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As a small business owner you probably don’t have unlimited cash to spend on advertising. So how can you make sure your products and services take centre page? Here are ten ideas:


1.       SEO: Use Google’s keyword planner tool to identify relevant keywords for your website and for your listings on marketplaces. Use long-tail keywords where you can.


2.       Place ‘refer a friend’ cards in parcels: Ask customers to refer their friends – you could offer an incentive in terms of a discount for an extra push.


3.       Have an elevator pitch at the ready: Be prepared to market your business everywhere you go, by creating a compelling elevator pitch- make it no more than 8 seconds long.


4.       Network: Attend trade fairs and business networking events to identify valuable contacts. Build a presence on LinkedIn – having a strong network will pay you dividends as you grow your business.


5.       Ask for referrals: Word of mouth is by far the most influential form of advertising*. So don’t be shy – most people say they would offer a referral if asked, but too few do so. Encourage customers to leave you feedback on eBay and Amazon by placing reminders on invoices and in listings.


6.       Offer free trials: If you can afford it offer free trials or samples – people are more comfortable purchasing something they are familiar with.


7.       Get social: If you haven’t been paying attention to social media now’s the time. It’s an immediate way to interact with customers asking about your product or business.

8.       Get returns right: A Hermes 2014 Usage and Attitudes Survey “How do you manage returns?” revealed that almost 33% of shoppers now look out for free returns.

9.       Send out emails: Collect e-mail addresses and send out newsletters with promotions and updates.


10.   Put videos on YouTube: ‘How to’ videos on this and other slide-sharing sites can help boost brand awareness.


We hope these tips will have given you some marketing inspiration and good luck with the business!
*          Under the influence: Consumer trust in advertising; nielsen, 17th September 2013

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