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Marketing on a Budget

By July 9, 2019 August 21st, 2019 No Comments

Marketing on a Budget

Marketing is an essential part of running a successful business. It informs consumers that your business exists, explains what you have to offer, provides product differentiation in the market, and provides many other incredible benefits.

However, many businesses find it difficult to obtain the money needed for a fully-fledged marketing campaign. Hiring marketing professionals can be expensive and many forms of marketing require a significant upfront investment.

Fortunately, there are a few clever marketing strategies available that are ideal for businesses on a tight a budget. This post will share the best of these strategies.

Start by defining objectives

Before you begin using the techniques below, take a moment to decide what you want to achieve with your marketing strategy. Is it about raising awareness of your business or promoting a specific product? Are you trying to improve awareness amongst local consumers or expand the brand nationally? Identifying your key objectives will help you decide which marketing strategies to pursue and how to make the most of each strategy.

Know your audience

Take a close look at your customer base and their demographics. Are they mostly Internet savvy young people or are they older people who are unlikely to know what a “Twitter” is?  

Will you audience be more receptive towards local marketing techniques or do you need to reach out to them using targeted online advertisements? Are they mostly male or female? What are their primary considerations when making a purchase? This information will help you craft an affordable and effective campaign.

Know your enemy (Competitors)

It’s also important to examine the marketing efforts of your competitors. What they are doing may give you some hints about what is the most cost-effective option and may tell you which techniques to avoid. You may also see ways that you can market your business more effectively than they can (more attractive website design, more engagement via social media and so on).

Create some fantastic content

Content marketing is an affordable marketing technique that can establish your business as an authority in your chosen industry. It can also lead to better brand recognition, more consumer engagement, and more profit.

The idea is simple — to publish high-quality content that your target audience would find ‘valuable’ in some way. Valuable content is any content that the reader finds informative or enjoyable, including articles, blog posts, white papers, infographics and so on.

This content can be shared in several ways including:

  • Posted to your own website or blog
  • Posted to someone else’s website or blog
  • Shared on social media
  • Published in magazines, newspapers, or trade journals

As your content is consumed, shared, and republished, it improves the reputation of you and your business. This leads to more website traffic, better search engine optimisation and a raft of other benefits.

Social media marketing

This is another relatively new form of marketing which has exploded in popularity in recent years. It involves the use social media platforms and websites to promote products and services.

It is an excellent way to:

  • Increase customer engagement and customer satisfaction
  • Improve brand awareness, brand loyalty, and brand authority
  • Boost web traffic
  • Improve search engine rankings
  • Gain market insights
  • Obtain thought leadership

Best of all, it is cheap. Anyone can sign up to a social media account and begin posting information about their business. You can post news, reviews, promotional events (sales and discount codes), community events, and much more. It can also be used to provide support to your current customers and interact with prospective customers. Most social media platforms are free to use, so your only cost is time.

Create useful videos

If you have the gift of the gab and don’t mind being filmed, consider creating some informative videos. You could film products reviews, interviews, workshop tours, or instructional guides. The material you film can be uploaded to online video sharing platforms and social media websites including YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo.

Consumers love  video content and it provide the same benefits as other forms of content marketing (brand awareness, trust, web traffic etc). Because this content is so highly-valued amongst consumers, it often triggers the reciprocity effect — where the viewer feels like they owe you something and are eager to ‘pay it back’ by making a purchase or sharing your content with friends.

Look for PPC discount offers

Pay Per Click (PPC) is an Internet-based advertising model, where the advertiser pays a publisher whenever their ad is clicked. The PPC advertising sector is quite competitive with companies vying to obtain more advertisers. Because it is so competitive, companies offering PPC will often offer discounts and free advertising vouchers. Use these vouchers to obtain free or low cost online advertising.

Implement a customer referral program

Word of mouth has always been one of the best ways to promote a business and it is even more powerful now, thanks to social media. Start an online referral program, where existing customers get a discount if they refer one of their friends who goes on to make a purchase. You can leverage the power of social media and email marketing to make it easy for customers to share their referral code with others.

Email marketing

This is another very affordable marketing technique made available thanks to the advent of the Internet. In addition to being inexpensive, email marketing:

  • Improves customer engagement and helps you build strong customer relationships
  • Increases conversions
  • Helps you develop a unique brand
  • Provides another outlet for your content marketing efforts
  • Helps you reach customers across the globe
  • Is highly trackable
  • Helps you deliver targeted messages

Read this great guide for tips on setting up an email marketing campaign.

Apply for industry awards

There are dozens of industry groups which gives out awards each year. In most cases, it is free to nominate your business for these events and if you win, it can provide a lot of free publicity for your enterprise.

Online contests

Consider running an online contest for subscribers of your newsletter and the people who follow you on social media. Make sharing a social media post the requirements for entry, so your customers will be actively promoting you to their friends to enter. This useful post has some advice on how to run an online contest.

Host an event or workshop at your business

This is an excellent strategy for businesses that have a physical store. Hold weekly or monthly events that offer some value to people in your local community. This could include:

  • Free samplings of your products (great for cafes and bakeries)
  • Workshops where you teach valuable skills
  • Demonstration sessions where you walk people through using a product, tool, or piece of software

Promote the event on social media, distribute leaflets, and post on community noticeboards to get people interested.

Sponsor a local event or sporting team

People love supporting a business that supports their community. Consider putting a small amount of money behind a local charity event or sporting team. At the very least, you will gain some goodwill from local consumers. It can also lead to improvements in your website’s search engine optimisation if the sponsorship results in incoming links and mentions in online news stories.

Thanks for reading Marketing On A Budget. If you are looking for more low-budget marketing strategies, contact us today