Creating a Marketing Plan on a Budget
Money can be tight if you have a small business. Most of your funds will be allocated to establishing your brand and managing internal operations. When it comes to promoting your product, you will need to rely on more than word of mouth.
Though a lot of small business owners maintain that one client’s good service will result in a flood of new customers, that simply isn’t the case.
To increase your client base and generate more sales, it is imperative to set an advertising budget. Placing money into the right channels can greatly improve your current results.
Larger businesses may have the upper hand when it comes to budgeting, but used correctly, your small business can have a successful, and affordable, marketing campaign.
What You Need to Know Before Starting Your Campaign
Having a small business does not mean you can begin advertising your product or services. Other than the necessity of an established website, there are some things you need before starting your campaign:
Understand Your Clientele
As great as it may be, not everyone will need whatever it is you’re offering. The most important thing to know is who you will be targeting with your campaign.
Whether you want to focus on similar demographics or locations, you can use this information to make the most of your advertising. Once your clientele grows, so will your budget and target audience.
Know What You Do and Do It Well
More specifically, be able to tell someone about your business in a few words. Keep it short, keep it simple, and keep it enthralling. If you can clearly explain what you do, it’ll be easier to get more business.
Anything from a clever slogan to an adorable mascot can help your business be seen by potential customers, but it’s your services that will make you be heard.
Find a unique quality or approach, to help you stand out from your competitors. Becoming the best in your industry will not happen overnight.
A great way to build your business up to this standard is by offering your customers something truly unique. This will make you stand out from your competition and earn you more sales.
Define Your Marketing Goals
Telling yourself that you “need more business” is not a specific enough reason to start a marketing campaign. You need to establish where and how you’ll be getting this business. Will it be from visits, leads, or sales on your website? Are you going to run a promotion?
Once you have a plan established, you need to have a number in mind. Whether you want one hundred or one thousand leads, your goals need to be as detailed as possible, so you know whether or not your campaign is successful.
Steps to Running an Affordable Campaign
Now that you have all of the required background knowledge, you can start your marketing strategy. Keep in mind that no matter how you advertise your small business, you will need to have a budget set aside.
It is never a good idea to use spare change to run your marketing campaign. No matter how cost-effective your campaign is, having an inconsistent budget will not help with achieving your goals.
Understanding how to wisely spend your budget will benefit any type of advertisement. Though I will mention free marketing ideas, you’ll notice that budgeting for your campaigns is always an asset.
Invest Time and Resources in Social Media
If you’re running any sort of business in 2016, you likely have social media accounts associated with it. If not, that’s your first step. Social media is an excellent way to connect with your customers and let them know what you have to offer.
Social media is used for more than an immediate way to promote the newest products to your network. It is a direct way to communicate with people in your niche.
This includes current clients, potential business, those interested in your company or industry, anyone in a market similar to yours, or even people who are associated with the same circles and hubs as you.
Correctly using your small business’ social media accounts will build strong networking relationships, which can lead to increased business and sales.
Social Advertising for Your Business
At this time, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter offer paid advertising services. One option you have is to run a PPC campaign on one of these social media platforms. When money is tight, running ads on each website is not the best idea.
With over 1 billion daily users as of March 2016, Facebook is the best platform to begin your paid advertisement. You will have the greatest reach, with a higher possibility of conversion.
Companies such as JibJab have been effectively using Facebook advertisements in order to generate further interest, and distribution, of their online entertainment production.
Much like with Google AdWords, you can bid on keywords for text, photo, or video ads, and monitor the campaign as it runs. If you prefer, you also have the option of spending money to boost the reach, and impressions of something you have posted.
Focus in on Local SEO
When you have a potential client searching for products or services you offer, they likely want something local. In case you didn’t already know, local clients are loyal clients. Using the services of a good SEO company can put your website at the top of Google’s first page.
An optimized website used in conjunction with Google Places to show up on Google Maps will give you added visibility. Your potential customers will be directed to your business, as searches for listed companies will typically rank higher on Google.
Optimizing Your Google Places Profile
Making the most of Google Places is easily done. By using relevant keywords to describe what your business offers, you can appeal to your target client base. Understanding which keywords are best to use, and how often to use them, can be difficult.
Avoid including empty keywords in your descriptions. You should also refrain from overusing keywords you believe to be important, as it can negatively impact your ranking on Google.
Adding up to ten enticing photos, or five videos, at no charge can show your potential customers what your small business is about, and help them identify you. Try to promote genuine client engagement on your Google Places page.
The added bonus of having your current clients leave positive reviews about your establishment will further convince newcomers to give you their business.
How To Use These Strategies For Your Business’ Benefit
When it comes to marketing techniques for your small business, you need to do more than rank well on Google. Having the right resources available to create new, informative website content, while understanding what your clients need before deciding to give you their business is key.
Taking advantage of keyword research and optimization will help with your visibility, but will not always be enough to achieve your goals. That is why you must set money aside for advertising.
Getting the Most from Your Marketing Dollars
By leveraging your funds in a way to help your business grow, you can enhance your website’s conversion rate. Don’t spend your marketing budget on strategies that won’t work for your small business. One thing you can’t afford is to lose money on a campaign that will lead nowhere.
Take the time to understand what your customers want, need, and search for, before you attempt to target them. If you don’t know who will benefit from your products or services, how will know the best way to market what you have to offer?
If you have the right mindset and means, monetizing through your marketing can be simple. Allocating your resources to the specific channels listed in this post will allow your business to thrive. Your customers will be more inclined to give you their business if you give them a taste of who you are.
Doing whatever you can to have a bold, unique, advertisement that people will respond to will give you the best results. Show your current and potential customers what it is you are made of, and what you can accomplish for them.