- Course Title
- Small Business Marketing on a Shoestring
When it comes to marketing for small businesses, money isn't everything! In this course, you'll learn how to use the same marketing tricks the big companies employ—without making a big dent in your wallet.
As you build your own customized marketing plan step-by-step, you'll discover how to attract your target audiences, entice customers to buy your product or service, and keep buyers coming back for more. In addition, you'll find out how to generate the referrals that are crucial to your company's success. You'll get tips on evaluating your tactics, tracking your results, and fine-tuning your approach so it gets better every year. Best of all, the small business marketing strategies you'll learn will fit into any budget—and some are even free!
With the help of videos, spreadsheets, and hands-on activities, you'll build your skills in each lesson. You'll master cost-effective strategies including strategic partnerships, local marketing, search engine optimization, social networking, e-mail marketing, lead generation, and niche marketing. Along the way, you'll see many real-world examples from other small businesses much like yours.
Whether you’re new to advertising or looking for a refresher, this course will make you a marketing pro. And by the time you're done, you’ll have a personalized plan of action for increasing your sales—all on a shoestring budget. Offered in partnership with ed2go.
- Explore the Purchase Decision Cycle and discover effective and inexpensive ways to market at each stage of this cycle.
- Discover how to make a great first impression, position yourself as an expert, and use the media effectively.
- Learn about the advantages of marketing partnerships, place-based marketing, and word-of-mouth campaigns.
- Get tips on how to create an attractive and inexpensive Web site, obtain a domain name and e-mail address, and select a service provider.
- Explore on-page and off-page search engine optimization techniques.
- Discover how to follow up leads using online and traditional marketing techniques.
- Look into ways to foster repeat sales and encourage referrals, and find out how to create an effective customer database.
- Learn how to choose the best marketing tactics for your business and how to schedule your marketing campaigns effectively.
- Get to know your target market better, so you can enhance your marketing efforts.
- Create key selling messages that will resonate with your potential buyers.
- Determine your business and marketing goals and finalize your marketing plan.
- Master the art of using metrics to evaluate your marketing efforts so you can continually refine your campaigns.
Wednesday - Lesson 01
If you own a small business and need to stretch your marketing dollars, you’ve come to the right place! In today’s lesson, you’ll discover that you can promote your business effectively for just pennies—or sometimes even for free. The secret: a systematic marketing plan that targets your audience at every stage of the purchasing cycle.
Friday - Lesson 02
The first step in successful marketing is getting people to notice you—and today, we’ll look at three ways to achieve that goal. We’ll start by talking about how to create a great first impression, both in person and through your brand. Next, you’ll find out how to position yourself as an expert in your field. And finally, we’ll talk about using the media to promote your business.
Wednesday - Lesson 03
Want to stretch your marketing dollars to the max? Then put the power of partnerships to work for you. In this lesson, you’ll discover how to combine forces with other individuals or businesses to create exciting and effective marketing opportunities. In addition, we’ll talk about enlisting other people in your place-based marketing and word-of-mouth campaigns.
Friday - Lesson 04
These days, a Web site is an essential marketing tool for any business. And here’s the good news: You can create an attractive, professional-looking Web site quickly and easily, for only a few dollars. You’ll find out how in this lesson—and you’ll also learn the ins and outs of obtaining a domain name, getting a matching e-mail address, laying out your Web site, and finding a hosting provider if you need one.
Wednesday - Lesson 05
When you’re done creating your Web site, it’s time for the next step: drawing traffic to it. In today’s lesson, we’ll explore how to do this through on-page and off-page search engine optimization (SEO). In addition, we’ll look at pay-per-click ads, banner ads, classified ads, videos, and a host of other low-cost or free ways to draw attention online.
Friday - Lesson 06
Successful business owners master the art of finding and cultivating leads, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. We’ll investigate everything from old-fashioned fishbowls to Facebook Business pages and Twitter, and we’ll talk about the pros and cons of e-mail and direct mail marketing. Whether you’re a traditionalist or a techie, you’ll find an approach that’s just right for you.
Wednesday - Lesson 07
Congratulations: You’ve scored a sale! Now, how can you keep your new customer coming back for more? In this lesson, we’ll talk about inexpensive or free ways to generate repeat sales. In addition, we’ll look at a variety of techniques for encouraging referrals—and finally, we’ll talk about capturing your customer information in a database.
Friday - Lesson 08
Some marketing efforts bring crowds of customers to your door. Others are a complete flop, wasting your time and money. How can you choose wisely? By doing some up-front analysis—and that’s what we’ll talk about today. When you complete today’s lesson, you’ll be equipped with all the tools you need to choose marketing tactics that have a high potential for success. In addition, you’ll learn why integrated marketing gives you the best results, and you’ll find out how to schedule a full year of marketing activities easily and efficiently.
Wednesday - Lesson 09
Sure, you want everyone to buy your product—but when you’re marketing, it pays to be exclusive. Today, you’ll find out why niche marketing can bring in more customers than mass marketing (and create a more loyal customer base as well). After that, you’ll learn how to use geographics, demographics, firmographics, psychographics, and behavioral data to create a marketing message that resonates with your target market.
Friday - Lesson 10
In this lesson, we’ll talk about key selling messages—those alluring words that overcome potential buyers’ objections and make them want to make a purchase immediately. You’ll learn how to identify the unique features of your business, how to create a competitive positioning statement, and—most important of all—how to identify the emotional benefits that motivate your buyers. By the time you’re done, you’ll be able to distill your new knowledge into a short, powerful message that will turn skeptical people into eager customers.
Wednesday - Lesson 11
Today, it all comes together! First, you’ll create the two final elements of your marketing plan: your business goals and your marketing goals. You’ll discover how to create goals that are clear-cut, realistic, and measurable, so you’ll be motivated to meet (or even exceed) the targets you set. After that, you’ll roll all of your information into a single document that will be your blueprint for marketing success. With this marketing plan in hand, you’ll be ready to take your prospective buyers by storm.
Friday - Lesson 12
In our final lesson, we’ll talk about tracking—the secret to continually improving your marketing tactics and increasing your profits. You’ll learn how to create a baseline and compile reports that can highlight your marketing successes and point to areas where you can improve. In addition, you’ll discover different ways to track your campaigns—including the campaigns you might think are “untrackable.”
Method of Instruction