Things that you cannot solve with money, you can solve with your wits and creativity. Get together the team of you brightest and the most positive employees and figure out the ways to promote your business without spending too much and breaking the budget. However, if you are not marketing experts, you can just take some of these clever ideas and tailor them in a way that suits your business and promotes it perfectly.
Make the VIP Cards
This is a great way to get some of the first time buyers. You need to distribute the VIP cards to people and you need to make sure that they really have more discount or different perks than others. Those who do not know you may not come to your place, but a significant number of people will give it a try.
Get Involved in Charities and Local Events
This is excellent publicity. Make sure that you are visible organizer of these events. Organize an auction and offer to donate a certain percentage of all the money that the participants spend in your store. For example, if somebody spends $100 at your store, you donate $10 to the charity in question.
Master the Social Media
Facebook and Twitter are a must. You cannot do anything without them. However, you need to spread your presence to LinkedIn and, especially Reddit. They may not be as frequented as Facebook and Twitter, but they have very involved community that appreciates quality.
Create a Customer Referral Program
If there is one amazing way to get more first time buyers, then it is this one. Your old clients will get discounts or freebies if they bring you new, first time customers. Everybody wins. You get more business, new customers get a high quality product or service and your old customers get discounts.
Pick Interesting and Useful Promotional Product
While lighters were a very common promo items, with the drastic fall of the number of smokers, they are not as interesting. Therefore, be careful when you pick your product, because you want it to be something that everybody will hold on to and not throw away. A promotional USB is definitely something that people keep and carry with them at all times.
Find a Partner
To reduce the costs of your marketing campaign, find a partner to split the costs. Make it somebody who is in the similar line of work, but not your competition. For example, a pizza place can join forces with the muffin and pastry shop, so that with each family sized pizza, the customer gets a free muffin. On the other hand, for every ten muffins bought, a customer can get a voucher for a free pizza. It works for both businesses and the costs are split.
Utilize the Personal Approach
The word of mouth is the best way to be advertised. The only people that can do that for you are your returning and satisfied customers. Therefore, you need to develop a personal connection with them. This is especially true if you are a small business that runs in the neighborhood. Wish them Happy Holidays, remember their birthdays or the birthdays of their children and send out hand written notes.
If you ask your customers for advice, not only will you show that you care, but you will also find the best way to reach your customers – just ask them. Ask them if they want something to change or if they would recommend you to their friends and why. The answers will show you precisely what your next step should be and the reasons for it.