who are not as likely to be watching TV or reading print publications. Another example of Japan’s preference for different marketing strategies is QR codes. These barcodes contain information that can lead consumers directly to the company’s website from printed posters, billboards, flyers and magazine advertisements – this helps Japanese companies avoid paying to place large text ads where only few people will see them.
Japan’s preference for different types of marketing strategies does not mean that there aren’t challenges unique to Japanese business owners: For example, international audiences may find it difficult understanding why some company names are written in kanji instead of English letters.

 

American Consumers
The American consumer is a lot more demanding than their Japanese counterpart, so they have to be marketed to differently. For example, while they appreciate being given a discount, they are also happy to pay full price if the product is worth it. They are much less likely to purchase something if it’s not on sale or discounted. While Americans don’t expect everything for free, they do want value for what they spend. Products that are environmentally sustainable and ethically-produced are highly desirable as well. A company could offer coupons and discounts, but unless they can prove their product is worth buying without them, then consumers will not buy from them.

 

American business owners are skeptical of new marketing methods
Americans are skeptical of new marketing methods because they fear that their investment will not pay off. Many think that traditional marketing methods such as print advertising, radio, tv ads, etc. will be enough to get them a return on investment. This is not always the case. In Japan, there is much more acceptance of newer marketing methods such as digital advertising and social media campaigns due to how quickly technology has changed. People are more open to trying new things because they know change is inevitable and it’s better to adapt than resist. Digital advertising has been around for years now so people see it as an old reliable means of connecting with potential customers.

 

Traditional marketing is king in America
In America, traditional marketing is king. Americans have a higher affinity for buying from companies that they are familiar with or ones that have a recognizable logo. As a result, marketing through television, radio, print media, and billboards is popular in America. The one downside to this form of marketing is that it can be expensive for small businesses on tight budgets.
Japan has a very different approach when it comes to marketing their products (four sentences) Both countries have very different approaches when it comes to marketing their products but Japan has an entirely different take on things. Japanese companies tend to spend less money on promoting themselves outside of Japan where the majority of their sales come from within Japan. Companies like Toyota and Nissan advertise in Japan but not as extensively abroad. Most of the time, these ads will appear at local events or trade shows to avoid spending too much on advertising overseas. On the other hand, US companies like Coca-Cola and Nike heavily invest in advertising abroad because they make up such a large percentage of their revenue. These differences stem from cultural preferences: while Americans love tradition marketing, Japanians prefer more subtle methods of advertising like personal appearances by employees or managers at trade shows and speaking engagements instead of traditional forms such as TV ads.

 

Traditional marketing is not as effective for small businesses
Traditional marketing methods, like TV commercials and newspaper ads, are not as effective for small businesses as they once were. Instead, relying on email newsletters, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and a website with an online store will help you generate more interest from potential customers. Japan VS US
-Traditional marketing methods are not as effective for small-business owners in Japan because of lack of infrastructure like high-speed internet connections, which is why internet-based marketing is the best option.
-The US has more variety when it comes to media outlets that can be used for advertising, including radio and television networks, billboards, newspapers and magazines. -Japan’s population has higher income levels than those in the US, so Japan has more people who use credit cards. With this population segment being so high, traditional marketing is still viable there since people have more disposable income.
-Japan also relies heavily on relationships between companies and their suppliers or distributors for business transactions; this does not exist in the same capacity in the US. Japan is not alone in seeing the negative effects of traditional marketing campaigns; other countries are experiencing these problems as well. The difference between Japan and the US lies primarily in what mediums each country uses to create successful campaigns: Japan has adopted internet-based marketing while the US favors local, regional and national media sources.

How easy it to get a grant for a US small business?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers both grants and loans. Grants are harder to get, but don’t have to be paid back. The SBA also offers other forms of assistance that may be more useful for some businesses than grants or loans.

The SBA provides grants to non-profits and educational institutions through their Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT). The National Science Foundation awards research and development grants primarily in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology education. You may be eligible for a small business grant if you meet the criteria outlined by one of these agencies.

What is a grant?

A grant is a sum of money given to an individual or group by a government or other institution. Grants are not loans, and do not have to be repaid. They’re typically awarded based on merit as opposed to financial need (although certain grants do exist that require that applicants demonstrate financial need).
Grants are often given to help with research, education or public health—but they can also be used for any personal purpose the recipient wants. For example, if you want to start a business but don’t have the capital necessary for it yet, you might apply for a grant from your city council in order to get started. Or perhaps you see yourself moving out west someday but don’t know how much it would cost; applying for some sort of travel grant might help ease those fears!
How easy is it to get a grant?
If you’re looking for money, it’s important to know that grants are harder to get than loans. Grants are not always available and awardees are selected by a competitive process based on specific criteria. The grantor’s mission may have relevance to your business or project, but only one applicant per grantor can be awarded.

How Much Grant Money Can I Get?

How much grant money you get depends on the program. Some grants are highly competitive, while others are more accessible. When deciding how much money to ask for, think about the type of grant program you’re applying for and the guidelines associated with it.
If you’re applying for a competitive grant program that requires an application fee, it’s best not to ask for more than your minimum requirement in case your proposal doesn’t make it past preliminary review. If a non-competitive grant is all that’s available to you or if there isn’t an application fee associated with the grant program (this situation is rare), then feel free to ask as much as possible—but remember that “as much as possible” will vary depending on various factors such as whether or not there’s an application fee associated with submitting proposals; how many other applicants are vying for this money; etcetera ad infinitum!

In comparison, how easy is it to get an SBA loan?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides loans with lower interest rates than other loans. The application process can be lengthy and complicated, but if you qualify for an SBA loan, you’ll usually have a better chance of getting funding than with a grant program. In addition, after your business pays back the money from its first successful loan application, you might be eligible for additional funds from the SBA as long as your business continues to meet certain financial requirements.
However, unlike grants that don’t require repayment (although some do), SBA loans must be paid back in a timely manner and at scheduled intervals throughout their life cycle; this means that even if you’re not sure whether or not you’ll make enough money from your new venture to pay back investors before they want their money back—or if they want it at all—you’re still obligated by law to pay them back according to specified deadlines outlined in contracts signed at inception.

How can you apply for a grant or an SBA loan?

● You can apply online at sba.gov.
● You can also apply by phone at 866-574-5719
● Finally, you can apply via mail by sending your completed application to SBA, 409 3rd Street SW, Washington, DC 20416
The Small Business Administration offers both grants and loans. Grants are harder to get, but don’t have to be paid back.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has two options for small businesses who need funding: grants and loans.
Here are some differences between the two:
● Grants are harder to get, but they don’t have to be paid back. Loans must be repaid, often with interest.
● Grants give you more flexibility than loans. For example, if your business starts failing or doesn’t take off as quickly as you’d like it to, grants allow you to stop making payments without going into default; whereas with a loan, stopping payments can lead directly to defaulting on repayment obligations—and possibly losing your property or assets as a result. On the other hand…
● …grants generally have more restrictions on how they can be used than loans do. For example, some grant funds may only go toward affordable housing projects; others may require that recipients use American-made materials when constructing new buildings or refurbishing existing ones in order not spend foreign capital overseas.”

We know that getting started in business can be tough. So when you’re ready to apply, we recommend checking out our free online course “How to Get Started as a Small Business Owner.”

What are the general differences between small business in the US and the UK?

The UK and USA are two of the largest economies in the world, and share a lot of similarities when it comes to business. Both nations are home to some of the most influential companies in their respective fields, so if you’re looking to start a small business it makes sense to do your research.

While there are many similarities between starting a small business in the UK and starting one in America, there are also some key differences that smart entrepreneurs will want to be aware of before they get started. In this post we’ll discuss three major differences between small businesses in both countries: marketing, administration & funding

Small Business Marketing

The first major difference between small business marketing in the US and the UK is that in the UK, small businesses tend to be more focused on local advertising. In America, there are many large companies with a national reach that can afford to advertise on a national scale. This means that most advertisements you see will be for these larger companies. In contrast, if you’re living in England or Wales (and especially Scotland), there will likely be less competition from other businesses—and therefore fewer advertisements from competing companies trying to get your attention.
Additionally, American businesses generally use more aggressive marketing techniques than those used by British firms: things like direct mail campaigns or telemarketing calls often go unused by British marketers due to cultural differences between how people interact with strangers over distance compared with their American counterparts. The result of this? A smaller pool of potential customers who may not respond well if they receive an unsolicited message from an unknown source!
The third major difference between marketing in America versus the UK is that British companies tend to be more focused on their local community.

Business Administration

Business administration is a lot more complex and expensive in the UK, particularly when it comes to tax. While you can choose to file your taxes quarterly, there are many business owners who prefer the convenience of filing their taxes annually. This means that they’re spending more money on accounting fees than those who file quarterly (and saving on accountants’ time). The complexity and expense of business administration also extends beyond taxes; for instance, there are different rules around how long it takes to register a company and get started with trading activities in the UK compared to America.
As a result, there is more time and effort involved in setting up a business. In fact, the UK has the longest start-up times of all major economies* It takes an average of six months for British business owners to set up their company, compared with three months in America * In comparison, China takes four months and France takes just over two months * The cost of setting up a new business in the US is $3,400 per year on average, while the UK comes second at $3,100.
* The cost of registering a company in the UK is $5,600 on average, compared with $1,000 in America. * The average time it takes to start trading after registering a company is two years and eight months in the UK compared with one year and ten months in America* The UK is one of the most complex countries to deal with, in terms of administration. * The cost of business administration in the UK is more expensive than any other country. * The time it takes to set up a company and get trading in the UK is longer than any other major economy.

Start Up Funding

Start up funding is different in the UK. The UK government offers a range of funding options for entrepreneurs, including grants, loans and equity investment. Most small businesses in the UK are self-funded, but some take out loans from banks or apply for government grants or loans.
The UK government has set up a range of schemes to support small businesses, including grants for research and development, loans for start-ups and equity investment through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).
There are also a number of private-sector investment schemes and private equity funds. In addition, the UK’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) provides tax incentives to investors who invest in early-stage companies. This can be a significant source of finance for start-ups, but it is not available to companies that have been trading for more than two years.
Marketing, Administration and funding are three major differences to consider if starting a small business in the UK.
If you’re looking to start a business in the UK, it’s important to understand there are key differences that could affect your success. For example, the market for small businesses is more localized than it is in the US and this means that marketing strategies need to be customized for each region of the country. In addition, because there are so many regulations on how companies must operate in this country, administration costs are higher than they are in America. Finally, funding opportunities for small businesses are much more limited than they are here; most government grants require recipients to be either charitable organizations or have very specific goals such as supporting renewable energy projects or building affordable housing units
In general, these three areas are where most differences between UK small businesses and their American counterparts lie. Marketing is more localized; administration costs are higher due to government regulations on things like employee benefits packages; funding opportunities come mostly from large corporations that don’t want to invest in individual entrepreneurs or small businesses;

There are many similarities and differences between starting small businesses in the US and UK. Marketing, administration and funding are three major differences to consider if starting a small business in the UK.

Why Marketing is Not the Same as Advertising

Many people confuse marketing and advertising, as they sound similar. In fact, some companies use both terms interchangeably to refer to the same thing.

This makes it easy to forget the differences between marketing and advertising, but there are some key distinctions that you need to know about when running your business. Let’s take a look at some of the ways marketing and advertising differ from one another and why knowing the difference matters so much in the grand scheme of things.

How you define them

Marketing is the process of creating value for a company through creating and delivering products or services that customers want or need.
Advertising, on the other hand, is just one component of marketing. It is a paid form of communication that tries to persuade potential customers to buy a product or service.
Some people use the terms interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Here are four key ways that marketing and advertising differ:
1. Marketing is about creating value, while advertising is about communicating value.
2. Marketing involves understanding customer needs and desires, while advertising focuses on convincing customers that they need or want a product or service.
3. Marketing is done before advertising by companies who already have their target audience in mind, while most advertisers have no idea who their target audience might be.
4. Marketing is more holistic and often more long-term, while advertising is short-term with a clear call to action like buy now.

How they differ from each othe

Many people believe that marketing and advertising are one and the same, but they could not be more different. Marketing is the process of creating value for a company through creating and delivering products or services that customers want or need. Advertising, on the other hand, is a paid form of communication that promotes a company’s products or services. While advertising can be a part of marketing, it is only one piece of the puzzle. Creating an advertisement does not necessarily create value for the company unless they actually sell the product in question. The effectiveness of an advertisement depends largely on its placement, how much it costs to advertise, and how well-known or respected the brand is. For example, if McDonald’s wanted to promote their new crispy chicken sandwich by running ads during prime time TV, then their ad would likely have a higher success rate than if they advertised the same product on late night talk shows. What this means is that companies need to evaluate where and when they run advertisements based on what type of results they hope to achieve.

The benefits of marketing over advertising

1. Helps you create a more sustainable long-term strategy
2. Allows you to focus on building relationships instead of one-time transactions
3. Gives you a chance to connect with your customers on a deeper level
4. Opens up opportunities for customer engagement and feedback
5. Enables you to track and measure your results
6. Creates space for creativity
7. Can be less expensive than advertising
8. Doesn’t interrupt what people are doing
9. Provides better insights
10. Is smarter
11. Has increased ROI
12. Comes in all shapes and sizes

How to use marketing in your business

Use marketing to understand your target market and what they want or need from your product or service. Develop a unique selling proposition that sets your business apart from the competition. Build relationships with customers and potential customers through social media, email, and other channels. Drive traffic to your website or online store with search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing. Collect data about customer behavior to inform your marketing decisions. And finally, always measure the results of your marketing campaigns to see what’s working and what’s not. For example, you can use Google Analytics to track visits on your site, evaluate which keywords are driving traffic there, and examine conversion rates for different pages on your site.

The Surprisingly Different Marketing Tactics of Small Businesses in the UK and US (Part Two)

Advertising channels

Traditional advertising channels like print, radio, and television are used less frequently by small businesses in the UK. Instead, small businesses in the UK focus on online advertising, specifically through Google Ad’s. They also use word-of-mouth marketing and networking to get their name out there. In contrast, small businesses in the US still use traditional advertising channels like print, radio, and television, as well as online methods like SEO and social media marketing. They do not rely heavily on word-of-mouth marketing or networking.

Customer service

In the United States, small businesses put a premium on providing excellent customer service. This means having a friendly and knowledgeable staff, quick responses to customer inquiries, and easy-to-use systems. In the United Kingdom, however, small businesses focus more on developing relationships with their customers. They work to build trust and loyalty over time, rather than trying to win customers over with great service right off the bat. Additionally, they are not as concerned about responding quickly to customer inquiries or making their systems easy for people to use. Instead, they are focused on creating personalized interactions that will foster long-term relationships with the company.

Major differences

The marketing tactics of small businesses in the United Kingdom differ significantly from those in the United States. One big difference is that door-to-door sales are still much more common in the UK. This is likely because the population is more densely packed together, making it easier to reach potential customers. Another big difference is that radio advertising is far more popular in the UK than it is in the US. This may be because radio stations are required by law to air a certain amount of public service announcements, which provides free ad space for small businesses. Finally, direct mail campaigns are also much more common in the UK than they are in the US. In fact, sending out direct mail is often one of the first steps in a new business’s marketing strategy. Again, this may be because the population density means that there are more people on each street or block who might be interested in a particular product or service.

The Surprisingly Different Marketing Tactics of Small Businesses in the UK and US (Part One)

For small businesses in the United States and in the United Kingdom, marketing tactics can be pretty similar.


It’s easy to find examples of businesses that follow the same processes, regardless of the country they’re in—but there are also many differences between small business marketing in both countries and you may be surprised to learn about some of them. These are just a few of the most striking differences you’ll find when comparing UK small business marketing and US small business marketing strategies.

Consumer behavior

In the United States, we tend to be very individualistic in our purchasing decisions. We like to think that we are making rational decisions based on our own needs and wants. However, studies have shown that emotional factors play a much bigger role in our decision-making than we realize. For example, when we see a commercial, we may not even be aware of the fact that it is influencing our emotions and affecting our purchase decisions. Likewise, word of mouth has been found to be significantly more influential for US consumers than for those living in the UK. Americans also spend more time researching their purchases than do people from other countries.

Spending patterns

In the United States, small businesses spend an average of $106 per month on marketing. This is a significant increase from last year, when they spent just $83 per month. The most popular marketing tactic for small businesses in the US is online advertising, followed by email marketing and then print advertising.
In contrast, small businesses in the United Kingdom spend an average of £79 per month on marketing. The most popular marketing tactic for small businesses in the UK is word-of-mouth, followed by email marketing and then online advertising. Print advertising is not as popular in the UK as it is in the US.
While there are some similarities between the marketing tactics of small businesses in the US and UK, there are also some significant differences. One of these differences is that spending patterns differ: American small businesses spend more than their British counterparts. Spending patterns have been steadily increasing in America over the past few years, but have remained stagnant in Britain. It’s likely that this difference has to do with increased competition and digital penetration rates in America. Another major difference is that while Americans rely heavily on social media, UK businesses tend to focus more on word-of-mouth marketing strategies.

How to Survive Without Marketing – Part Two

Get reviews from clients
If you’re a service-based business, use your network and ask friends and family for testimonials about your work. You could also offer a special deal or freebie for new customers who recommend you to others. Be sure to display these reviews on your website, on business cards and in any other marketing material you create. If you’re creating physical products, seek out beta testers who will give feedback on early versions of your product—and review it after it launches. The next step is to get some press coverage: if you have a unique angle, write an op-ed piece for a local newspaper; if not, reach out to bloggers who cover similar topics. The key is to start with one publication (or blogger) and then move onto another once that initial piece runs. And don’t forget offline options like networking events and speaking engagements.

Post on social media
Social media is a powerful way for companies to connect with their audiences, build relationships and drive traffic. While many small businesses do invest in social media advertising, not all marketing budgets include full-time social media managers. The good news is that you can still market your business successfully even if you don’t have an extensive budget. Here are some tips on how you can save money while still managing your company’s presence on social media platforms
Your initial engagement with social media should be focused on setting up accounts, optimizing them for search and building a network of followers who are genuinely interested in your product or service. Take advantage of any built-in analytics tools each platform offers as well so you can monitor what types of content resonate best.

Approach local media outlets
Local media outlets are a great way to get your business’s name out there with very little cash spent. Write a press release, contact local journalists and show them that you’re an expert in your field and a viable source of information. They may also run quotes from you in their articles about your industry. If enough write-ups come out about you, it could have a positive impact on your search engine optimization (SEO). These days, press is good for business!

Get interviewed online
Getting interviewed by a journalist is a great way to promote your business. The trick is doing it without spending a ton of money on traditional marketing techniques like print ads or radio spots. Getting a writer interested in interviewing you doesn’t have to be that hard; they’re always looking for interesting stories, and businesses with fascinating backstories have an advantage over those that don’t. If you can create a story about how your company was founded, how you developed your product or service, or even just how you came up with an innovative new idea—you could get some free exposure. Just make sure that when journalists come calling, you’ve got something good to tell them!

Don’t be afraid to email cold leads
Cold emailing might not be popular, but it’s still a great way to get started in B2B sales. When most people think of cold calling, they picture themselves reaching out to warm leads—people who may or may not have heard of their business. In fact, there are plenty of leads who aren’t warm at all and are often happy when you contact them. These so-called cold leads include people who haven’t engaged with your company yet (for example, they haven’t visited your website), as well as those who don’t know you exist. While these prospects may seem intimidating at first glance, cold emailing can help make that initial connection and lead to a sale down the line.

How to Survive Without Marketing – Part One

When it comes to starting and running a business, it seems like everyone will tell you the same thing: if you don’t market your business, it won’t survive. That’s just not true! In fact, businesses like this have thrived in one way or another since the beginning of time, and as long as there are people who need what you have to offer, you’ll be able to turn your business into something worthwhile without having to spend all of your time on marketing yourself and your products or services.



Do I really need marketing?

I’m sure you’ve heard from many people that marketing is an absolute necessity for a new business. And if you’re running a business with little money, it might seem like there’s no way you can afford marketing. But although many businesses depend on marketing to succeed, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to run a profitable company without it. You just have to be creative and come up with other ways of getting your name out there. In fact, some of today’s most successful companies—including Google and Apple—were started by entrepreneurs who decided they didn’t need marketing right away. They got their names out through other means and then began investing in advertising once they had a firm foundation.

Create lead magnets

From cheat sheets and guides, to white papers and e-books, there are a number of different ways you can package your expertise in an easy-to-consume format. Creating these lead magnets helps establish yourself as an authority in your industry. When others see that you’re creating resources they know they can come back to at any time, it reinforces how much value your services bring. If people start to associate you with helpful content, they may be more likely to reach out when they need help. The more content you create, the better known you become as someone who offers great advice and tips—and people will be more likely to ask for your help when they need it.

Share your content with influencers

Influencers have a huge following on social media. When you share your content with influencers, they’ll most likely post about it for their audience. For example, if you’re running a local fitness studio, and Joe Shmoe Fitness Fanatic has 100k followers on Instagram, he or she might want to repost a picture of your new abs workout program; in turn, you gain access to Joe Shmoe’s huge following. This is called influencer marketing. It’s a great way to get exposure without having to spend money on advertising.

Develop relationships with partners

Understand that your partner is as important as you are in your endeavor. If there’s a reduction in budget, look at how you can work with partners who have similar goals and interests. These relationships will only improve over time, helping everyone grow their brand and expand their network of contacts. While partnerships might not generate revenue directly, they often lead to business opportunities down the road.
You should start out by doing some research on potential partners. Use social media channels like LinkedIn or Twitter to find people who might be able to help you achieve your goals; these sites allow you to connect with professionals from different industries and get an idea of what others are doing within their respective niches. If you have a hard time finding someone, try reaching out to other businesses in your area that seem similar to yours—they may be interested in growing their network as well. Once you’ve found a few candidates, reach out via email or phone and ask if they’d be willing to meet for coffee.

How to ACTUALLY market your business easily and effectively

How to market your business easily and effectively can sometimes be a difficult question to answer if you don’t know what marketing strategies work best for your product or service, or if you have limited funds to spend on marketing your business. Luckily, this guide will help you find marketing strategies that are simple and easy to implement while still being effective at gaining new customers and increasing sales.



Target Your Audience

When you understand who your target audience is, you can focus on things that will resonate with them. Rather than just throwing some tactics out there and hoping for a good outcome, make sure you know who will be interested in what you’re trying to do. If a certain demographic or location seems like a great fit for what you’re offering, don’t try to market it—make sure they know about it! If someone doesn’t click on an ad because they never visit those types of websites or use that type of mobile device, there’s not much else you can do—you need to put yourself in their shoes.

Be Consistent

One of our go-to simple marketing ideas for smaller businesses is using social media as a way to grow a brand. Use social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to share engaging content about your product or service with followers. Interacting with followers on a regular basis encourages them to share new content you post with their own followers, helping expand your reach. You can also use social media sites to host contests that encourage users to tag photos with your company’s name or hashtag. These simple marketing ideas can help establish your brand’s presence online and drive traffic back to your website.

Get an Email List

If you’re going to launch a new product or service, make sure you ask customers for their email addresses. The best way to do so is through a lead magnet—something free that attracts interest in return for an email address. There are plenty of lead magnets out there, but what counts is using one. You can even create a lead magnet around your industry if you want. For example, if you run a marketing agency, give away an ebook on marketing trends; it doesn’t have to be anything fancy; just something that will entice people into signing up for more information.

Do Video Marketing

If you’re just starting out, video marketing is a great way to promote yourself. People love visual content, so consider making videos—either on YouTube or your own site—about who you are, what you do, and why people should work with you. It’s not too hard to get started: all you need is a webcam. But make sure that you’re consistent about creating content; viewers will lose interest if they don’t see new videos regularly. Also, it’s important to remember that videos are only one part of an effective marketing strategy.

Create a Social Media Strategy

There are a lot of social media channels out there, and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which ones make sense for your business. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about creating an effective social media strategy on your own—you can find resources online or get help from people within your network who have already created successful strategies. It’s not a bad idea to talk with others in person, too. You might learn a few ideas by listening to other entrepreneurs’ strategies at networking events or during informal conversations about current projects.

Diversify Your Content

In today’s age of content overload, it can be difficult for businesses with a limited marketing budget to cut through. One way to make sure your brand has a place in people’s minds is by diversifying your content. That means you should try everything from blogs, infographics, and webinars to slideshows, PDF downloads, and Pinterest image collections—especially if you have several aspects of your company that you want people to understand or know about. The more content you create, the more likely you are to appear on search engines and social media feeds; when done right, these efforts will help build your brand awareness and influence potential customers.

Promote Events

One of the easiest, most effective ways to market your company is by promoting events or services through social media. Make sure you are promoting events that are related to or sponsored by your business; if you’re not certain whether an event would be appropriate for marketing purposes, it’s best to hold off until you can confirm with someone in management. An easy way for companies big and small to publicize their events is through Facebook Event postings.

Pivot If Something Isn’t Working

No one is going to blame you for trying a marketing strategy that doesn’t work. That said, I think you should be willing to pivot on strategies if it’s not delivering results. If a marketing channel isn’t delivering, try something else—no shame in that. Once you decide on an approach, make sure you’re not losing sight of customer acquisition costs (CAC) and lifetime value (LTV). CAC is how much it costs you to acquire a new customer while LTV is how much revenue they generate over their lifetime of use. Don’t get lost in vanity metrics like number of signups or active users because these don’t give you any indication of what’s working or what’s failing with your strategy. Instead, focus on how many customers are coming back to buy from you again. You can figure out where most of your money is being spent by looking at which channels are driving sales and which ones aren’t. For example, say you’re spending $5 per sale through Facebook ads but only making $3 per sale from organic search traffic; that means Facebook ads are likely bringing in more expensive sales than Google search traffic but also generating more total revenue due to volume. This will help inform future decisions about where to spend time and money since you know where there’s potential for growth (in our example above, Facebook ads). Always compare ROI across different channels so you can identify which ones are giving you a good return on investment versus those that aren’t performing as well.

8 Low-Cost Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

I’m sure that if you have a small business, you don’t have money to waste on ineffective marketing strategies. You want to make your marketing dollars work as hard as possible. The following eight strategies are ones that have worked well for me, and I think they will be effective for many other small businesses out there as well!



1) Create a Plan

There are lots of low-cost marketing strategies out there and they can help you get your name out to new customers. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that these aren’t quick fixes; it takes time to build brand recognition, so if your strategy revolves around getting people on social media or other platforms immediately, it might not be worth your time. Here are eight low-cost marketing strategies small businesses can use now.

2) Host Events

Hosting networking events is a great way to market your business, especially if you’re in a competitive industry. This marketing strategy allows you to connect with a variety of people and bring them into your network; it also helps people become aware of what you do, even if they aren’t immediately ready to buy. The key here is patience: Don’t expect anyone to sign up right away; instead, treat these events as opportunities to generate leads by making connections and building trust over time.

3) Write Articles

Writing articles is one of those simple marketing strategies that can have a big impact. It’s not complicated, you don’t need any special skills or training and it doesn’t cost much to set up. As well as generating some interest in your business, which could lead to new customers, writing articles on a regular basis also helps you keep your website fresh and relevant—always an important consideration when choosing a small business marketing strategy.

4) Run Contests

Running a contest can be a low-cost marketing strategy. Contests are fun and exciting, and they help establish a sense of community around your brand. Make sure to clearly explain how people enter, give them multiple ways to do so (such as Facebook or Twitter), and reward winners with free products or coupons. Of course, like any marketing activity, contests require you to have a product or service worth talking about in order to get people excited enough about it that they’ll enter your contest!

5) Use Your Website as an Event Calendar

Use your website to make it easy for customers to keep track of upcoming events. They don’t have to go anywhere else—they can stay on your site, which is good for you because it increases your chances of being at or near the top of search results when people are searching online. It’s also a nice way to collect additional information about who your customers are and what they want.

6) Share Videos on Social Media

If you have a knack for creating content, there’s no shortage of social media platforms that can help you earn cash and recruit followers. YouTube is by far one of the most popular sites on which to post videos, but other platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Vine can also be used. As with all these platforms, though, you’ll need to build up an audience before your videos will start bringing in views. This takes time. But once you do, many of these sites are free to use or offer affordable advertising options. A good way to get started on any platform is by posting useful how-to videos.

7) Use Email Marketing to Build Relationships

Email marketing is a low-cost way to build relationships and let people know about your business. By using email marketing, you’re not just selling; you’re also providing value and trying to help solve your subscribers’ problems. If you want to keep it simple and small, use email lists to stay in touch with existing customers on an occasional basis. If you have more time and resources, create a drip campaign that sends automated emails at specific times over several weeks or months. This type of campaign requires more effort up front but can pay off if done correctly.

8) Guest Post on Popular Sites

Guest posting is another popular tactic among businesses hoping to attract new customers. If you’re willing to write posts on other sites, you can place links in your author bio, directing readers to your own site. You can also use guest posting as a way to increase search engine optimization (SEO) on your site. Search engines love fresh content and will reward you if they see you consistently posting on other sites.