Whether your business sells birthday cards or coaching services or any other products and services for profit, chances are you will need to do some serious marketing to get yourself noticed. But here’s the thing, while most entrepreneurs have skills and great ideas, many don’t have a huge capital. The most important thing to remember about marketing though, is that it does not have to be expensive; there are plenty of free and cheap marketing tactics that will help get your name out there – and if those don’t work, you can always scale up later when you have more money to spend. So, how can you market your business without breaking the bank? With these five budget marketing tips, you’ll be able to create an effective marketing campaign without spending too much of your business capital.
1) Market Research
If you have a new startup or small business, then chances are you can’t afford a high budget marketing campaign. However, that doesn’t mean that digital marketing is out of your reach. A little bit of market research can make all the difference between success and failure in online marketing. It all starts with knowing who your customer is and what they want—and where they’re likely to go to get it. With a website, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are a great place to start; just be sure that any changes you make reflect your target audience’s preferences as much as possible. For example, if many people on Facebook prefer casual language over formal speech, use casual speech on your company’s Facebook page. A little market research can go a long way, remember to use the tools available to you to look at how your competitors are advertising their products too.
2) Content Creation
For many small businesses, content creation is a vital part of their marketing strategy. Whether it’s promotional, educational, or entertaining, content creation can serve a variety of purposes to help you drive sales and increase brand awareness. With so much focus on creating content online, your competitors will be hard at work producing high-quality, engaging content that could quickly outshine yours—and cause customers to look elsewhere when making purchase decisions. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that your own digital marketing efforts are up to par. Thankfully, because of platforms such as TikTok, small business owners can start creating quality content online with little investment and reach a large number of people all over the globe. The important part is to take into account your market research and choose the platforms that your target audience will actually be going on to look at content.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful way to attract attention, improve your brand awareness and drive sales to your website. When it comes to budget marketing, SEO can have many benefits over paid advertising methods. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, but you also pay each time someone views it (even if they don’t click). With SEO, you’re getting free exposure that can drive consistent traffic to your site—traffic that you wouldn’t otherwise get if you skipped SEO. The key is targeting long-tail keywords instead of more competitive terms and making sure you have relevant content that answers people’s questions. There are so many resources to better understand and implement SEO strategies that with a little bit of research and practice anyone can become an SEO expert.
4) Paid Advertising
Not all digital marketing campaigns have to cost a fortune. As part of your budget marketing plan, you can consider paid advertising, especially with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Paid ads are an easy way to ensure that your message reaches as many people as possible, but make sure not to burn through your budget too quickly. If you’re doing paid ads on one platform and free original content another, it’s probably best to balance out each channel until you have data from them showing what works best (or just go all in if you think there’s value in a particular channel). AdWords is also a great resource for startup companies looking to increase brand awareness quickly—but remember that it’s often important to show users how your product will solve their problems before asking them to buy something.
Many startups that are new to digital marketing want to jump right into paid advertising (i.e. Facebook ads, Google AdWords, etc.). While these can be great lead generation tools, they can be expensive, especially for those with little experience using the tools, and can burn a lot of money very quickly. If you don’t have an audience or your audience isn’t ready to buy, you’re wasting your time and money on paid advertising. Start by building relationships with other people in your industry and look for ways you can help them rather than asking them to help you. Also, use social media and email outreach methods to grow your following before moving on to paid ads—this will ensure that your audience is already interested in what you do. Most experts believe that a strong email marketing strategy can ensure that startups build a loyal following.
Remember to really experiment with a variety of marketing strategies and to leverage the resources you do have. You don’t need a degree in business to learn about marketing, you can start understanding and applying the basics simply by being aware, creative, and listening to experts. Ultimately how you choose to market your business depends on you, but remember to know your finances inside out before making any decision.