How to Market Your Business on a Small Budget
Do you ever feel like you’re throwing money at your market budget and not getting the results you need? Not only is this “spray-and-pray” approach costly, but its unfocussed goals and target market are simply not going to bring you customers and business.
A well thought-out and structured marketing plan can go a long way, without breaking the bank. This is even more necessary if you’re a small business owner. You probably have to make sure every spend gets turned over 10 times before it’s allocated, and every spend has to stand up under the scrutiny of ROI: has it brought in more than enough customers to cover the costs of acquiring them?
So, to help put your mind at ease, here are our top four tips to stretch your marketing budget and increase sales.
1. Print Advertising
Think print media is dead? Think again.
Print advertising is incredibly useful and powerful for four important reasons:
- It’s long-term: Print advertising will often live in people’s homes or offices for several months, which allows for repeated exposure to your advertising campaign. Posters offer this benefit as well as people are reached repeatedly through continuous exposure, bringing in new customers for your business.
- It’s affordable: Print advertising is a highly cost-effective form of marketing in terms of the sales they bring in per Rand spent. Since a single print ad can reach several viewers several times, it offers a very high return on investment (ROI).
- It’s tangible: Flyers, posters, magazines and other forms of print media give viewers a physical thing to hold, providing them with a concrete experience of your business and brand.
- It’s credible: There’s something about print that gives your business a sense of legitimacy. The overwhelming myriad of spam, popups and banner ads on cyber space leave many viewers annoyed and threatened at the thought of viruses. Print advertising is safe, secure and unobtrusive.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social Media is still one of the most cost-effective marketing tools out there.
It can be used to create a following of customers and reach them with interesting messages that enhance their relationship with your brand, promote your exciting products and services, and keep your business top of mind.
Don’t be intimidated by using social media. An excellent place to start is Facebook, as this is hands down the most used social media platform in South Africa. Set aside a few hours a day to look at what your competitors are doing, research what posts get the most engagement, connect with potential customers, and post interesting and informative content. If that all sounds too time-consuming, we have another option for you:
Recycle your print advertising – this is a great time and money saver. Your print advertising holds a treasure trove of fresh content ready to be repurposed for online marketing. Use your posters to create infographics, your flyers for posted images, and your leaflets for blog inspirations. The list is endless.
3. Email Marketing
Don’t underestimate the power of the humble email.
Email marketing is a powerful tool as nearly everyone has an active email address. Start simple and send out monthly newsletters to your customers to remind them about your fantastic products, services, events, specials and any other valuable information they can benefit from. Emails are another great place to repurpose your print advertising. Do this by simply sending out electronic versions of your flyers or brochures. Sorted.
Keep your emails interesting and useful so that your customers aren’t tempted to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Do not send them spam. Your contacts are gold. You want to create trust and establish yourself as a field specialist, not as a spammer with too much free time on his hands.
4. Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is still one of the best marketing tools to have in your arsenal when you’re on a tight budget. But how do you get those mouths talking?
Referrals are a great starting point. If you offer fantastic products and services, you should find that most customers are more than willing to introduce you to other potential customers.
Encourage word of mouth advertising for your business with these easy tips:
- Make it easy for customers to leave reviews on your website or in store.
- Optimise your customers’ user-experience at all touch-points of your business, from your website right to your checkout till.
- Target and engage with customers and leaders in your industry to encourage positive conversations about your business.
- Be involved and visible in your community to stay top of mind amongst your customers.
There are several ways to get the most out of your marketing budget without breaking the bank. We hope this article has left you inspired and raring to go. Good luck!