When you look back at the business scene a few decades ago, it seems as if the only ones who can build their own business from the ground up are multi-millionaires or corporations made up of several rich shareholders. Back then, you would have to spend thousands or even millions of dollars on advertisements which spread the word about your brand.
Today, the advent of the Internet has brought about a more inexpensive, yet effective way of promoting one’s brand. This means that almost anyone with a good product or service to offer the general consuming public can put up a business.
The Importance of Developing an Effective Marketing Strategy
However, just because you can get away with using your website as the main means of promoting your business does not mean that you can scrimp on developing an effective marketing strategy. After all, your goal is to acquire as many customers as possible who will buy your products or subscribe to your services.
A well-designed website may be a good and cheap advertising tool to have, but you still need to optimize it for the search engines in order to reach out to a broader audience.
The same thing holds true for any kind of marketing campaign. No matter which product or service it is that you are offering to your customers, you need to develop an effective marketing strategy that will deliver your branding message.
In the next section, we will be enumerating ways on how you can effectively market your business without spending too much on advertising costs.
That’s actually the challenge for most business owners right now. Most would want to create a branding experience that puts their brand name out there – but this usually costs a lot of money to achieve.
If you’re a mid- or a small-scale entrepreneur, you might not necessarily have the budget to come up with an all-out media campaign which costs a lot of money. The good news is that you can implement several marketing techniques without spending too much, or not spending any money at all.
Top 10 Money-Saving Ways to Market Your Business
Before counting down the top money-saving ways to market your business, let us first take a quick look at what makes for an effective marketing campaign. According to branding experts, the field of marketing these days is quite complex and requires a mixture of marketing materials, training materials, printed materials and promotional items.
More than just print ads, there is a need to integrate modern means of promoting a brand which extends to the web, social media, mobile subscribers, e-mail account owners and actual buyers. Fortunately, you can come up with a marketing campaign that spreads out to all of these individual elements – minus the need to spend a lot on advertising.
Take a look at our top 10 money-saving ways to market a business:
1. Come up with an effective branding campaign, and delegate the tasks
Any marketing expert would advise you to first come up with a branding message, then create an advertising campaign for that. Even if you have a meagre budget for the entire thing, having a plan is what will allow you to reach your end goal – which is spreading the word about your business. So what’s the first thing to do when creating a branding campaign for your company?
Let’s say that you have already arrived at the branding message that you would like to impart to your target audience. In order to reach out to them, you need to come up with content. This is something that you need to delegate because assigning one person to handle the task, especially if it involves different types of media, can be budget-straining.
For instance, you can hire a freelance graphic artist to make changes with your logo if you are updating your marketing campaign. You can also have the artist create a logo and all the other marketing elements from scratch. As long as your branding message and image is already there, you can come up with content to use on your ad campaign.
2. If you can, repurpose or reuse previous ad campaigns
You might be introducing a new product to the market, so you need to come up with an effective yet cheap advertising campaign for it. To save on costs, why not repurpose or reuse your previous marketing materials?
Is there anything from a previous campaign that might still work for the new product that you are launching? You are still the same brand, anyway, so the core image to project to your audience remains unchanged.
With a few creative updates, you can reuse or repurpose previous ad campaigns, make it work to your advantage, and promote something new without having to spend anything at all.
3. Use a budget-friendly marketing management solution
If you would like to launch an all-out campaign which extends to social media, websites, the local community, etc., how about subscribing to a budget-friendly marketing management solution? Keep in mind that content creation may be the most important element of an ad campaign, but it is not necessarily the most expensive.
Choosing vendors, implementing the campaign, creating a budget and juggling a myriad of other related tasks are what actually take up most of the money. To cut back on these costs, you can automate them by subscribing to budget-friendly marketing management solutions. Not only will it save you money, but it will also let you manage your time more efficiently.
4. Build a good relationship with your business partners
Did you know that the barter system still works in today’s business environment? A small bakeshop, for example, can trade the service of supplying cupcakes for an event to a PR firm, who can in turn offer promotional services for the bakeshop. If you’re launching a marketing campaign, think of how you can offer your product or service to another company who can help you out.
You may offer a week’s supply of your products to a printing company, for instance, in exchange of their printing out your marketing materials for a campaign. Just keep in mind that this can only work if you have managed to build a good relationship with vendors, suppliers and business partners in the first place.
5. Even in marketing, small savings do add up
If you must mail out marketing materials to customers, do it in the morning so you won’t have to pay for express or priority mail – but it will still be delivered early.
Cleaning up your mailing list so you won’t have to send marketing materials to inactive customers or undeliverable addresses is also a must. Look for companies that offer free shipping or bulk order discounts.
Use recycled paper, refurbished computers or refillable ink cartridges. These are some of the small things that you can do in order to save on marketing costs which, when added together, will give you big benefits in the long run.
6. Remember that the least expensive way to market your business
No matter which product or service it is that you have, word of mouth is still the most effective yet cheapest way to promote your wares. Encourage your clients to refer you to other clients, and scout for testimonials which you can include in your website.
7. Try cross promotion
Yet another budget-friendly way to market your business is through cross-promotion. While advertising a new product, you can cross-promote a product that you currently have. However, do make sure that there is something that ties them together other than the brand. Otherwise, you would have an ad that’s too pushy, which might turn off some potential customers.
8. Go for low-cost alternatives instead of traditional advertising
As mentioned earlier, the advent of the Internet made it possible for even non-millionaires to start their own business. This is because websites can be easily used as a cheap yet effective way to promote a brand. As compared to traditional print, TV or radio ads, launching a full-on online campaign is cheaper, yet a lot more effective in reaching out to your target market.
9. Get your events sponsored by other companies
If you’re planning to join a trade show, why not have your printed marketing materials sponsored by a small printing company? In exchange, you can promote their business on your own website or you can offer them your products or services for the free perk. Having sponsors at marketing events help carry the overall expense of this aspect of your marketing campaign.
10. Additional money-saving marketing tips for your business
Outsourcing is another way for you to cut back on marketing-related expenses. When launching a new product, you can have the label designed by a freelance graphic designer. You can also go for a cloud-based solution rather than subscribing to pricier hardware or software services.
More importantly, you can harness the power of social media to reach out directly to your target market. By being active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites, you can get instant feedback and gain some insight on how you can promote your products or services in a more effective, yet budget-friendly manner.
Among these money-saving marketing tips, which one do you think will work best for your own business?