When budgets are tight, many business owners look to their marketing. Because marketing is often intangible and direct returns can sometimes be difficult to measure, it’s often the first thing that businesses of all sizes will cut when they’re coming down to the proverbial wire.
While it’s true that some traditional marketing strategies can be astronomically costly, that isn't always the case. No matter how small your budget is, you can absolutely use your money wisely and have a massive impact on customers at every stage of the buyers’ journey.
Today, we’re going to talk about how to make the most out of a small marketing budget, and discuss the common marketing mistakes that may be costing you precious dollars.
Marketing On a Budget: Making the Most of Your Limited Funds
How Can You Make the Most Out of a Small Marketing Budget?
The key to making your marketing work is that you have to do the work. That may sound contrived, but it’s the truth. Even when your resources are low, you have to keep promoting your business in order to keep customers coming in the doors - relying on loyalty and word-of-mouth will only get you so far in our hyper-commercialized, hyper-competitive world.
If you have a small marketing budget, you have to be crystal clear about what your priorities are. Here are a few tips to help you do that:
- Actually having a marketing budget - this one sounds obvious, but you can’t stretch something if it doesn’t exist. Always allocate some of your resources - no matter how small - to marketing your business.
- Create Great Content and Publish it Widely - We love content marketing because it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a half. But how do you create great content that your customers will actually want to engage with? The trick is in knowing who your customers are - what do they want, what do they need? How can you offer solutions for what ails them? Use this information to create low-cost (or free!) blogs, videos, podcasts, etc. that will offer solutions to existing and potential customers.
- Pay to Play on Social - Simply running a business Facebook page is, unfortunately, not enough. If you are marketing on a budget, paid social media ads are an incredible way to get a huge bang for your buck.
- Invest in an Email Marketing System - Email marketing - when it’s done correctly - is an incredibly powerful, low-cost tool for reaching your customers wherever they are. A good email marketing system (we especially love MailChimp) will help you reach a huge number of consumers for a few pennies per message. This small investment can go a long way in creating top-of-mind awareness, expanding your re-marketing efforts, and increasing brand awareness.
What Are Some Common Marketing Mistakes That Small Business Owners Make?
When you are trying to do it all, something’s gotta give - and the truth is, for many small business owners, that ‘something’ is often code for ‘marketing’. We see the same mistakes over and over again in our line of work, and we want to save you from yourself. Even if you are operating on a shoestring budget, here are some mistakes that you absolutely must avoid if you want to make your business successful:
- Not having a website - it’s 2018, folks. Assume that your customers are going to Google you.
- Not tracking campaign performance - Google Analytics is a powerful tool for learning how your marketing efforts are performing, and for identifying opportunities to improve, innovate, and optimize. If you’re not tracking, there’s no way to learn from your mistakes (or your successes!).
- Not knowing what your competitors are doing - You’re digging your own grave if you aren’t keeping a thumb on your competitors’ pulse.
The list could go on. At the end of the day, if you are trying to market on a budget, our recommendation is this: invest in systems that are going to help you make your money go further such as email platforms, well-designed web presences, and an Analytics account-. Set yourself up for low cost success from the beginning. No matter your budget, with a little bit of planning you can craft a marketing strategy that will help your business easily skyrocket to the next level.
Growing your business on a budget? We can help! Download our Marketing How to Guide today and get your business glowing ASAP.