Seeding, Sponsorship and Social Media.

When it comes to marketing it can sometimes seem like you’re floundering in a sea of opportunities.  Too many marketing strategies to choose from – especially if you don’t have the largest of budgets.

Well, there are some clever ways that the savvy marketer can make every advertising dollar stretch as far as possible.  And not all of them need force your bank balance even more into the red.

Take social media, for example.

Never, ever underestimate the power of Twitter and Facebook.  These are probably two of the small business owner’s best friends – and you should ignore them at your peril.  Gone are the days that Facebook was the domain of teenagers telling their mates that they’d been dumped by their boyfriend, or posting embarrassing drunken photos.  Today, Facebook is the power house it is simply because of its business and advertising potential.  Not a business alive today should be without a Facebook and Twitter presence.  And if you haven’t wised up to that fact yet – then do so, and fast!

Sponsorship

Whilst sponsoring events might seem like a big expense, it really doesn’t have to be.  After all, levels of sponsorship range from giving a few hundred dollars to a local event to the multi-million dollar affairs for global gigs.

Depending on what your business does, sponsorship really can reach out to your target audience.  Take Scot Kilmartin from the company, Haul.  His business sells recycled billboard products that have been turned into items such as laptop and notebook covers.  His target market is the young, urban, fashion conscious crowd.  The type of people who go to rock gigs and parties.  So by sponsoring these kinds of events his company name (and therefore goods) are being showcased specifically to the people who’re going to purchase their products.

So while it might cost a bit in the sponsorship outlay, the returns it brings means that the expense really is just peanuts.

Clever – huh!  It’s all about picking and choosing how you spend your marketing budget.

Seeding

We all know that the big fashion labels give freebies to the beautiful people so their products get mentioned in the tabloid press.  Well, so you can do the same – just on a more local level.

Seeding is all about giving influential people free stuff, and if done right really can return a whole load of bang for your buck.  Getting your product seen, mentioned and noticed is the whole idea of seeding.

And you don’t necessarily need to give stuff away to people who’re already famous names.  The savvy marketer will pick people who he (or she) thinks are just poised on the brink of success.  Get it right and not only will the person or people you’ve seeded love you forever, but you’re product is likely to get a whole load of exposure and ride on the back of that person’s success.

And it doesn’t just need to be famous (or soon to be famous) people.  Depending on what your product is, try giving something away to someone who works in a large office environment.  If you’re product is good (and it should be, otherwise why are you bothering with it), then others will see it and hopefully become customers.

So as you see, marketing doesn’t need to cost you a fortune.  It just needs to bring in the custom.  Think outside the box, think sideways – study your competition and see if you can use a slant on successful marketing strategies they’ve used.

And never stop evolving – that’s the true mark of a successful marketer and business.  And the odd bit of good luck, of course.  We can all do with a little bit of that, just once in a while.