While it may be true that you need to spend money to make money, small businesses often have limited funds to spare. To keep your small business profitable, you need to make every marketing dollar bring the highest possible return. Here are six great tips that can help you get the most out of your marketing budget.
Share your knowledge
Content marketing is one of the most effective forms of online marketing — and it costs nothing if you create the content yourself. Does your website have a blog section? Write informational content that you believe would appeal to your potential customer base. Within your field, you have unique knowledge that your customers may lack. By sharing knowledge, you'll attract search engine traffic from people who are seeking information in your industry. Every time the information that you provide helps someone, you'll strengthen your brand and establish yourself as an expert within your field.
Connect with your customers
Word-of-mouth advertising is free, and people love to tell others about the great experiences they've had with local businesses. You already do everything you can to delight customers when they visit your shop or online store. Do you capture their online contact information to connect with them in the future? Harness the full potential of social media by connecting with your customers on social media and making yourself available to respond to their questions and concerns.
Freelance aggregators offer access to both local and national talents who can provide a wide range of services to enhance your business. From search engine optimization, to writing and photography services these professionals are well-suited to meet the needs of small businesses and in an affordable and time-efficient manner. Use your imagination for how you can leverage this talent pool—need a logo, promotional art or a blog post—it's easy thanks to these sites.
Use templates for everything
Does your company regularly incur large expenses creating product brochures, newspaper advertisements or online promotional pages? If you start from scratch every time you create marketing material, you're increasing your costs and extending the amount of time needed to produce the material. When you create a promotional item that works well, save it as a template. When you want to run another promotion, simply change the details in the template to save time.
Partner with other local businesses
Is there another local business that doesn't compete with you but has a similar customer base? Team up with them for cross-promotional benefits. If you have a graphic design company, for example, you could partner with a printing company. If you have a restaurant that serves juices and smoothies, you could partner with a local gym. Set up a partnership in which both businesses display advertisements for the other. You could also offer exclusive discounts to customers who patronize both businesses.
Repurpose your content
Even with templates and freelance workers, creating new content always costs something. If you want to reduce your marketing budget even further, you need to do more with the content you already have. Does your website have a large archive of blog posts that have always brought you consistent Web traffic? Gather the best of those posts and release them as a free e-book that you can give away to new mailing list subscribers or social media followers. Each time you post a new article, record an audio version of the same article, and release it as a podcast. Alternatively, film a video and upload it to YouTube. Repackage your most successful online advertisement as a product brochure for direct mailing. By doing more with the content that you already have, you can make the content more effective and reduce the cost of creating it.
Marketing is an important part of any business. The challenge is finding cost-effective ways to market your products/services and brand without going over budget. The good news for small business owners is when it comes to marketing you don’t have to be a marketing professional to get the word out about your business. The right planning can help you ensure that every dollar is being spent most efficiently. Give these tips a try and see how they work for your business.