How do you feel when it comes to the idea of advertising your business? The idea might sound exciting and enticing because you’re eager to turn your small business into one that’s established, sustainable, and successful.
Though, things can get a little complicated and discouraging when you think about how to match your advertising and marketing goals with your budget.
Add to that the lack of time that most small-to-medium business owners have, and the task can quickly seem daunting.
Thankfully, there are multiple channels of communication that are affordable and effective. Not only that, but these methods don’t have to take up a lot of your time either.
Today, we’ll explore five types of communication channels that can be used to market your business and how to use them successfully.
4 affordable channels of communication that will help you advertise your business effectively
You know that one of the best ways to grow your business is with marketing and advertising. Unfortunately, the costs for many methods of communication in business can quickly add up to a grand total that most small to medium-sized businesses just can’t afford.
Thankfully, there are certain types of communication channels available to you that are affordable—or, even better, free. Another perk: with many of these, you don’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time on them in order to see results.
Here are five affordable channels of communication you should consider incorporating into your marketing plan as soon as possible.
1. Social media marketing
When social media first showed up on our radar, it was a platform for connecting with faraway family members and long-lost friends.
Nowadays, it’s an invaluable marketing tool for businesses. Most, if not all, of your target audience will likely have at least one social media account. When consumers log into their social media accounts, it’s not just to “hang out” with their friends. People actually seek out the brands they like and others they’re interested in discovering more about.
How does this benefit you?
First of all, if you’re on one or more social media platforms, customers will be more likely to find you. Having a social media presence means playing an active role on the platform, posting pictures, quotes, encouraging and/or funny messages, and interacting with your audience and potential customers.
Second, social media allows you to create a brand community. This is a group of people that are not just interested in your products and services—they’re actually committed to investing in your brand. Regularly interacting with these types of customers will not only keep them around, it will also encourage them to share your brand with their friends and family. It’s the digital version of word-of-mouth advertising.
Some important social media platforms for businesses include:
Do you feel overwhelmed looking at this list? You’re probably wondering, “How are these types of communication channels supposed to save me some time? There are so many of them!”
You’re not wrong—there are many social media platforms to choose from, and if you tried to be on all of them, you’d be spending hours and hours just on social media marketing alone. This is not a good use of your time.
Your best bet is to choose social media platforms:
- That you enjoy being on
- That complement your brand
- Where your target audience is sure to be found
Once you’re on those sites, keep in mind that your goal isn’t to come across as salesy. That’s a huge turnoff to anyone scrolling through their social media feed. Instead, your goal should be to build relationships with your community.
2. Your company website
Do you have a website? If you don’t, you’re missing a great opportunity. A website is one of the premier channels of communication between you and your audience.
Your website is all yours. You don’t have to worry about appearing too salesy because it’s a company website, people expect you to tell them about your products and services.
While a lot of consumers check out brands while they’re on social media, your website is where they’ll head if they have questions about your brand and what you have to offer. On your website, they can learn about:
- Your mission
- How you got started
- Who you are
- Your team
- The details about your products and services
Whether you’re a brick and mortar business, or strictly digital, you need a website. Whether you cater to other businesses or individual consumers, you need a website.
Having a website makes you more credible to your target audience. If you implement good SEO practices in your website copy, you’ll also be more easy to find when potential customers do a Google search. Additionally, your website gives you the opportunity to market your business 24/7.
Plus, your website is all yours. You don’t have to worry about losing your audience if a social media platform goes down. If they want to find you, they can quickly and easily do so by going to your website.
3. Content marketing: blogs and video content
Another one of the perks of having your own website is that you can take advantage of content marketing. Using written copy, in the form of a blog, as well as video content, are two of the best types of communication channels for small-to-medium businesses.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Content marketing allows you to do two important things for your business.
First, it allows you to provide value to your customers. In the past, people made purchasing decisions based on the information they received from a brand’s sales team. In our digital age, though, people are less likely to rely on a salesperson. Instead, they’d prefer to do their own research online. After all, nearly anything can be found online with just a few keystrokes.
Your customer base doesn’t just want to learn general facts about your brand and your products or services. They want to find a solution to a problem they’re facing. You can provide this for them in the form of blog and video content.
The more value you can offer them for free, the more likely they’ll be to invest in your business down the road.
Second, content marketing helps with your SEO efforts. In fact, having a blog is one of the best ways to be easily found online. The more quality content you churn out, the higher your Google ranking will eventually become.
4. Email marketing
If you’re searching for the most valuable methods of communication in business, look no further than email marketing.
The main reason why this form of marketing is so important is that you own your email list. A lot of companies forget about this. They spend most, if not all, of their time on social media marketing. They aim to grow a large following on these platforms, assuming that the larger the following they have, the higher their conversion rates will be.
The problem with this line of reasoning is that you don’t have control over the social media platforms. At any time, the powers that be can change their algorithms, as well as their rules and policies pertaining to companies and marketing.
If you choose to get off of social media or a site shuts down (permanently or temporarily), you lose access to all of your followers.
The great thing about email marketing is that you own your list of subscribers, as well as all of your content. Essentially, you get to make the rules. You don’t have to worry about social media algorithms or abide by the rules that serve someone else’s agenda.
Your email list is all about you and the relationship you can develop with your subscribers. It’s a very personal way to get to know your audience and to meet their needs. Email newsletters are one of the best ways to provide your subscribers with pertinent information, even beating websites and blogs, according to SMB executives.
Another reason to start incorporating email marketing: it can save you a ton of time and money.
Designing a professional-looking email with quality content doesn’t take a lot of time and is really affordable, especially when compared to the time and money spent on:
- Television advertising
- Print advertising
- Direct mail campaigns
All of these channels of communication have another drawback, too: There’s no guarantee you’ll see any results.
On the other hand, email marketing, when done right, is cost-effective and, more often than not, more effective at attracting attention and improving your conversion rate than these other types of communication channels.
You might think we’re a little biased when it comes to the best channels of communication. Obviously, we believe in the power of email marketing. However, the team at Campaign Monitor recognizes the importance of utilizing many marketing tools and platforms. After all, putting all of your eggs in one basket is never a good idea.
When creating your marketing strategy, make sure to implement:
- The social media platforms that work best for your brand and audience
- Content marketing, including blogs and videos
- Regular email marketing
Also, don’t forget the importance of having a website. These various types of communication channels, when used together, can lead to higher conversion rates, and ultimately, to the success and longevity of your business.
As a small business owner, you need to be extra judicious when it comes to your marketing funds. It can be easy to try and cut costs where you can. That’s why we offer multiple pricing options for businesses.