January 2018: Blast from the Past

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How to Market ... on a Budget By Lindsey Wregglesworth By this time, you’ve probably solidified your goals and strategies for the 2018 fiscal year. Along with this comes establishing your budgets for the year. We understand firsthand that every dealer and manufacturer we work with has different needs and different capacities (aka money) to implement our services. There is plenty you can do with a small budget; you just need to get creative and think outside the box. In this article we want to share some ideas for things you can do if your marketing budget happens to be limited. Here’s our list of 10 low-cost marketing ideas: Content Generation: As the inbound marketing trend continues to grow, we encourage you to jump on the bandwagon by creating educational, insightful content that can help your customer base, and by publishing it in every way you can think of – on your own business blog, on an industry website, or even on Reddit. Content Recycling: Is your creativity spent from writing article after article for your business’s blog? Consider recycling some of that old material and repurposing it for your email newsletter, social media, or even reposting on your blog. There’s no shame in using what you already have at your disposal! Email Marketing: Although there are plenty of snazzy services available to provide you with personalized, automated emails, these often come at a pretty steep cost. Consider how you could use your traditional email platform to send out quarterly or monthly newsletters, promotions, etc., to get the word out about your latest news and offerings. Social Media: If you aren’t already on the social media bandwagon, there’s no time like the present to hop on! Social media has changed everything for businesses and consumers. You may think your customers wouldn’t benefit from your business’s social page, but you’d be surprised how userfriendly and community-building these pages can be! Ad Promo Credit: Not sure if you can fully invest yet in advertising for your business, but want to test the waters? Many platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn,

There is plenty you can do with a small budget; you just need to get creative and think outside the box. and Google, offer promo credits to get businesses interested in advertising. Think about which of these offers might work best for your business and give them a try – you’ve literally got nothing to lose but their money! Video Marketing: We’ve kept our eye on the booming trend of video marketing, and it seems to be an excellent way to get your business noticed by social communities, or to increase engagement through your email marketing. Even if your prospect doesn’t think they have time to read through an article, everyone finds time in their day for a video. With the technology available on smartphones today, you can create your own with little equipment. Just make sure it’s tasteful and clear. DIY Collateral: Don’t have a graphic designer at your disposal? No problem! Nowadays there are plenty of tutorials to help you learn how to create flyers, one sheeters, or infographics. We’ve loved the

program Canva, which is a free beginner’s design program that comes with templates for each type of collateral you are aiming to create. Customer Referral Program: We recently wrote an article on the topic of customer loyalty and how referral programs are a great way to garner loyalty for your business. Customer referral programs are beneficial because you are able to credit those customers who bring in new business, thus not spending anything extra on big prizes. Industry Partnerships: If you find yourself short on funds for a project or special event, such as a county fair booth, consider teaming up with another local business (but not a competitor) to showcase both companies’ offerings. This also takes the pressure off of your team, as there is power in numbers when it comes to event planning and exhibiting. You could even team up for an online promotion and split the cost of a big giveaway! Customer Appreciation Day: Make sure your customers know you appreciate them by hosting a simple cookout or potluck at your dealership, where customers can feel less like a commodity and more like family. This can deepen your partnerships and even generate some local buzz around town! There are millions more creative ways you can market your business locally and broadly to your industry prospects.

LINDSEY WREGGLESWORTH is the marketing manager at Commercial Web Services, a division of Trader Interactive, which specializes in providing commercial dealers and manufacturers with products and services to establish and grow their online presence in today’s market. 62 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | January 2018

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