Now than ever, marketing budgets across every industry continue to be a cause for concern. Similar to tightening a belt, the belt still needs to hold our pants up. Fortunately, we live in a digital age where there are great free and paid tools out there to save money and time on your marketing.
Approaching marketing on a tight budget can be a difficult task. It’s difficult to know ahead of time what a sales executive will come out with in terms of price, thus potentially wasting even more of your time. In this blog post, let’s take a fresh look at how to approach marketing on a tight budget.
In the effort of providing constructive information here, first, let’s uncover the most common ‘hard’ costs that are unavoidable if you want to increase your content marketing. To offer a simple summary of some of the main costs in marketing expenditure:
- Social Media paid advertising costs money.
- Videos cost money.
- Websites cost money.
- High-quality copywriting costs money.
- Graphic Design costs money.
- Specific press publications cost money.
- Sponsorships cost money.
- Networking events cost money.
- Full-spectrum marketing campaigns cost money.
- Your time should cost money.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s dive deep into how you can still proactively use the above tools and other means without breaking the bank.
Promote your testimonials/reviews
Think about it, one of your customers takes time out of their day to write your business a personalized message publicly. Now think about your promoting that same review, that individual will be a customer forever. Take a screenshot, create space on your website, share it with your community on social media. It can also just be a very organic way to share positive experiences buying your products or using your services to a wider audience.
Samples / Free Trails
Two ends of the spectrum here, so to explain this better we need to separate a product based company versus a service-based company, as the two differ on this topic. Say if you developed, brewed or invented a new product. The key driver of new sales is getting it into their hands. Whether it is guerilla-style marketing or simply a coupon sent out on social media, the ends justify the means for long-lasting relationships.
For a service-based company, they have the ability to offer free trials for software, money-back guarantees or even simply a short term free use subscription model. If you think about the ‘buyers journey’ and if a buyer has already researched your brand, a free trial just might be the worm that caught the fish (fishing anecdotes, really?).
Sharing industry trends
If you have been in your industry for longer than a few months, you should have by now found a great source for industry data, trends, statistics, or relevant news. You may not have any part to play in these data points, however, your grasp of the industry can be showcased through simple infographics to share on all social media platforms. The goal? To address your community and customers as the forward-thinking thought leader in your space. Instead of just sharing links on your social feed, write a blog post that is your understanding and thoughts on the industry data.
If you are a business owner with a product-based business, this section may not provide too much value other than customer reviews. For the world of B2b, referrals can be a successful company’s bread and butter for years to come. Upon signing over the final invoice, why not ask for a referral on their experience working with you? Even better, ask them to write it on LinkedIn.
I know you have heard this one before. The bad part about traditional networking was usually when a large room full of people would have awkward conversations with other strangers all trying to find value in why they even left their home. While some of the biggest deals in history have been made in person as events such as these, the low cost, risk-free option is right there.
Clearly, social media platforms are also in a competitive landscape. However, as you read this, would you have a grasp on the demographics segmentation on each of those platforms? Would it surprise you to know that the country with the highest number of Facebook users is in India, with 86 million more people than the US?
LinkedIn is regarded as the most effective for B2B networking. With a few simple clicks, you can connect with and get direct access to message industry professionals from all over the world. Maybe a post you wrote gets liked by your next investor? Maybe a local news reporter saw your new product launch and offers to write a story. It can be difficult to suggest that LinkedIn will drive sales into your account, however, if we revisit the ‘buyer’s journey’, step one is and always will be – Awareness.