When money is tight for your small business, marketing could be one of the first expenses that you seek to cut. But this could be a very grave mistake for your brand.
In fact, you should be looking to invest as much as you can into marketing in order to drive more engagement to your brand, boost purchases, and increase your profits.
Today, we’re living in an era where small businesses have more access than ever before to cost-effective, trackable marketing tools.
There are so many different options to consider when it comes to successfully expanding your marketing reach on a tight budget.
So, if you’re wondering how to successfully leverage your small business’s marketing budget and get the most for your money, read on for our top ideas.
1. Ask for Referrals:
If you already have satisfied customers, then using this to your advantage is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get more attention for your brand.
Most customers don’t mind recommending the brands that they love to others; in fact, you might even find that many of your customers have already done this without even being prompted.
Even better – offer them something in return, such as a money-off voucher for both themselves and any friends that they refer.
2. Build Strong Relationships:
Many small businesses focus so much on attaining new customers that they forget about the importance of continuing to market their brand to their existing customers.
In fact, it’s far less expensive and often much easier to keep an existing customer than it is to gain a new one. So, don’t forget to keep in touch with your past customers and encourage them to return.
Email marketing is a great way to do this – send helpful, informative emails that they’ll look forward to receiving.
3. Offer Freebies:
You might think that offering something for free is counter-productive to saving money on your marketing efforts, but the truth is that often it can be a gamble that pays off handsomely. And, you don’t need to start giving out your most expensive products and services for free, either.
Often, simple, branded items such as pens, mugs and flash drives can be a great way to surprise your customers with a gift from you, and the fact that they’re emblazoned with your brand will serve as a continuous advertisement for them and those around them. Flash drives are a great idea; they’re useful, cheap to obtain in bulk, and you can even get them in custom shapes to fit your branding.
Simply getting out there and talking to people is a great way to market your brand without spending too much money. Trade shows are a great way of doing this; even if having your own stall isn’t in the budget this time, it’s a great idea to get yourself a ticket anyway and arm yourself with a bundle of business cards and a friendly smile.
Don’t just talk to potential customers, either – partnering with other businesses can be a great way to expand your reach.
5. Boost Customer Engagement:
If your social media pages are dead, then chances are people are forgetting all about your brand. Social media is something that most people use at least once or twice a week, with many people logging on to check updates several times a day.
So, make sure that people are seeing updates from your brand in their Facebook timelines and their Twitter and Instagram feeds. And, encourage them to engage – ask thought-provoking questions that they can answer in the comments, or fun polls that get them involved with your brand and help you learn more about them.
Would you like to add to this list? We’d love to hear your budget marketing ideas in the comments!