There’s no question marketing a business is a must. But, when resources are low in an established company, it’s very tempting to reduce or stop as many expenses as possible. For startups, a tight budget is often an inescapable reality. Even when capital access isn’t an issue, frugality is often a routine business practice.
The point being, when money is scarce, or prioritized, it can present a real challenge to marketing a business. The good news is you don’t need a large amount to get your brand in front of a large consumer audience — there are ways to maximize a small marketing budget.
5 Ways to Maximize a Small Marketing Budget
The most popular business-to-consumer content marketing tactic is social media, used by 90 percent of companies. The second most used marketing tactic by 87 percent of B2C companies are illustrations and photos. The most popular social media platform among business-to-consumer entities is Facebook, used by 94 percent regularly. Three other popular social media platforms are Twitter (82 percent), YouTube (77 percent) and LinkedIn (76 percent). Companies who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts. And, 51 percent of business owners report content marketing is “very important” or “absolutely critical” to creating a cohesive customer journey.
The secret to creating a high-impact marketing plan is to optimize your limited budget. A one-time radio ad blitz, a glossy brochure, or a shiny new website will quickly erode your budget and derail your marketing plans. Use low-budget marketing to get your message out to your customers on a regular basis, and watch sales revenue grow. —Small Business Information, About.com
If you re-read the statistics above, there’s nothing costly about using any of them. High quality, holistic content can be outsourced easily on a small budget. Free or low-cost images are readily available. Social media profiles are also free. Most of the time, it’s not really about how much money a business has to spend, but, the time it takes to create custom content and share it strategically. It’s well-known that time is money. But even on a shoestring budget, there are still steps you can take to market your business for brand awareness. Here are five ways to maximize a small marketing budget you can use:
- Set a realistic marketing budget. Almost regardless of your budget, you’ll have at least some money to devote to marketing. So, you’ve got to first prioritize what will bring the best ROI. Of course, it only makes sense to use what’s least expensive but still has proven reach. Content marketing is a demonstrably effective marketing tool and can be done on nearly any budget.
- Focus on one social media platform. Instead of trying to elaborate on all channels at one time, focus on just one social media platform. It’s perfectly fine to post updates to all your social media profiles, but choose one as your dedicated channel where you share the most information and spend smartly with paid ads. Depending on your industry, there is one social media platform which is most suitable for your business.
- Understand organic reach isn’t enough. Take a little time to learn which social media channel is most conducive to promoting your business and then begin a pay-to-play campaign. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, your initial goal is to build brand awareness in your own locality incrementally. When it starts generating leads and sales, you can increase your paid ad budget.
- Use email marketing instead of direct mail. The marketing world has changed greatly over the past several years and now, it’s known direct mail costs nearly 100 times as much as email marketing; and, email campaigns perform approximately 95 times better, according to a study published in the Harvard Business Review. Even if your list is very small, start using it and build it over time to make it into a more powerful marketing tool.
- Put the power of autosharing tools to good use. There are plenty of tools you can use to automatically share content on social media. While you should definitely choose just one to focus the majority of your marketing, there’s no reason no to make your brand ubiquitous as possible. Share across all your social profiles but promote one above the rest for the best results.
By using these suggestions and getting custom content, it’s simple to effectively drive more website traffic and create higher engagement social media levels.
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