Advertising on a Budget
A strong marketing and advertising plan is vital to the success of any business, especially a small one. It seems simple, doesn’t it? So, why isn’t every business using the same marketing and advertising practices equally? Because these costs can add up quickly, and most small businesses can’t afford to spend half of their budget on advertisements. So, what are small businesses supposed to do?
Here are 10 ways to help your small(er) business maximize its small(er) marketing budget!
1.) Try reducing the size of your ad. Selecting small ads or shorter commercial spots should allow you to increase your frequency, which has been attributed to gaining more customers. To grow awareness, it’s better to be in front of customers frequently with small ads than sporadically with one big ones.
2.) Consider direct mail. Exposing customers to your brand through a letter or brochure before contacting them can increase business. An IBM study concluded that selling time could be reduced from 9.3 to 1.3 total hours with direct mail advertising. A study by Sales and Marketing Executives International showed salespeople went from eight orders per 100 cold calls to 38 orders per 100 when direct mail was used.
3.) Explore advertorial options. These are ads that look like traditional articles. They will have “advertisement” somewhere on the article, as to not be deceptive, but these can be great opportunities to expound upon frequently asked questions you receive and to position your business as an expert on a relevant topic. Develop a good headline, and 50 percent more people are likely to read the article than would read an ad of the same size.
4.) Be a Savvy Social Networker. Create business accounts and buy advertising as well as participate in the popular social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Also, consider Pinterest and Instagram in that mix, too, if your business is image-oriented. Paid opportunities are relatively affordable, and the digital analytics that each of these platforms uses allows advertisers to strategically target audiences they want to reach.
5.) Develop a Customer Referral Program. Offer existing customers a free or discounted product, month of service or related reward for referring new customers. Remember, word-of-mouth is like marketing magic, so friends telling friends about your business is incredibly valuable.
6.) Host an Event or Class. Plan an event or class on an educational topic related to your business, then print out fliers and post them on community bulletin boards (libraries, coffee shops, local colleges and adult education centers). While most community bulletin boards won’t let you post business advertisements, they’re often more than happy to post a flier promoting an educational event or class.
7.) Use Email Marketing. Email marketing is an effective and affordable way to get new visitors engaged with your business, as well as to maintain relationships with your existing customers. You’ll want to develop a content schedule and strategically limit your frequency. Note that most people report unsubscribing from email communication because of frequency, not length.
8.) Create Instructional Videos. Video content can go a long way in marketing a business. While it can cost big bucks to get professional YouTube videos produced, there’s nothing wrong with giving it a shot yourself or hiring a film student off Craigslist. Wistia offers a great video tutorial showing you how to shoot expert-looking footage on your regular old iPhone!
9.) Recycle Your Content. Just as you can repurpose existing data studies, you can rehash your old content into new creations as well! Turn a webinar into a video tutorial. Transform a collection of blog posts into an e-book. Never be afraid to freshen up your old content – chances are, there will be a lot of people who missed it originally, making it fresh, new content for a large segment of your audience.
10.) Apply Online for Business Awards. Most industries and communities hold business awards that finalists and winners can double as both recognition for your hard work and promotion of your brand. Badges like these can boost credibility, and as a result, increase sales.
11.) Always give the customer more than you promised. This is tip number 11 of the 10 we advertised. Maybe this last one is the one you needed most!
See ideas on here that you’d like to try, but aren’t sure where to start? We’re here to help! Give us a call at 662-342-6114 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll point you in the right direction. We want to support your small business and help you grow!