Managing a small business marketing budget can be one of the biggest challenges for today’s up and coming companies. Even if you’ve been in the business 20 years, finding the balance of spending money to bring customers in and managing the bottom line is tough to do. With a few effective tips and strategies, though, you can reduce your marketing costs and potentially increase your marketing success.
#1: Invest in digital marketing over local marketing
Prints ads work, but digital marketing may take your business to the next level. This method involves using a website and blog to market your local business. By working with experienced professionals, you can attract more visitors to your website. Digital marketing uses content and search engine optimization to bring customers to your website.
#2: Utilize social media as a main component of your marketing
Social media, such as sites like Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn provide today’s small business with a wealth of inexpensive access to customers. It can produce nearly twice as many leads as telemarketing or trade show marketing and competes heavily with direct mail as well. The goal is to connect with customers on these social media sites, interact with them, and build a brand through them. Doing so consistently can help you to prove to your audience you are the go-to solution for their product or service needs.
#3: Utilize existing customers more thoroughly
Small business owners often have a strong customer base of loyal customers or local patrons. Are you using these customers to your full advantage? Email marketing campaigns, for example, can help bring customers back in the door. They all businesses to sell, promotion, engage, and simply educate buyers in a non-aggressive marketing form. It’s an inexpensive solution as well. Send reminders of discounts and promotions. Email customers with a discount for a “friend” to bring in new customers. Interact on a weekly basis with tips or strategies related to the industry.
#4: Host informative chats, webinars and online events
It does not have to be expensive to create a webinar, a lecture-like event that is conducted over the Internet. It can, however, prove to your customers you are a brand leader in this industry. You’ll also find that this type of marketing can bring in clients and customers from around the world.
#5: Create and manage a marketing plan
Many times, small business owners do not put enough time or effort into marketing or they don’t have a cohesive plan that addresses all needs across the board. This can be a costly mistake. The Small Business Administration states that businesses with $5 million of revenue or less should invest 7 to 8 percent of their revenue in marketing efforts. Do this by creating a marketing plan that combines all components of your strategy (online and offline marketing, social media, websites, etc) and then come back to it determine where you are making money. Understanding your ROI on each area is essential.
With a comprehensive plan and online advertising, it is possible to boost your business’s bottom line by getting new customers in the door but also reduce and better use your marketing budget.