Are you wondering how to market your business on a budget? Even with a tight budget, you can still market your business. Interesting right? In this post, we’ll tell you all you need to know about how to market your business on a budget.
When your budget is tight then you’ll have to cut down on some expenses.
You will also have to know how to create a budget and stick to it.
Unfortunately, one’s marketing expenses might be part of the first things that get evaluated and tossed out the window in the process.
There are ways to market your business on a budget.
You might want to look into that especially when you’re just starting out or when your business is still quite small.
How to Market Your Business on a Budget
Be Creative and Take Advantage of New Marketing Methods
Traditional marketing can be an expensive way of promoting your business.
Additionally, it can be tough to measure the return on investment (ROI) you get from that.
The next best option for you is to choose cost-effective marketing strategies that are trackable.
Yes, it’s best to use digital marketing tools that can help you find business growth opportunities.
In other words, it can be considered as one of the best ways to market your business on a budget.
Importance of Marketing Strategies
Are marketing strategies important?
You can bet your bottom dollar they are!
Having a strategy and a plan for your business marketing will add a lot of value to your business.
Here are some of the reasons.
- A market strategy helps you get started on your marketing budget way ahead of time.
This comes in handy if you are low on finances.
- It can also help you determine things ahead of time such as how much should marketing cost and the estimated return on investment (ROI) generated by a particular ad campaign.
- Also, it can help you utilize your resources optimally.
- It can define what each department will do and thus improve coordination between teams.
- You can use it to determine the best price for goods and services that you will need since you will be doing market research beforehand.
- A marketing strategy will help you discover areas that will undergo or be affected by organizational growth.
- It can also help you develop products and/or services with the best potential for producing a profit.
- A well designed and well-researched strategy gives you an edge over the competition.
Those should be enough reasons to illustrate the importance of marketing strategies.
How to Create a Marketing Strategy
Now that we have gone over the importance of a marketing strategy, let’s talk about how you can design one for your business.
Below are useful tips on how to create an effective marketing strategy for your business.
Select Your Target Market
When you say target market you are referring to a market segment that you want to reach out to.
Remember that you can design your product or service for a particular market segment.
This is a very important point to keep in mind when creating a marketing strategy on how to market your business on a budget.
Each market segment also requires a different marketing approach.
For instance, if you intend to tap into a high-end market you can emphasize exclusivity as well as premium products/services.
On the other hand, if you want to aim for the low-end markets then you may focus on free offers, bulk purchases, discounts, and affordability.
Note that some market segments can be more profitable than others
There are market segments where you can get faster profits.
Also, there are segments where you may not get quick profits.
However, you at least get a good chunk of the market share for starters.
You need to consider the needs of your target market, their buying power, and their particular traits.
And of course, that requires a good deal of market research.
Run a SWOT Analysis
The next step on how to create a marketing strategy for how to market your business on a budget is to run a SWOT analysis.
SWOT stands for strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your business.
This exercise can help you and your staff to determine where you are now, where you need to improve and identify business growth opportunities.
Design Your Value Proposition
To help you design which of the types of marketing strategy you can employ you need to create a value proposition.
You determine your value proposition via your SWOT analysis.
Your products/services should give value to your customers.
To design it you need to identify the benefits that your customer will get from what you are offering.
You should also identify your differentiators that is what makes your offering unique.
The best value proposition is one that solves customer problems, one that is clear, and it should be direct to the point.
Determine Your Objectives for Each Campaign
At this point, you should enumerate certain steps for marketing your goods and services.
There are of course different objectives for each phase you go through.
There will be a phase where you have to increase brand or product awareness.
Also, when developing your marketing strategies, you should also have a plan to turn prospects into repeat or full-time customers.
Furthermore, you should re-evaluate your goals and objectives periodically.
Some do it every six months while others do it more frequently.
This is also an important step when creating a marketing budget.
Understanding Your Customers
Of course, you can’t hope to sell to anyone if you don’t understand them.
How do you know what appeals to them?
How do you know which of their needs are more important to them?
You should also determine if digital marketing or traditional marketing works better for them.
What particular demographic do they belong to?
What are their behaviors online?
Identifying Buyer Personas
After gathering data about your customers you need to identify different buyer personas.
You gather that from actual conversations with customers (online, live/face to face, correspondence, etc.), customer reviews, social media, and website analytics.
You need to determine the following:
- The tone of voice they prefer (conversational, authority type, their mom, etc.)
- Demographic details
- Financial profile (preferred payment method, market segment, etc.)
Market and Competitor Analysis
You also need to know what the market is doing and you also need to know what your competitors are doing.
To achieve this you need to ask the following questions.
What marketing tools are working for your competitors?
How are customers reacting to certain offers?
Which marketing methods are bringing in better results or profits?
Are certain marketing tools getting too expensive for your budget?
Are there new upcoming alternatives?
Is there new technology that you can take advantage of to create better offerings?
Choose Your Marketing Methods
Now that you have all the data at your fingertips, the next step is to choose the marketing methods that will suit your market segment (i.e. your preferred customers) and your budget.
We have listed below a lot of options.
Pick the one that best suits your business and your budget.
Options When You’re Marketing on a Budget
There are many creative ways to market your business on a budget.
We have enumerated a number of marketing methods below.
Hence, you have a lot of options to choose from.
There is no doubt that there are many digital marketing tools available today.
But that doesn’t mean you should count out email marketing.
It is still one of the most viable tools at your disposal when figuring out ways on how to market your business on a budget.
The return on investment (ROI) from this marketing method is easily measurable.
Some entrepreneurs average $38 for every dollar spent on email marketing.
Yes, that means in this day and age you should still build and grow an email list.
The best way to do it is still via generic sources.
That means your leads and customers giving you express permission to send them emails and an opt-out option should be provided as well.
Furthermore, there are email marketing tools that you can choose.
However, you shouldn’t go for options that require a huge monthly fee.
Even more, you could opt for free options as well.
Here’s an example, some email management services like MailChimp offers free tools and options if you have less than 2,000 subscribers.
However, the next best thing is to get a cheap email management service like $20 or less from platforms such as A Weber among others.
Create an Amazing Business Blog
If you are using paid hosting for your company website then there is no excuse why you shouldn’t set up a company blog.
Well, you’re already spending money on it, why not maximize the cost and use it for marketing as well?
A blog is another budget-friendly and effective tool for promoting your business.
You can use your business blog as the foundation for all your online marketing efforts.
It’s up to you.
Some people focus on that while other businesses focus on social media marketing.
We’ll cover more about that option later.
Additionally, you can use your business blog to direct visitors to certain products, promotions, services, freebies, and other promotional items.
The only challenge is to create regular content.
That means you should provide a lot of interesting content for your would-be audience.
Believe me, people can run out of ideas rather quickly.
But the good news is that you don’t have to produce content every day.
You can post new content at least once a week.
The important thing is to be consistent.
This means that, if you have a blog post every Friday then make sure to have a blog post every Friday.
Compose a Crafty Elevator Pitch
Believe it or not, an elevator pitch should still be part of all marketing strategies.
An elevator pitch is a short descriptive, informative and convincing speech about your product and services.
You should take advantage of every opportunity you can to market or sell your business.
Well, it’s not just that you need to sell to someone.
You should have an elevator pitch ready in case you meet a potential business partner, investor, or supplier.
An elevator pitch, of course, is a value description of your business.
Again, you craft this from your SWOT analysis.
Make sure to identify your business strengths and also the opportunities that you can create.
Your elevator pitch should be brief such that you can say in a minute or two.
In other words, it should be brief enough for a short elevator conversation before that other fellow gets off on his/her floor.
Make Sure That You are on Google My Business
You want your business to appear on Google+, Google Maps, and be visible on the search engine result pages (SERPS especially when you want to appear on local searches).
Make sure to sign up for Google My Business.
Leverage Your Community
When it comes to marketing your business on a budget, going local is another great option.
You can create awareness for your business by participating in activities in your local environment.
Even more, you can sponsor local events.
Support a local charity.
Create little free events.
Partner with other small businesses to support causes.
The important thing is to get your message across to the local market.
Attend Local Networking Events
Since we’re on the subject of going local, you should be aware of local networking events going on in your community.
Make sure that you are part of the local chamber of commerce.
Join local business organizations.
And most importantly participate in the events that they sponsor.
That is a great way to grow your business and promote brand awareness without spending a lot.
Collaborate with Other Businesses
Who says you have to compete with every other business out there?
There are businesses that may complement your enterprise.
Collaborate with them and you can create a deal to cross-promote as well.
You can work together when supporting a cause.
Furthermore, you can co-sponsor special events.
You can also design complimentary limited products and services together.
Contribute an Article to an Industry Magazine, Paper, or Website
This is another creative way to market your business on a budget.
Is there a local paper or magazine that features the people and businesses in the community?
You can contact them and offer to write a free article on a subject matter that you are knowledgeable about.
Of course, you can tie what you have to say in that article to your business.
What if there’s no local paper or magazine?
Then offer to guest posts on relevant blogs and websites.
The best thing about these options is that they have the potential to improve your brand awareness and they’re absolutely free.
Give a Speech
Another unique way to market your business on a budget is by public speaking.
Is public speaking your strength?
Is there a member of your team who is particularly good at public speaking?
Well, then that should be made part of all types of marketing strategy.
Even Jeff Bezos and other CEOs take advantage of speaking engagements.
If that is the case then so should you.
Sure you won’t attract a massive crowd like them.
However, word gets around and your talk can get echoed to relevant ears.
Thus promoting your business.
You don’t need to be a pro when you give a talk.
What is important is that you have information that is helpful to your hearers.
It is also a subtle way to establish the fact that you’re an authority on the subject.
Create Your Own Affiliate Program
Do you usually sell your products online?
Do you offer digital products like apps, software, ebooks, audiobooks, training materials, and tools, etc.?
If you do then you can set up an affiliate program.
Other people will market and sell your products/services and they earn a commission.
That way you get to increase your sales in the process.
How much does it cost to start an affiliate marketing program?
It can cost as low as $5 a month like the programs by E-junkie, AWIN, Shareasale, and Maxbounty.
Ask for Referrals
Referral marketing or word of mouth marketing isn’t out of date.
In fact, it can be quite a potent marketing tool too.
All you have to do is to ask for referrals from customers who like your products.
Ask repeat customers to give hand flyers or product catalogs to their friends.
The catalogs don’t need to be poster ready or magazine-style level.
You can just make a simple yet eye-catching design on a micro-soft (MS) Word document and print it.
Talk to your customers.
Train your staff to talk to customers and make each customer contact pleasant and then ask for referrals.
What benefit can you get from that?
Well, a referral or word of mouth recommendation already establishes trust.
You have a customer who loves your product and sharing his or her experience with friends.
That friendship establishes trust.
It’s like a positive product review online.
Host Free Webinars or a Facebook Live Event
Webinars can be expensive but there are free and cheap options as well (like MeetCheap for instance for less than $10 a month).
And then there is Facebook where you can create a live broadcast.
This is another budget-friendly way of marketing your business.
Everybody loves discounts, right?
People like getting something for free.
A discount is also something that people will look forward to.
A limited time discount also improves the conversion rate of leads to actual buying customers.
Limited time coupons can be a big help.
Again, people love getting free stuff.
Some even take the time and endure long lines in the queue just to get a freebie.
Some will even be willing to make a certain amount in purchases to get something free.
You can give away free samples or just provide free trial periods of your services.
If they like the free samples then chances are they will come back for the full product/service.
Offer Free Stuff on Your Social Media Channels
Okay, so we should all know how to create a budget.
Apart from that, you should also know how to take advantage of free options.
For instance, social media channels like Google and Facebook sometimes give away free ad credit vouchers.
You can also make use of free infographics.
Sometimes it is you who needs to share something free on social media.
Give away a free ebook, audiobook, or an actual product as part of a raffle or other event online.
I hope that the ideas above have helped you find ways on how to market your business on a budget.
A lot of options have been listed above.
Choose the best option or options that are applicable to your business and start reaping the benefits.
Please do check out our other articles that have been linked to this article to learn more about how to improve your business.
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