Every month there’s an aggressive attack that takes place on
your bank account. Your mortgage, rent, car payments, credit card payments,
utilities, food, entertainment costs, insurances and plenty of other things go
to war on your bank account, taking what they want and leaving little else for
you. It’s something we have learned to accept as adults and it’s not going to
go away anytime soon. Whatever is left over is used to save for a rainy day and
in business, you have to always prepare for that.
Putting together a marketing budget for small business
owners is tough because they know that each dollar is an investment but one,
they may never see a return on. We like to say that marketing is an investment
in your own company, and that’s true. However, for business owners, marketing
can feel more like insurance, they will not see that money come back, but it
may hopefully provide some form of comfort or assistance down the road.
It’s tough for a small business to dedicate hundreds or even
thousands of dollars to an advertising campaign, especially without knowing
whether or not they will see a return on it. Whether you are a startup or just
testing the waters, there are some things you can do to stretch your marketing
budget and get more out of it:
- Invest time into Google marketing: Google is not only the largest search engine in the world, but it is also responsible for some of the highest conversion rates in digital marketing. People go to Google for information and to influence their decision on where they are going to buy a product or service. Whether it’s business listings, getting your account setup, showing up in the maps section or learning how to use AdWords, there are plenty of free services that Google offers that will benefit you. It just takes time on your part to learn them and utilize them.
- Sign up on free directories: There are dozens of free directories out there, some better than others, that will help you to generate traffic and interest from consumers. Don’t worry about the ROI because it’s free to be on there.
- Get social media going: Any business that does not have social media accounts setup and posting every day is hurting itself. Not only are they all free but they rank high on search engines and give you another opportunity to connect with users. Platforms like Hootsuite are great because they are free for small businesses to use and allow you to post to multiple accounts.
- Build your email list: Ask your customers for their email so that you can send them out updates on new promotions. The more you contact consumers with social media posts and emails, the better your chances are of them responding. Mail Chimp offers free use of their platform if you are under 2,000 email records and it’s easy to design your own email using their templates.
- Spend when consumers are shopping: If you are going to invest in AdWords or run a social media ad, be smart about when you do it. $100 on Black Friday or Cyber Monday will go further than $500 on a random Tuesday because you have to remember consumers save their money to buy at certain times when they think they are getting great deals.
These tips will help you to not only market your business
but to also stay within your marketing budget without using up too much of your
time or money. Once you’ve done this and started connecting with consumers, you
can then use the services of bigger agencies to help you expand your reach and
tackle new challenges that will benefit your business for years.