How big is your marketing budget? There are companies out there that spend millions on marketing and others who spend zero.
Regardless of how much is in your kitty, spend it in the places that will bring the best rewards – whether that’s attracting more customers, building awareness or gaining valuable customer insights.
Here are 10 ways to spend a shoestring marketing budget:
Did you know that videos promoted on social channels get twice the reach and engagement than photos? What’s more, videos help increase conversion rates, tell your brand story, and build trust with your audience. Video isn’t up-and-coming anymore – according to Cisco, video content will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by the end of 2017. Why? Because audiences want it. Start with educational or how to videos, which are easy and cheap to make in-house.
2. Email marketing
It might not be the newest channel out there but email marketing campaigns are still a powerful way to reach and convert customers. If you already have an email subscriber list, send out promotions, new product launches, blogs and video links for very little spend and very high return. The secret is to ensure they are cleverly written to attract attention, personalised, and designed to be viewed on mobile devices. Above all, emails must contain a strong call-to-action.
3. Influencer marketing
Gone are the days of trying to get celebs to promote your product. Now it’s all about seeking out influential people who would be genuinely interested in your product and building a relationship with them. Inauthentic connections between influencers and the products they spruik will be recognised as fake. So, start by spending time finding the right influencers and building a lasting relationship. The most it’s going to cost you is time and products – and the rewards make it worthwhile.
Remarketing is a cost-effective way of reaching those people you know are already interested in your brand. So if a potential customer visited your website but didn’t convert, you can target the same person with an ad on Facebook or Google. This is great for smaller budgets because you are focusing on converting warm leads rather than cold targets.
5. Facebook advertising
Facebook is the second most visited site in Australia, closely following behind Google (source). So if you’re sceptical about the value of social media, think again. The challenge is cutting through the noise to reach your target audience. That’s where Facebook advertising gives you the most bang for your buck. For the price of a coffee, you can boost a post on Facebook to build your audience and gain exposure. The golden rule is to test and see what works.
6. Create shareable content
Create content that your audiences will want to share. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, people don’t read web pages word for word; they pick and choose specific words and sentences as they skim through the page. This means you need to use eye-catching images and organize your content in a way that grabs their attention.
Another top tip is to create emotional appeal. People share content that makes them feel something – happy, nostalgic, warm, proud, awestruck and so on. If it doesn’t do anything for them, odds are they will click away.
Also, for your website or blog, boost your social media marketing by making it easy for others to share your content.
7. Customer research
All feedback can help you improve your business. Whether positive reviews are helping you identify and develop your unique selling points, or negative reviews are helping you correct customer service or product weaknesses, you can put your customer feedback to constructive use. Gathering feedback is easy – create online surveys and send an email immediately after transactions.
8. Reward loyal customers
It’s not just about getting new customers through the door; you also need to retain the customers you have. Get to know your loyal customer base, work out what they want and how you can provide it. Consider loyalty cards, VIP clubs and discounts for your regular clientele.
9. Customer testimonials
If customer testimonials aren’t in your marketing toolbox, you’re missing out on a powerful opportunity to build trust, credibility and brand awareness. Customer reviews aren’t only noticed by your target audience – Google sees them too. Search engines are less interested in keyword stuffing and more interested in how users interact with and respond to your business. So if Google can see that you’re getting positive reviews, you’re more likely to go up the search rankings. Send emails asking your customers to provide feedback through Google, Facebook or LinkedIn.
10. Test and measure everything
Assume nothing. The only way you can know what works is to be testing, measuring and refining. Whether it’s your email marketing campaigns, social media ads or videos, always make sure there is a way to measure the results and gather meaningful data.
Finally…spend your money on what you can’t do well
If you lack a certain expertise in an area, such as digital marketing, this could be a great signal that it’s worth paying someone else to take over. Time is money, so if you’re spending too much time juggling your social media or email marketing campaigns, it could be worth spending a bit of money outsourcing all of some of the processes to specialists.