When circumstances are tight for small businesses, one of the first areas to reduce is marketing spending. While spreading the word about your enterprise is critical, especially in today’s difficult economic climate, there are still many ways to generate much-needed buzz for your venture, even if you lack access to large sums of funding. If you’re working with a limited and very low marketing budget, continue reading for the strategies for making the most of a tiny marketing budget.
As a small business owner, you know how difficult it is to manage and spend your budget effectively and efficiently. This is especially critical for your marketing budget because you risk losing a significant amount of money if you spend it incorrectly.
Today we’ll look at different ways to approach your marketing budget while prioritizing and managing it effectively to achieve the best outcomes. Let’s get started!
Identify your business objectives
The most effective strategy to manage your marketing budget is to outline your business objectives and the types of things you wish to accomplish. Many firms would argue that they want to reach as many people as possible to optimize their sales, but is that truly the case?
Nowadays, the most intelligent company decisions are data-driven, therefore spend time addressing and defining your target market. Establish clear goals, such as the demographic you wish to engage with, the number of sales you wish to achieve, and the level of social media development you desire.
Be precise and concise to obtain the greatest outcomes possible, rather than shooting into the dark and hope to hit something.
Read more on business objectives here.
Make social media a ‘Priority’
Social media requires little, if any, financial commitment, making it ideal for businesses working on a shoestring budget. If you currently have a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter, investigate some of the newer social sharing platforms like Pinterest, Google Plus, Instagram, and even StumbleUpon, which are potential possibilities. Simply ensure that you maintain a tight check on your content as you expand, which should always be of good quality.
Pursue No-Fee Public Relations
Obtaining free public relations for your business begins with relationship building. Consult the website Meetup for local journalist gatherings or personally contact a few members of the local media. Do not begin by requesting an opportunity; instead, get to know your contacts and inform them about your business. Inquire about an interview opportunity, whether in print, on television, or the radio, when the timing is perfect. To make things easier for them, generate your own proposed queries and answers. It could be the deciding factor in securing the interview.
Extend your budget with cheap content
While video marketing material is big business, and there is no doubt that video content is king, if you have a little budget and spend 90% of it on a single video, you will be unable to diversify your content kinds and severely limit your content your potential.
Let’s face it, most individuals, who read ‘all’ people, despise advertisements. Most individuals either ignore them or deliberately block them using an ad blocker. Rather than that, create material that people can relate to and enjoy, whether amusing or educational.
For the cost of a single video, you could develop dozens of blogs that would enable you to reach so many more people in various ways. This way, you may also experiment with what works and what doesn’t and explore new ideas that come up along the route.
Expand your network
By expanding your professional network, you may be able to generate some great advertising through bartering your skills. If you own a computer repair company, offer to perform diagnostics for a local advertising agency in exchange for designing print advertisements or performing other marketing services. If you’re on a shoestring budget, you’re going to have to get creative to make it work.
Joint Advertising at Bus Stops
A tiny advertisement on a bus stop seat or even a covered station is far less expensive than a billboard. To further reduce your expenses, seek out a partner in your neighborhood who operates a comparable firm to yours. Create a dual advertising approach, and you effectively obtain half-price advertising space.
After implementing these tactics, if you still believe you require additional marketing expenditures, consider cutting costs in other areas of your organization. Sign up for a customer loyalty program at your chosen retailer to receive free or heavily discounted office supplies. Conduct an energy audit to determine ways to reduce your office’s utility costs. And never forget that offering superior customer service is one of the most effective and cost-effective marketing methods available.
Develop Your Visual Creativity (And Make Content for Less)
Identifying ways to incorporate promotional content creation into routine tasks (i.e., the things you’re already doing) saves you time and money. Involve everyone in your firm in the creation of visual advertising content.
Consider a hair salon: Solicit images of your stylists’ work from them and post them to Instagram. Utilize relevant hashtags to ensure that those who aren’t following you may locate your content. I advocate using a service such as Sprout Social or Hootsuite to allow for content approval by a manager. In that case, you’ll almost certainly wind up with more content than you need, and you’ll have spent no money creating it.
And why limit yourself to still photographs when you can achieve the same thing with the video? While I enjoy working on location with a film crew and agency actors, not all (or even most) of your video content, need to be a full-fledged red-carpet production.
Do you own a smartphone equipped with a camera? Naturally, you do. Utilize it to collect (willing) client testimonials, create a photo exhibition of your work, give your consumers a brief glimpse into the inner workings of your firm, or stand in front of it for a few minutes and discuss your expertise. Install photo and video editing programs on the phone in question (I recommend iMovie for iPhone and Snapseed for Android or iPhone) and promote!
If the smartphone isn’t quite up to the task at hand, consider investing in a DSLR camera—they’re reasonable and create amazing photographs and video.
For more Marketing Budget, check out one of our other guides here.