For some small business owners, the terms ‘marketing strategy’ or ‘marketing plan’ may sound a little daunting or out of their league. But just because you don’t have a multi-million dollar budget for marketing activities, doesn’t mean you can’t reach the masses.
It is now easier than ever for small businesses to deploy a sound marketing strategy on a shoestring budget. With commonly used platforms such as Facebook, Google, YouTube and LinkedIn all attempting to make it easier for marketers to connect and display their products to their audience.
It’s time to get social
In a nutshell, if you have a limited budget this is the space you need to be playing in! It is that simple. Obviously, social media platforms are all about connecting people but in recent years they have put more emphasis on making their platforms more advertiser-friendly.
At first, social media advertising can appear overwhelming, with a raft of different ways to manipulate and fine-tune an audience and ad. However, take your time getting to know the platform and how best to target your audience.
Once you are confident you have it all covered, press-go and watch the algorithms work their magic. From there you are able to fine-tune and manipulate the ads to squeeze every last drop out of your budget.
Send out an email
To some email marketing may appear to be an outdated marketing channel, but this simply isn’t the case. In all honestly, email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing channels a business has.
Whether it is to existing customers or prospective customers, if someone has taken the time to provide you with their email, they are interested. On your website make sure you have at least one feature that encourages people to leave their details. Anything from an eBook or newsletter download, a free discount for first-time visitors or a contact form.
This enables you to send personalised emails to them in an attempt to encourage them to engage your products or at the least reinforce your brand in their consciousness.
Make your customers work for you
A businesses customers are one of the oldest, and yet, still one of the most effective marketing channels there is.
However, tapping into this channel isn’t as simple as completing a transaction and hoping they’ll champion your business’ offering. In order to really benefit from word-of-mouth marketing, you need to be concerned with more than turning a profit.
Customers want to feel valued and appreciated, after all, there are probably a thousand other products like yours on the market, but they chose you. So, make them feel special, provide them with added value, whether this is a special birthday offer, regular communication or exclusive offers. Once they start to feel the love, you will see them shift from an occasional customer to a loyal one, and this is when they’ll start promoting your brand for free.
Ask for a little help
Don’t be afraid to ask for a little bit of help to kickstart your marketing strategies. In today’s business environment, there are a number of different avenues businesses can go down if they need some financial help.
One of the most common options is running a crowdfunding or investment drive. Essentially, this is when businesses actively seek donations or investments from outside sources to help with the growth of the business. However, be mindful, in most cases, an investment drive will require you to give up a stake within your business for the investment.
Remember marketing isn’t a luxury, it is a must. Most industries now are highly saturated, so in order to cut through the noise and stand out to customers, you need to take your marketing seriously.
Businesses no longer require a large budget set aside for marketing. In today’s environment businesses are able to achieve amazing results with a monthly budget of as little as $300 if used correctly. All you need to know is where your customers are and how to reach them.