As a small business owner, you are putting your heart and soul into your business. You're been putting countless hours of hard work and thousands of dollars into achieving your dream. The very last thing you want to happen is for your business to lose to your competition. One of the ways to make sure you don't lose to your competitors is to position yourself better than them. But, that can end up being quite expensive. You don't want to spend more than you have to, right? You should get every penny out of your shoestring marketing budget to ensure you come out on top. With these 5 budget marketing tips, we have laid out for you, you and your year-end numbers will be thanking us.
Tip 1: Get A Google Business Listing
Does your business have a listing currently on Google? If you do, great! But are you fully utilizing it to it's fullest potential? If you don't have a listing on Google for your business, you should get that started as soon as you're done reading this.
Think about it for a brief moment? What do consumers do when searching for someplace to eat or shop. They look up reviews on Google and other reviewing sites. Most people are not willing to go the extra mile to find out where to eat or shop.
They will go to whatever has the best rating on Google. Trust us, we do it all the time here at Blue Cardinal Group. Consumer reviews are becoming more and more influential about where we choose to spend our money.
If you properly optimize your Google listing, you should pop up whenever somebody searches for a term that you want them to look up. With your listing, you can send more traffic to your website resulting in greater opportunities for marketing. If you get your consumers right to your website from Google, what more could you ask for? From there, you can run re-marketing campaigns, get their email address or get them to purchase a product.
Even if you do have a company page on Google, is it fully optimized? You should fill out the listing as detailed as you can possibly get it. This includes keeping accurate information on there such as your business hours and location(s). You should also include some keywords in there just like you would do normal SEO on your website. When you have your listing fully optimized, you are going to be able to see exactly how people got to your listing. This is a huge marketing benefit for any company.
You can see why having a listing on Google Business is absolutely essential in today's world. Without it, you are simply going to lose to your competitors even if you are better than them.
Be sure to check out this great post about how to fully optimize your Google listing, here
Tip 2: Utilize Email Marketing
One of the most effective marketing techniques for any business, particularly retail, is email marketing. Chances are you personally probably get at least a couple emails from brands you follow every day. Why? Because "email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social." according to Monetate.
The hardest part about email marketing is building your list to send the actual emails to. There are many different methods for collecting those precious emails. If you are an e-commerce store or simply a brick n' mortar location, you could draw people in with some sweet discounts. The key to collecting people's email addresses for marketing is to make sure you are providing value in each and every email you send them.
The ANA, the Association of National Advertisers, found "When it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, email has the highest conversion rate (66%) when compared to social, direct mail..."
But email marketing is not only a marketing tip for retailers, but it can also be used for B2B companies. However, instead of sending your list offers and discounts, content drives B2B email marketing. The content you should send your list is entirely up to you. It can be blogs, podcasts, guides, case studies etc. It is vital for any B2B email marketing list to be segmented based on your business. If you offer a couple different services, make sure you have those email addresses properly tagged to whatever they are interested in.
If you're worried that email marketing will be taking up too much time or money, you will be glad to know that for every $1 invested in your email strategy, you can expect an average return of $38.
Need help navigating the waters of email marketing?
Tip 3: Print Some Marketing Materials
Even in the digital world in which most of the business world operates, printed marketing materials are still very effective.
While there is a lot you can do online to make your business stand out, it is still essential to market your business offline.
There are a ton of materials you can get printed that will almost certainly pay for themselves. There are the essentials almost every business still needs to get printed. These are typically business cards, letterheads, flyers, posters, and banners. Business cards, as small of an investment as it is, actually pack quite a punch with them. You will be carrying them with you pretty much anywhere you can. You can hand them out at your customers, expos you are attending, professional meetings, and even your personal social life.
One of the most effective print marketing tips I can give you is to utilize direct mail. Direct mail campaigns are often forgotten about for businesses.
In fact, the USPS reports, 79% of consumers find reading mail is more convenient than going online.
You can send your customers or clients a variety of pieces through the mail. The most commons are postcards and brochures but you can get really fancy with them as well. If you simply want to wow whoever you are sending your mailing campaign to you can also include fun promotional items like windbreakers.
Just note the most important part of running a direct mail campaign is your list. You can have an awesome design but send it to the wrong people.
Tip 4: Advertise on Social Media
As useful as printed marketing materials are, your business still needs to be advertising online. One of the best ways to reach our audience online is through social media advertising.
This marketing tip can seem pretty obvious but actually making it work for you is difficult. There are countless examples of businesses who swear social media marketing wasn't for them. Just like your mailing list is the backbone of your direct mail campaign, your audience is the most important part of online advertising. With online advertising, you can reach your audience where they are spending a lot of their time. Which makes it one of the most powerful tools in any modern businesses bag. People now are even spending more time on social media than watching TV.
One of the biggest benefits of spending money on paid social media is you can make your ads super relevant to your audience. You can make a Facebook ad for example and only show that ad to people who viewed the newest product you launched on your website.
Advertising on social media is not only for B2C companies but for almost every single business that exists. In fact, 93% of all B2B marketers use social media as part of their strategy. (Source)
If you are considering running paid social media posts as part of your marketing strategy for your small business, it all comes down to how you execute your ad. Do not blame Facebook or Instagram for your poorly converting ad.
Paid online marketing is a whole different kind of animal. If you are confused on where to start, take it from one of the modern masters of digital marketing, Neil Patel.
Tip 5: Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
The last budget marketing tip we have to give you is joining your local chamber of commerce. There are so many benefits of joining your local chamber but it really takes some time and effort to fully utilize it.
Simply joining your local chamber isn't enough. Participating in it is a vital part of making it work for you as a marketing tool.
You can network with all of the other small businesses in the area, engage in business workshops, and go on tons of fun events with like-minded people.
But joining your chamber also has some great effects on customer perception. When customers know a small business is apart of the local chamber, they are 44% more likely to think favorably of it and 63% more likely to purchase goods or services from the business in the future. This gives you a great competitive edge over your competition if they are not apart of the chamber.
The best part of all of these marketing tips we have laid out for you is they are budget friendly but still highly effective.
As a small business, money is pretty tight and chances are you don't have the funds to launch a full-fledged marketing campaign.
Each of these marketing tips takes time and effort to fully take advantage of them. Once you have fully invested your time with these marketing tips, we are sure you are going to be thanking us later.