10 Tips for effectively marketing on a shoestring budget
For many SME businesses, the marketing budget is often small or non-existent, but taking a smart, integrated and planned approach can help you maximise your marketing effort and cost.
- Have a plan
Marketing your business on a shoestring budget requires the same if not more strategic thinking and planning. Even if you are engaged in a no-cost activity to promote your company or generate leads, this will still equate to a cost of time and effort. Regardless of the cost of any given tactic or activity, it must be an integral part of a strategic marketing plan in order to generate the most return on your investment. Contact Kaibizzen for assistance on marketing plan development.
Know your ideal customer:
Don’t waste your time or money chasing the wrong type of customer. Start by understanding:
Do you know what they need or want what you sell?
How do they search for your product or service?
Who and where do they seek recommendations or word of mouth referrals about your products or services from?
- Know your key message
You should be marketing all the time — wherever you are. Therefore, you need a compelling elevator pitch. Research shows the average attention span of an adult is about 6 to 8 seconds. That’s all the time you have to grab someone’s attention.
- Build strong partnership alliances
Identify and establish relationships with synergistic, non-competitive businesses in your area with a similar target audience and act as cross referrers. Piggy back on any communication activity your partners are implementing with their database ie contribute an interesting feature in their newsletter. Encourage reciprocal website linking with partners to help increase reach and assist with SEO.
- Be smart with your online presence
An online presence is critical in today’s digital world, being smart with your strategy is key to getting maximum return. An integrated online strategy that effectively utilises your site, blog, SEO, social media, targeted campaigns and enewsletters can be cost effective and successful in attracting customers. Do your research, engage with good providers where needed and always measure activity ie use google analytics etc.
You may not be a fan of networking, but it can prove to be highly effective in lead generation and attracting referrals. Networking requires a time commitment and it doesn’t often provide instant gratification, but a strong network is one of the greatest assets any business person can have. Don’t talk just about you, find out about them and what they do etc. When you talk about your business, be succinct and interesting. Convey your unique selling point (USP) and show how you solve problems for your customers. Position yourself as a solution provider rather than a salesman.
- Awareness raising and education
Many people detest public speaking however, there are many organisations seeking qualified, industry experts who can present to their groups. Take a deep breath and volunteer. Ensure that your content is relevant, useful and engaging for the audience. This will also assist in raising your profile and positioning you as an expert in your area.
- Ask for referrals
Don’t be shy about asking for referrals. The majority of people say they are willing to provide a referral if asked, but very few take the initiative to do it on their own. Referrals make it easier to get in the door with new customers. If you aren’t asking for them, you may be missing opportunities.
- Focus on retention
It is a lot less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. That’s why establishing strong relationships with your customer base is crucial. A customer delight and loyalty programs are just some of the cost effective ways of keeping customers happy. Proactively seeking customer satisfaction feedback is also important.
- Monitor activity
Whatever activity you do, track it. Set up a lead capturing mechanism which enables you to monitor all enquiries and where they came from, this will enable you to accurately measure ROI and gain a true insight as to what is working and what’s not.
These ten, inexpensive marketing strategies can assist you in effectively engaging customers, building relationships, and ultimately keeping you and your brand top-of-mind. It’s not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, it’s about the time and effort you put into it, how to measure it and above all, the relevance it has for your customers.
Do you have another cost expensive, successful marketing tip that has worked for you? Tell us about it- email our marketing specialist today – firstname.lastname@example.org