A small business means a small budget. A small budget means a limited range of strategies, tools, and ways in which the business can be promoted. However, if you want to raise brand awareness and get your products or services to reach people, you have to show them that you exist. While you’re letting them know about it, you should use the opportunity to provide information about your products and services, focusing on what makes them more favorable to what other companies have to offer.
Large companies with substantial marketing budgets have a plethora of options at their disposal – from spending enormous sums of money to advertise on prime-time TV (according to Fortune, a 30-second Super Bowl ad costs as much as $5 million) to hiring the most renowned professionals in the advertising field. Small businesses, on the other hand, can’t afford such luxury, but this doesn’t mean that they should give up, because with the right implementation of strategic marketing and a bit more creativity, they can reach their customers without breaking the bank. Here is how you can make your marketing both affordable and efficient at the same time.
1. Test your way through
Thanks to the Internet, and all the tools and software we have at our disposal, we need to keep track of every online promotion campaign, gather and analyze data, and see which campaigns are effective and which are fruitless. The ones that don’t work should be abandoned immediately. Test multiple ads on different platforms, and find out which of them led to most conversions and had the biggest reach. It’s a fairly cheap and small-scale process for choosing promotional methods that work best for you.
2. Narrow your audience down
Defining your target customer base is the first step of every single marketing-related activity. Who are the people you want to reach? Who might be interested in your products? You just don’t want to waste your small budget on trying to attract people that don’t understand and are not interested in you have to offer. Collect information about your customers with marketing automation software, see who’s buying with the help of conversion tracking, and carry out surveys to gather important information about potential clients.
3. Social media
It is the most used and least expensive way of attracting customers and keeping in touch with them. Social media ad campaigns are relatively inexpensive, but do require some time and dedication, because the content you want to promote should be relevant, informative, and carefully planned. Even with all this in place, you can’t expect it to work overnight, because it takes time to instill trust and build interest, but once it happens, you’ll have a base of new customers that you gained by spending only some spare change and a bit of time.
4. Email marketing
When it comes to retaining customers and cutting advertising costs, email marketing is a particularly interesting and useful idea since attracting a new customer is more expensive than keeping the existing one. Email marketing allows you to build a database of your customers’ emails, and reach out to inform them about events and special discounts, or offer special incentives (a discount code available only to those subscribed to your mailing list). It’s one of the most efficient and cheapest advertising tools at your disposal.
5. Traditional advertising
The digital realm has a lot to offer, but you shouldn’t neglect traditional means of advertising. There are still people who respond better to it – people from your neighborhood who’d rather see for themselves what you have to offer them. Get help from a graphic designer and a printing company. Have the designer create graphic solutions for your visual ideas and concepts and, with affordable digital printing services, you can print high-quality images on a wide range of solutions. Use the whole, unjustly neglected assortment of marketing methods. Find companies like Carbon8 that offer brochure printing, business cards, leaflets, flyers or posters. Also, you can choose to share promotional costs and space with another reputable company that’s not your competitor.
Marketing budgets often descend from the higher-ups, where marketing budgets are considered an expense and marketing teams as cost centers. Due to this, a company will look at their marketing expenditures from the previous year, and make decisions about where they want to spend less or more money. But the truth is, a marketing budget should be treated as an investment because it represents an effort to bring an ascertainable and quantifiable return on investment (ROI) in the long-term.
For small companies, the budget is tight. However, building a distinguished and recognizable brand is crucial if you want to secure the next round of investment for your business. This is why you absolutely must commit to your promotion.
Emma Miller is a digital marketer from Sydney. Works as a blogger, Senior Editor for Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends.
image sources: https://burst.shopify.com