How Expensive is a Good Marketing Strategy?
When working with a limited budget, everything seems too expensive! Here are some tips to help prioritize spend while crafting a good marketing strategy.
So, how expensive is a good marketing strategy, especially when you’re bootstrapping your way to sales?
Without marketing, all the products and services you’ve worked tirelessly to carefully craft, will most certainly go unnoticed.
Unfortunately, you’ve probably spent most of your money creating those products and services. The idea of having to pull together an unimaginable sum to start a marketing campaign is daunting and there’s no point in implementing a bad marketing strategy.
Thanks to the internet, effective marketing strategies need not be expensive. Effort and resources are equally as important as budgets, and budgets can be safely and successfully reduced by research and calculated moves.
Decide on The Results You Need
It’s impossible to form any kind of a functional marketing strategy without knowing exactly what you’re attempting to accomplish. Wishing with all your might for to “get people to go the place and do the thing” won’t deliver any measurable result.
What kind of people, to what place, to do what thing?
You need to be highly specific in your intentions in order to create a strategy that will deliver the results you’re seeking.
How many new customers or clients are you looking to gain?
How significantly do you want to improve sales of a particular product or service?
You need to be sure of these things before you spend a dime. Certainty will allow you to craft a marketing strategy without much wasteful spending – every cent you put in can be directed towards your highly specific goal. By foregoing expenses on vague marketing strategies, you’re reducing costs while improving your potential of achieving your desired results.
Prioritize Where to Spend
Many businesses working with limited budgets make the mistake of thinking that marketing on more avenues will bring more customers. This isn’t always the case. If your target audience spends more time on Instagram than on Twitter, paying to advertise on Twitter is more likely to be wasteful. Rather than allocating more money to more avenues, allocate more money to the avenues that work for you.
If you have a good understanding of your demographic, advertisement platforms that allow you to target people are far better. If you know that your product is frequently purchased by males between the ages of 21 and 35 who live in urban areas and enjoy indie music, spend then most amount of money advertising to them. Use social media advertisement tools that will allow you to reach people you already know will be interested.
Combining Free and Paid Methods
Your blog is an excellent marketing tool.
Many businesses fail to utilize their blog because it seems like more of an insider tool than an outreach tool. Blogs have the potential to draw in a wealth of traffic with relatively little effort. Regularly updated blogs that provide value and answer common questions get a ton of visits. They’ll improve your website’s SEO standing and help you reach more people through organic search.
Combining the promotion of your business with generally helpful content is the first step in creating an effective content marketing strategy that costs virtually nothing. People may coincidentally stumble upon your marketing content and find it so useful, valuable, or even funny, that they feel inclined to hit a social share button and send it to their friends. Never overlook your blog as a free resource.
Combining this free resource with your paid resources can increase your results – sometimes exponentially.
People will inevitably discover you through your content and potentially become customers if they find you’re solving a pertinent want or need in their lives. People who find you through paid marketing will visit your website and find your wealth of useful content, giving them a reason to stick around and learn more about you.
Your blog is important because it gives visitors something to do (other than shop) when they visit your website – they’ll be more likely to come back and continually be exposed to your marketing. Your blog can easily upsell current customers, convert “maybe customers” into “yes customers”, and inspire loyalty in the customers who make up the backbone of your business.
Getting More Conversions Out of Less Money
You can get more conversions out of less money by tailoring your advertisements and your landing pages to maximize results.
Have you ever clicked on an ad for something or opened a marketing email without a clear idea about what to do when you got there?
Were you overwhelmed with products and services to look at and things to read?
This is because the advertisement didn’t come with a clear call to action. People don’t want to jump through hoops to spend money – in fact, that extra time and those extra steps give them ample opportunity to second guess themselves.
Utilizing clear calls to action will help you measure results and adjust your campaigns to maximize results in a specific area. Tell them what you want them to buy or do. Create a landing page that makes it easy for people to follow the path to completing that action, whether it’s a purchase, an email list signup, or a free download.
Retargeting is also an important part of a marketing strategy.
If you had someone interested, don’t let that person go. Sending triggered, automated emails designed to deal with common problems like cart abandonment may inspire people to come back and complete the action. Some businesses send modest discount codes (usually 10% off or 15% off) to convince people to come back and complete their purchases.
Scrounging Up Extra Cash
Once you have all the details locked in, it’s time to find the right amount of money to start your marketing efforts. If your budget is still too modest to satisfy everything you’d like to do, find some extra cash. You can rent extra space or even open spots on your parking lot through sharing economy websites. You can go paperless to save money on printing supplies. You can outsource or automate in-house processes to cut down on overhead expenses and employee salary costs. Always review your general business budget and look for ways to minimize.
Marketing is an ongoing process. By collecting and analyzing the results from campaign to campaign, you’ll be able to reduce your expenses (or at least spend more effectively) with future campaigns. Continue to grow and learn in all areas of your business – mastery will come with time.