7 Low-cost Ways to Make Your Marketing Budget Stretch Further

  in  Marketing and Advertising
You don't have to spend a fortune on marketing to reach your customers. As a small business owner, you probably have either a very small marketing budget, or no budget at all, so you're going to want to know the best way to make the most of your resources - and get results. So here are our top 7 ways to market without it costing the earth.

1. Build a database
This is a low-cost exercise, although it might not be a quick win. A good quality database is potential marketing gold, because you're talking to people who have already expressed an interest in your business and your offering. It's your job to keep them interested - a mixture of informative, entertaining and direct sales content will help to build a relationship with these people so that when they are ready to buy, you're top of their list.

Something to think about: GDPR legislation means you can't just add people to your database without their permission. You must only include people who have actively opted in to hear from you. If your current sign-up methods don't support this, you should look at changing them immediately so that you are compliant.

2. Send a regular newsletter

There's no point building a great database if you don't use it. Newsletters are a cheap and effective way to get in front of your audience. If you have a smallish database, there are plenty of free software programmes that will let you design and send your newsletter by email - and let you know who's read it and whether they've clicked on any links through to your website. This not only lets you know how people are interacting with your content - it lets you refine that content each time, so that you're making the biggest impact.

Something to think about: There's a bit of a revival for printed marketing material, because our inboxes are so clogged up these days. It might be more expensive to design, print and mail your newsletter - but it may have more impact and encourage more sales, so it's perhaps worth a thought.

3. Use social media well
We can all use social media - but using it in a strategic, targeted way for your business is a bit trickier. You need to make sure you choose the channels where your target customers are hanging out, and that you speak to them in the right way at the right time. It's a great form of free marketing if you can get it right, and you have the time to commit to it. And with a little budget, you can do some targeted paid advertising too, which increases your chances of finding new business.

Something to think about: It can be time-consuming to manage all your social media activity yourself, so it might be a good idea to consider social media marketing help, where someone experienced can help you with your strategy and your day-to-day management.

4. Get some local and trade PR
Good press coverage can really help to raise your profile and get people interested in your business. You can use the business pages of your local printed or online papers to highlight a range of things - from new staff members to product launches; charity events to award wins. The more you have to say, and the more active you are, the more aware of you people will become. You might need a little help to put together a really appealing press release, but beyond that, this is free exposure that can make a difference.

Something to think about: Consider putting PR in your trade press too - especially if that's what your clients are reading. There's lots of scope for feature articles and news pieces. Get in touch with your most relevant trade press and see what they're looking for.

5. Consider video content
Video is an ever-more powerful way to create a personality for your business and to get your message across in an easily digestible way. With a relatively small amount of kit and a good-quality mobile phone, you can record your own videos, set up a YouTube channel and embed videos into your website, helping you to reach more people in a different format.

Something to think about: Always add subtitles to your videos - people are often watching on trains or in the evening, or in other public places and don't always want the sound on. Subtitles allow them to stick with your video and access your content easily. A marketing can help you with editing, subtitling and posting your video content.

6. Treat existing customers better
The danger with many businesses is that they forget about their most important group - existing customers. These are people who have already decided to buy from you, and who may buy again. They may buy more. They may refer you to their friends. They are the loudspeakers for your business and you neglect them at your peril. Put in place something just for existing customers to help make it easier for them to become repeat buyers.

Something to think about: The easiest way to do this is to offer discounts at key points, or rewards for referring others to you. Give them advance notice of sales or events - make them feel wanted.

7. Share what you know
When you look around at successful business leaders, they tend to be the people who bring others along with them. And they do that by sharing their knowledge and their expertise. This leads to greater levels of confidence and a pre-disposition for customers to look at that business first, because they trust what it's been saying to them. It's easy to share what you know - and it shows that you care about contributing to your community.

Something to think about: You can share your knowledge in lots of ways - in person is a great way to start. Go to networking events, do some free podcasts, give a talk or two. It will raise your profile and that of your business.

The only question now is which one to do first!


Article kindly provided by one-resource.com