If you’re starting a new business, or operating a small business on a tight budget, you may think promotion will be an expensive and difficult thing to organise. Even established, household name companies spend millions getting their message across, and it’s easy to consider yourself a small fish in a big pond.

But bringing your brand to public attention – on whatever scale you can think of – doesn’t have to eat into your annual net profit. Here are some simple steps you can take to spread the word cost-effectively, in a way that will maximise your revenue in the long run.

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Back to basics – a poster campaign

A poster campaign is the classic route to enticing people to use of your business. Posters remain cheap to print, and continue to be simple and effective – particularly if you use a printing agency with an in-house designer. Coming up with an eye-catching slogan or design, coupled with locations which will maximise the visibility of your message, are a vital way to drum up local business or simply let the world know that you exist.

Posters are also extremely versatile, and can be used not only for external marketing, but internally. Be they motivational posters, outlines of company policy or an accompaniment to a client presentation, you will be able to convey information concisely and accessibly in a way that will stick.

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Set up a blog and raise your social media profile

By now, the importance of blogging and social media shouldn’t need to be restated, but there are still some businesses who are holding out on having a web presence. By regularly posting new content on your site’s blog or news page, you will be developing your website beyond simply providing information, singling yourself out as an expert in your field. This will also improve your rankings in Google, making you more visible to anyone searching for companies in your industry. Crucially, you can also establish a tone for your brand, giving your potential customers an insight into the kind of people they will be working with, and more ways in which to get in touch with you – particularly with the rise of mobile internet.

From there, it makes sense to open your own social media profiles, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. By doing so, you can share your own content more widely, as well as that of others, and further develop your company’s public personality. It also allows you to engage in one-to-one dialogue with your existing customers and, most importantly, with potential customers.

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Don’t be afraid of email marketing

If you are looking to target specific sorts of business with an email campaign, it is possible to purchase mailing lists from other sources. Companies such as Electric Marketing and Experian can provide you with people who may be interested in the work you are doing, and simply aren’t aware of it yet. Be aware, though, that marketing messages of this nature need to adhere to certain guidelines, such as clearly including an unsubscribe option.

If you give your followers the option to subscribe to your mailing list, it can be a useful way to keep people informed of what you’re doing. Social media is a great way to gauge the size of your customer base, but by adding a mailing list option to your blog and website, you’ll be able to extend the your reach of your business even further.

Keeping an eye on the people who interact with you via social media, or sign up for your mailing list, is also an invaluable way to improve your spending on pay per click (PPC) advertising. By analysing the data, you will be able to create posts which target the specific groups or demographics who are interested in your business. It all adds up to a better relationship between your business and your customers, and a boost to your public profile.