One of the greatest realities for people in small business, and by this I’m referring to a typical home based business, is the lack of money for a large scale marketing campaign. Creating the right market strategy or marketing strategies not only requires time, but to varying extents will also require resources.
Reaching your market at the lowest cost possible requires the ability to “think off the wall”, or “outside the box”. Low cost marketing plans, while they can be highly effective, do take time to set up and can be a lot slower to show results. The beauty of a low cost or “shoe-string” marketing campaign is their ability to provide great results over the long haul.
When it comes to creating a successful low-cost online marketing plan, there are four core rules one must follow.
Find and follow your target group. If you’re trying to sell bed mattress coils, you’d be wasting your time trying to market your bed mattress coils to people who are out looking for flower seeds. Instead you would want to spend time looking for people who are interested in better beds, bed mattress coils, furniture makers, bed manufacturers, and market to them.
Seven remains the magical number. A recent survey showed that most business purchasers, irregardless of how many salesmen and saleswomen came into their office, over 80 percent of purchasers still went out to locate the company they made their purchases from. This shows that walking in off the street expecting to make a sale is not a reality based expectation. The priority has to be planting your company name or website address into the minds of potential customers so when they are ready to buy, they can go online and quickly find you. It takes on average seeing an URL 7 times before a person remembers it. Seven remains the magical number.
Stick to the play book. Every major football team has in its possession a secret document known as the “Play Book”. That book contains every strategy the team will use on the field over the course of the season. In small business, your play book is your marketing plan. Your plan must be well thought out, concise, and measurable. There’s no point in creating a plan and then shortly thereafter deviating away from it, even temporarily. Stay focused and work your play book.
The final core rule of marketing has to do with an area where most people tend to be lazy. Always keep track of your results. One of the first things I do in the morning is log onto my web host back room to view my traffic stats from the day before, and why you might ask? I want to keep track of shifts and recognizable patterns in user traffic to my site. By doing this, I’ve learned that Thursday of every week tends to be my lowest traffic day. I know which back links are working well at driving traffic to my web site and which ones are not working at all. Checking my results helps me to focus on what works, and avoid wasting my time in areas that don’t perform well.