Five Ways You Can Market Without Breaking Your Budget
Of any concerns a business may have, one of the most pressing is their bottom line, which means that all other considerations must address that final total as they are made. This is especially true of marketing considerations, as marketing is often an expensive endeavor. However, there are a few outlets available to market through for little-to-no cost to the business.
A well-managed social media account can provide businesses a direct line to their contacts. They can share news, offers, and other valuable content to those who are most interested in their services, while providing visitors with a path back to their website. Many social media networks have incorporated features and functionality that help to provide business accounts additional abilities as marketing hubs.
For example, LinkedIn has a few options for their users to leverage their network as a marketing platform: Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Text Ads, organized through their native Campaign Manager. Sponsored content is inserted into the feeds of other LinkedIn members whose profiles match your predetermined target guidelines, getting your message out in front of them in a place that they’re conditioned to read. The sponsored InMail option works in somewhat the same way, except your message is instead send directly to the potential lead’s LinkedIn Messenger inbox. Finally, LinkedIn also permits basic pay-per-click/impression text ads that appear alongside the feeds of your target. LinkedIn requires a daily budget of $10 for each campaign, with a $2 bid for their pay-per-click/impression ads.
Additionally, Facebook also offers users the ability to boost their posts, allowing them to customize whom their post will be displayed for, based on interests and other demographics. Facebook will then make sure the post gets in front of correct audience--and the budgeted boosting total can be as low as $1, so any business could potentially utilize this with a marketing budget of any size. Facebook does have particular policies that advertisers must follow. We also offer some other pointers in our comprehensive guide to advertising on the social network.
Of course, you do not necessarily have to pay for everything you do on social media to be boosted. In fact, it is often a better strategy to combine boosted posts with regularly posted free content, as the boosted post will bring them to your account, and the rest of your content supplies the social proof that directs them to your website.
It’s become fairly commonplace for people to have an email account or two, providing you with a direct line of communication to them for little financial cost to you. You can offer content on your website that’s only accessible by those who register, thereby providing their contact information to you and providing you with a list of prospects who have at least enough interest to step forward. Using this list, you may be able to generate an email list to help nurture these leads into prospects and clients. However, there are legal requirements and restrictions upon businesses engaging in these activities, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the intricacies of CAN-SPAM and other similar legislations.
Let’s be practical for a moment: it likely took a considerable amount of work to sign on the clients you have already. Therefore, it only makes sense to use them to your advantage as you budget your marketing dollars. The more of these satisfied clients you have sharing their positive opinions, the more ears that could potentially hear about the quality of your services--ears that likely belong to other potential clients with similar needs, or thought leaders that can spread influential word-of-mouth testimonials.
Speaking of testimonials, there is no shame in asking a satisfied patron for an account of their positive experience for you to share with your targets. You might even offer them a discount in return for their honest opinion.
When it comes to powerful and influential inbound marketing, content is king. It not only provides social proof of your experience in your field, but also serves as evidence that you can provide the solutions that your readership needs and records that evidence on your marketing hub: your website. By writing a quality blog article or producing an impactful video, you can make a considerable impression on your audience without necessarily having to break open your piggy bank. Or you may consider trying your hand with other forms of content: whitepapers, deliverables, walkthroughs, tutorials, even the recent goings-on at your company can leave an impression on those who you’re trying to attract.
Plus, creating quality content provides you with plenty to share on your social media to create yet another draw to your site.
Local Events and Opportunities
As you evaluate your marketing, you may find that there are certain targets that just aren’t responding as well to your online efforts as others are. It may just be that these targets would respond better to a more personal interaction with you. Instead of burning away your budget by gradually pulling these clients through your marketing funnel, sending touch after touch their way, try giving them the chance to meet you in person to judge for themselves. Sponsoring local events can help bring your company out into the world to interact with the people that make up your targets.
From there, you are better able to communicate both your service offering as well as your company culture, leaving a lasting impact in memories of a personal event, rather than the bland recollections of a business meeting. There’s also the considerable benefits that participating in events like these can bring to your company culture to take into account as well. All in all, it’s a great way to promote a positive impression of your company in the public eye, without the risk of runaway costs that many traditional marketing outlets entail.
For any events that you are unable to participate in, for whatever reason, you can always be a sponsor for a one-time cost to you. While it won’t usually be the most targeted approach to take, just having your name associated with a good cause can lend your company some positive impressions from the community. If nothing else, offering vouchers for your services to raffles and such will get the word out, and almost certainly get someone in your door.
While most of these approaches aren’t free, they are much less expensive to implement than many traditional strategies while still delivering considerable benefits if done consistently. To top it off, there are opportunities to make use of them everywhere, from your social media feeds to the program of the local high school’s theatrical production.
Just remember to stay true to your brand, in a way that is both tasteful and appropriate, and be sure to reflect upon these points when selecting inexpensive marketing avenues. After all, a poorly placed piece of marketing can do more damage than not marketing at all. For more recommendations, or answers to other marketing concerns, reach out to us.