There are many things which can cause concern to small business owners, and budgeting is one of them. It can often be the case that a business owner creates a well thought out and sensible budget for marketing, for example, but due to a variety of factors including a volatile economy, the money set aside for marketing needs using elsewhere. If this happens, it can cause a problem because your marketing will stop, and you won’t have any new customers, meaning you lose even more money. It is a better idea to simply save money when marketing rather than cut your marketing budget altogether. Here are some ideas how.
Use Free Platforms
If you can get your marketing done for free (at least in part) then your marketing budget can remain untouched. One of the best ways to advertise for free is to use social media. Creating business accounts in Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others is free, and although you can boost and promote your posts by paying, if you include relevant, interesting information that potential customers can share easily, then you shouldn’t have to. It’s not just about social media though; why not offer to write a guest post on someone’s blog? You can write something detailed that is useful and place yourself as an expert in your field. You could also sponsor a local sports team. It costs nothing but will put your business details in front of many people at one time.
If you keep things as simple as possible, your marketing dollars will stretch much further. You can waste a lot of money enhancing and upgrading your advertising, but if it isn’t needed, and if you can bring people to you without it, then don’t spend any more than you need to for the basics. For example, you can buy website packages that include dozens of pages, but before you do this, ask yourself if you need all of those pages, or if a website that has five pages would work for you. If that’s the case, you can buy the cheaper package. If more pages become necessary, you can upgrade later. The same goes for print advertising; you could pay much more for a bigger ad, or one in color, but is it required? Do your research first to get your answer, and only pay for what you need.
Use Inbound Marketing
Inbound leads work out at 62 percent cheaper than traditional marketing methods, and in business that is far too big a percentage to ignore. Inbound marketing is about creating content that brings customers to you, rather than creating advertising that sets out to pull in the customers. If they come ‘of their own free will’ they are already much more likely to spend money with you. This is because there is a feeling that you’re not trying too hard, you’re not ‘pushy’. Inbound marketing can take place in the form of blogging using proper SEO techniques and social media posts. You could even create webinars and workshops. These are all forms of inbound marketing.
Ask For Advice
Asking for advice is a great way to save money when you are marketing your business. If you ask the people, who have already ‘been there and done that’ then you will be able to hear about the mistakes they made, and stop yourself from making them. You will also be able to find out about marketing hacks and shortcuts that really work. Getting it right the first time is an invaluable way to keep your marketing budget looking healthy. Of course, it’s best if this advice is free – if you have to sign up for costly training or seminars to get it, then you may wish to look elsewhere. It all depends on how much value you can place on getting your marketing exactly right.
Do It Yourself
When it comes to saving money, doing things yourself, rather than paying out for someone else to do it, can save a lot of money. However, it’s only a cost-saving exercise if you are able actually to carry out the work well. If you are not confident then hire someone in; it’s better to pay for an expert than try to do it yourself and then have to call that expert after anyway. It will depend to some extent how long the job will take, and how much money it will cost you in time away from the business doing other things to work out whether it will really be a way to cut costs. Sometimes it is just better to pay for expert help.
One Thing At A Time
It can be easy to pay more than you need to if you’re not focusing on one thing at a time. Market research is essential as you will be able to determine who your target audience is, and how best to reach them. It might be through social media, perhaps print advertising, or you might even want to consider TV or radio spots. Once you know what is going to work best for you, you can then focus on that campaign rather than spending a lot of money in many different places when only one or two of them will actually bring you anything in return. It is also a good idea because it means you will gain more experience in the medium you have chosen, so the advertising that you do there will become better and more efficient over time.
Something that can cost many thousands of dollars and that isn’t required is change. Change is good when it is necessary, but if you have an advertising campaign that is working, that is bringing in customers and revenue, why change it? It costs money to change it, to change the design, to change where and how the advert is used. So keep on using the same ad until new customers are no longer finding it attractive. This is when you need to change, not when it is all still working.
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