Every business needs some kind of marketing to get the word out, even if it's strictly by word of mouth. The larger your target market, the more you must use mass media and digital media platforms to build your brand. But not all small businesses can afford expensive traditional advertising. Here's a look at how to overcome marketing budget limitations for your small business.
Plan a Budget and Tax Strategies
A majority of enterprises never get off the ground because they start with big dreams, little money, and no budget planning. Entrepreneurs and companies with limited capital need to spend their money carefully so they don't rely on loans. Strict budgeting with a degree of flexibility is an effective mindset for a bare-bones operation. Forecasting how your overall financial picture will look a year from now based on expected revenue and expenses will help determine if you can get a business loan.
Businesses with tight budgets have commonly made the mistake of trimming marketing budgets in times of financial uncertainty to the point of missing out on opportunities for attracting new customers. Furthermore, falling behind on marketing can directly result in handing over market share to competitors. In order to stay competitive with the aggressive marketers in your field, you need some type of outreach that connects with the broader market.
Developing an annual marketing budget and year-end tax strategies for small business is essential for sharpening financial focus. A well-envisioned annual budget will help guide your business through financial challenges and avoid accumulating excessive debt.
Develop Digital Marketing Strategies
The most economical way to build an online following - which can become a stream of endless leads - is using search engine optimization (SEO). Many managers already understand what SEO is, but they don't have time for it, since it takes months of building SEO-friendly content to see positive results. Crafting quality web pages full of informative niche content is the main key to attracting an audience if you build content from keywords people will likely use in searches.
While SEO is a low-cost long-term strategy for developing your niche community, the fastest way to generate actionable leads online is through pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Displaying ads through popular ad networks will give your brand visibility to users who understand ads can lead to introductory offers. Experimenting with ad campaigns through ad display networks may help determine which strategies work the best. Popular platforms such as Google and Facebook give you customization tools to configure your ad campaigns and target audience.
Implement E-Marketing Strategies
Even though social media has taken the online spotlight the past decade, businesses cannot forget about email marketing as a seamless solution for reaching a target audience. Building an email list is the first step toward designing a powerful campaign through either email newsletters or just regular correspondence. Turning to e-marketing can create substantial savings for small businesses that can't afford TV, radio, or print advertising.
The reason e-marketing still works is that it's an easy direct connection with target audience members. Developing an e-marketing list can be done through a social media platform. Creating a regular podcast or newsletter that people must sign up for is an effective way to build an e-marketing list. You'll be able to keep in touch with customers on a regular basis, as you can ask for feedback and offer deals.
Another minimalistic yet powerful method on how to overcome marketing budget limitations if you put in enough effort is to repurpose online content as much as possible. Repurposing content involves creating a series of different articles, blogs, articles, and podcasts about the same subject matter. The content can start out as a video, for example, then it becomes a transcript for blog content. From there the transcript is cited in multiple other blogs and podcasts. The content can be further referenced in cross-promotional guest blogs.
The more online exposure your content gets, the better, as long as the exact same content isn't duplicated much. Repurposing is a completely different concept than mass duplication, which can be penalized by search engines as spam. In order for repurposed content to be considered high quality, each information nugget needs to stand on its own as unique. Part of the goal of repurposing content is to build your brand through various channels to create multi-media experiences.
Create Sales Personas
Refining your digital marketing can be achieved by creating sales personas that represent market segments. Even the most niche market can be divided into customer segments based on why they like the product. Some people invest in solar panels, for example, for long-term energy savings while another market segment has a deep concern for protecting the health and the environment. Yet another segment might like the identity that going green brings them with their customers.
Different market segments can overlap, but you can still develop a unique persona for each market segment description. A persona can be expressed as a person or cartoon character through a photo or drawing. Sometimes a persona might simply be a phrase or a symbol. Using avatars with names is a helpful way to distinguish market segments so you can compile more definitive research.
It's important for business leaders with slim budgets to breaking away from outdated traditions when it comes to marketing. At one time physical location was the cornerstone of marketing until the internet came along as clicks replaced gas miles for researching consumer choices.
The solution of how to overcome marketing budget limitations for small businesses is knowing how to interpret the analytics of your digital marketing efforts. If you need help measuring and interpreting the data, just ask E-Marketing Associates.