Every industry has undergone tremendous alterations in the past few years, owing to various technological advances. While times might have changed, one thing that remains constant is the need for marketing.
Without people knowing about your business and your product, they will not be tempted to buy it regardless of how great it is. A majority of companies allocate 4 to 6 percent of their revenue on marketing.
But, when you are a small business with limited revenue, the percentage you end up spending on marketing might be more, but the absolute value is quite less.
For instance, according to Clutch, 47 percent of small businesses end up spending less than 10,000 USD on digital marketing – which in today’s world is considered to be one of the most effective mediums.
If you are a business owner experiencing a budget constraint, your marketing efforts don’t necessarily have to suffer. Instead, here are tips you can use to make the most out of your marketing budget.
Boost your online visibility through SEO
According to Think with Google, over 76 percent of people who search for items on their phones end up visiting a related business within a day of their initial search. Additionally, 68 percent of all online experiences start with a query on a search engine.
With such statistics, it is understandable why you must ensure that your website appears on top for the right keywords. This comes under search engine optimization.
For businesses with a limited budget, a great strategy could be to target the low-hanging fruits. In other words, optimize your content for long-tail keywords and primary words that feature low competition.
Moreover, compared to conventional marketing efforts and paid advertising, writing blog posts and optimizing it with the right words is considerably cost-effective.
If you can afford it, seek help from a quality SEO consultancy firm. This will help to ensure that every penny you invest reaps results.
Focus on the marketing channels that work for you
Even with the world of digital marketing, there are a plethora of platforms and campaigns you can try. For example, Facebook features different types of ads, including lead generation, awareness, and carousel ads.
While established businesses have enough budget to allocate to all platforms and ad types, not all businesses do. Here, business owners must begin by researching where their target audience is.
For instance, here are the demographics of average users of the different popular social media platforms.
Sketch out your ideal buyer and identify the platforms they are most likely to use. Only stick to these platforms for your marketing efforts. Additionally, learn from your previous campaigns to further target your efforts.
Also, another great trick is to monitor your competitors and see which campaigns feature the most engagement for them.
Things that worked for you previously, and companies in your niche currently are likely to be the least risky way to spend your marketing budget.
Leverage word of mouth
Do you know an excellent marketing tactic that doesn’t even cost much? Converting your customers into your advocates!
As per Nielson, 92 percent of consumers trust product and business recommendations they receive from their friends and family.
Additionally, 74 percent of people find the word of mouth to be among the key influencer in their purchase decision.
So much is the power of word of mouth that brands, both big and small, wish to leverage word of mouth marketing. But how can a small business do so?
There are two ways. Firstly, you should ensure that you treat your current customers well. Do so via impeccable customer service and after-support assistance. The more favorable experience with a brand is, the more likely a given consumer will recommend it to others.
Secondly, provide incentives to your current customers. Whether it be referral codes or coupons, encourage them to leave positive reviews or bring in more customers.
During its initial days, Dropbox used this marketing tactic to draw referral traffic to its platform. It offered free storage space to customers who referred to the cloud solution to others. This helped the platform growing immensely.
Collaborate with other small businesses
At any given time, there are various small businesses struggling to make it to the top. It turns out; you don’t necessarily always have to compete with one another. Instead, you can leverage the customer base, expertise, and connections of different small businesses to create a mutually beneficial impact.
Whether it be pooling money for joint marketing efforts or collaborating for online giveaways and contests, there are various ways you can cross-promote.
This can help in attracting customers as well as publicity to your businesses. For instance, Macy’s has collaborated with a nonprofit organization called Special Books by Special Kids as well as Make-a-Wish Foundation. Similarly, sellers on Etsy team up for giving giveaways.
In such campaigns, co-sponsors promote one another on their social media channels. This way, the two (or more) companies can reach a wider audience.
Use Influencer Marketing
While your business might have limited reach, you can leverage the customer base of others. One way to do so is through influencer marketing.
According to a 2015 study, businesses make $6.50 for every dollar they spend on influencer marketing. You will find all businesses, whether small or big, using this strategy because modern consumers trust influencers’ words more than brands.
Here is an example of an influencer promoting a face mask by Bare Minerals.
We know what you are thinking. Influencers are quite expensive. While the task might be hard, you will find rising influencers within your niche that will fall within your budget. Additionally, you can offer them a commission on sales, rather than a flat fee.
When you are strapped for cash, marketing may seem impossible. However, thanks to modern tactics of marketing, you can promote your brand in a cost-effective manner.
Use these five tips to make the most out of your budget. Take inspiration from the brands around you. Good luck!