Rwanda Express (Kigali)

16 June 2012

Rwanda: How to Market Your Business Effectively Without Spending Much

opinion

Every day businesses are cropping up here and there in Rwanda and this is causing sleepless nights to business owners who wonder how to keep their feet on the ground to survive the stiff competition on the market.

Well, the most important thing every entrepreneur ought to think about at such a height of doing business is how to effectively market their businesses/products.

A lot has been said and done as far as marketing techniques that worry start-up business owners who wonder where they are to get the marketing budget.

There is no need to worry anymore especially in this period and time. The social web makes it more cost-effective than ever to get the word out about your products and services, no matter what industry you're in.

It becomes even easier since most social media accounts are free to set up, and many targeted online ad platforms are inexpensive.

So if you going to worry, it is not going to lack of the marketing budget but rather you need to think hard about is finding a strategy to get your message heard over the crowded Internet where potential consumers are found.

In this article, we are going to explore some of the valuable techniques to employ in marketing in the information age.

According to mashable.com, advertising is not always the best way to market on social networks. People crave valuable content, and it can be as niche as the very products you are selling.

By blogging, tweeting, sharing, and updating about things relevant to your industry, you can build credibility in your field.

You can write how-to articles, create educational videos about your products in action, or post pictures and tweet out commentary from an industry trade show. Every piece of content you post online -- whether it's on your blog, your Facebook Page, or on third-party sites -- has the potential to boost your brand and drive search results and traffic at very little or no cost.

YouTube is an often overlooked platform for building low cost, high impact content. A small investment in a consumer-level camera and editing software, and a bit of time learning the basics of video production can pay out big in the long term.

The social web has changed both the medium and the message for marketers; this can be a very positive thing if you understand the social media network and influence it to your advantage.

The key is targeting and cultivating super users -- customers who are already fans of your brand, and share their positivity about it on the web.

"If I know there's a Twitter user who loves purses and talks about them a lot (which I can find using Twitter Search), and I sell purses, I reach out to her and offer her 20% off to come in or check out my catalog online, just because I know she likes purses," said Jason Falls, a social media strategist and consultant whose blog discusses the online marketing industry.

"If she blogs about purses, maybe I send her a new model with a note that says, 'Thanks for telling people about purses. We dig you.' I'm betting she'd talk about me, and I didn't have to break the bank to get the conversational love."

When an endorsement comes from someone outside of your company, like a trusted blogger or social sharer, it has greater value and reach than anything you could send through official channels.

You can't control what the social web says about your brand directly, but by identifying and wooing brand ambassadors, you can certainly have an influence the kind that no paid advertisement can match.

Another thing is that you have to ensure that people can find on the web. This point may seem obvious, but it's a common misstep, especially for new businesses.

If and when people hear about your brand, they will go straight to their favorite services like google and other listing sites to find out more about you. Take the time to ensure that your entry there is accurate, and that there are direct links to your website and phone numbers. It is a good marketing strategy.

Now that you this information in hand, go on and spread the word about your products on those social medias and watch your business grow without investing much in the marketing and advertisement.

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