According to a survey conducted by Web Strategies in February 2020, firms were expected to spend at least 8.6% of their revenue on marketing last year.
This average was no surprise given that the yearly marketing budget for most companies is usually between 6.5% and 10%. That’s approximately $65,000 to $100,000 for a company with a revenue of $1,000,000.
Marketing is a substantial investment that many large organizations prioritize due to its importance. With a quarter or less or no dedicated budget at all, small businesses often find themselves doing limited, ineffective marketing or no marketing at all.
If you’re a small business with a shoestring budget, don’t be discouraged. There are many cost-effective marketing strategies to showcase your brand and spread the word about your products and services.
Here are a few marketing tips that cost little, or in some cases, nothing at all.
5 Marketing Tips for Small Businesses With a Limited Budget
Marketing is one of the most effective ways to encourage people to purchase your products or services. This leads to increased sales that will grow your business. Let’s look at some marketing ideas that you may want to consider.
1. Know Your Audience
Before you actually start marketing to an audience, you must first determine who your audience is. Small business marketing is most effective if it focuses on a niche market. This will ensure you don’t spend money on unnecessarily marketing to a larger audience that may not even include good prospects.
Find the answers to questions such as the following:
- What would make someone purchase your product or service?
- When they do purchase it, how do they feel?
- Who would be an ideal customer?
These questions can help you create a buyer persona. This is a detailed description of a person who would be part of your target audience. It’s a fictional person that characterizes your ideal customer and outlines their interests, demographic details, and behavioral traits.
It’s important to know what potential consumers will do. This article discusses how you can use metrics to study consumer behavior. Once you know this, you can do additional research on how your product or service can help solve their problem. It will provide a strategy to appeal to them via every marketing channel you eventually utilize.
2. Always Have Business Cards
Before you establish a commanding presence for your business, business cards will allow you to exchange relevant information with other businesses or customers quickly. And even after your business becomes more widely known, you should always have your cards with you, as you never know when an opportunity for a lucrative business partnership may present itself.
If your business isn’t well known and you meet someone who requires your services, a business card is an ideal way to let them know what you do and how they can contact you. Showcasing your brand, services, website, and social profiles on a 3.5″ x 2″ of good card stock will go a long way.
Business cards are a small investment that will eventually pay for themselves if used effectively. They’re also considered a business expense for tax purposes.
3. Create a Social Media Presence
It’s important to create a strong online presence for your business, especially if you’re launching a new business. Seventy-one percent of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand that they’ve had a positive experience with on social media.
Digital marketing or online marketing uses the internet to showcase brands, products, and services. It allows a business to connect with potential customers through digital channels such as social media, email, search engines, and websites.
It provides a way to have the latest information about your company available to potential customers. Creating social media profiles or online business pages is free. Start by sharing with family and friends who will share with others to help build your social media presence.
You should also consider social media marketing, which will involve a small investment in ads to promote your business. Most importantly, use the platforms to share relevant information that provides solutions to issues potential customers may have. Doing this will help make you an authority on the topic, product, or service.
4. Build a Website
This may sound like a daunting task, but there are many easy-to-use services that allow you to create a free website. It may, however, mean having the service name present on your site.
Despite this, it will be a channel that you own and have full control over. It’s also important because you will have a place to direct online traffic generated from your social media channels.
Even if your initial site is a one-pager, ensure it looks professional, showcases your talents and successes, has all the relevant information about the services you provide, and has your contact information.
Having a place to capture your website visitors’ contact information is also important. It provides a way to reach out to them to share company information and promotions. It is also a way to start creating an email list.
5. Make Good Use of the Customer Information You Receive
Email marketing is the most effective way to keep in touch with website visitors who aren’t quite ready to purchase. Sending regular emails with product information and promotions ensures you keep them up-to-date on your product offerings and helps you to remain top-of-mind when they’re finally ready to purchase.
It’s a great avenue to communicate with both current and future customers, by providing tailored information to various segments. You can use different methods to communicate with customers – newsletters, promotions, or blog posts.
Marketing automation makes this process a lot easier for you so that you can focus on other parts of your business. Many email marketing services are inexpensive and sometimes free, depending on the size of your list.
Effective Marketing on a Budget
Large organizations have extensive marketing budgets that they hope will help them achieve their strategic marketing goals by the end of the financial year. Small businesses don’t have the same luxury.
If you’re a small business owner, there are many creative, cost-effective methods you can use to market your company. There are many marketing tips in addition to the ones provided in this article. But a website is one of the more effective ways to get your business noticed.
Take a look at some of our website tips and tricks, to make your website work more efficiently and be more effective for you.