Businesses can’t be successful without effective marketing. New business owners and SMBs are often on tight budgets though, and this can sometimes limit their marketing and advertising options. If you fall into this category and feel you are always pulling your purse strings tight when it comes to funding your small business marketing efforts, here are a few new tips for how you can market more effectively, even while on a budget.
Don’t Just Create, Curate
Most business owners are aware of the impact content marketing has on a consumer. Infographics, how-to videos and product insight are all ways to generate brand awareness and deepened engagement. However, if you’re budget doesn’t allow for these things to be created in-house, focus on curation. Find the best information, from a variety of sources for your customers and establish yourselves as their time-saving, go-to resource.
Outsource Lead Generation
Lead generation can be a time-consuming and resource-draining process, especially if you’re new to the whole process of driving acquisition of new customers or clients. A lead generation company can save you time and with the right partnership, you can reach and connect with new customers at a price that yields greater ROI.
Get involved with your community and the locals to establish long-term, loyal customers. Offering punch cards (e.g. Buy 9 sandwiches and get the 10th free), sponsoring a sports team, and showcasing local heroes on your bulletin boards are all ways to get your community talking. Look for ways to be more involved and encourage word-of-mouth recommendations from current customers.
If you don’t have a big budget, consider partnering with another small business or two, or even a bigger company in your area. This could lower your costs and help you reach a new audience — that of your partner(s). Joint ventures are too big an area of opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to ignore. If you partner with a company larger than yours, an added potential benefit is the opportunity to learn more about what marketing tactics have been the most effective for them.
Direct Market in Waves
If you can’t coordinate or support a huge marketing campaign all at one time, break out your strategy into smaller waves. This could be especially handy if you’re running direct mail offers. Focus on different regions or neighborhoods and make things more personal. Sending out your mailings to different areas in waves can spread out your budget and allow you to A/B test different messages to see which is more successful.
Find Online Forums
Your customers are online. Having a website and a social media presence are musts, but many SMBs on budgets often forget the opportunity that forums and niche networks provide. Find online communities based on your geography, industry, product/services, or role and become an active member to establish yourself as a resource and a brand focused on quality. Don’t be “spammy,” overly promotional or impersonal and activity in these types of forums could bring you new business.
Just because your marketing team is on a budget doesn’t mean they can’t be effective and successful. Choosing the right places to focus online, partnering with others, and breaking down and spreading out the marketing budget can all help you build brand awareness, reach new customers, and make more sales.