Many business professionals know and understand how valuable marketing is, but the harsh reality is that not all companies can afford to sink large budgets to their marketing drive. A commonly held belief among small businesses is that ‘marketing is only for big businesses’ when this is false. Newly established businesses need marketing more so, and despite the misconceptions, creating a marketing drive for small businesses doesn’t have to be bank-breaking.
Big or small, your marketing budget will contribute a lot to your business. It will help bring traffic to your business and help build its name. Trying to manage your marketing budget is like managing a gap year job; you won’t earn as much doing it, but it will prove a valuable effort down the line. However, with a couple of wisely executed techniques, you can make the most of your budget no matter how large (or small) it is.
Identify Your Target First
Before you even start to send out marketing material, it’s best to figure out who to send those marketing materials to. Attempting to target a general audience will only lead to pain and frustration as you will be wasting money on people who might not have any use for your service in the first place. Knowing the profile of the people most likely to take your business will help make your marketing drive cost-efficient and effective.
Ask yourself, “who is most likely to purchase our products?” Know their qualities, such as age, race, income level, occupation, etc., will help you better create appropriate advertising material. This way, any ad material you use will have a higher likelihood of turning leads into customers.
Create an Online Presence
Almost everyone has a Facebook or Instagram account nowadays. The power and reach of the Internet (and social media) cannot be understated. In 2014, a large percentage of adults were discovered to use around two social media accounts each. They follow their interests through social media and interact with friends and families.
This means to a business owner that social media is a great place to make your business visible. Major companies are already riding this wave: we see companies like Nike, McDonald’s’, Mercedes, and many more run overt ads on Facebook and discrete product placements on Instagram. The results cannot be denied, and creating a social media account for your business is a cheap but effective way to put your name out there.
Don’t Forget About Print Ads
In the age of computers and automation, it’s easy to overlook how powerful physical media is. As a result, many small businesses tend to overlook traditional marketing forms, such as print ads. Many assume that this is an archaic way to go about things, but experts claim otherwise.
Print ads are, indeed, still a viable form of marketing. Especially when most of us use email for all forms of contact, receiving snail mail can be a very personal experience. This makes print ads and direct mail a bit more personal than sending ad e-mails, as the potential client will more likely see your material. And if created properly, with creating a personal connection in mind, your print ads can lead to another new client.
Offer Friend Discount
Nothing beats good old word-of-mouth when it comes to spreading your name. People are more likely to believe their friend’s opinion than a review online, as that friend can give a firsthand account of whether the experience is good or bad. This makes word-of-mouth a highly reliable (and affordable) marketing tactic.
One great way to take advantage of this is by offering discounts to your existing customers if they can bring a friend. Provided that you’ve honed and polished your service to be top-notch, this strategy will work by itself. Once your existing customers bring their friends, their friends will bring their other friends, creating a bigger network for you. Affordable? Yes. Effective. Very much so.