There are marketing steps you can take right now that are free or low-cost, but can target potential customers in an effective way.
If you’re a small to medium-sized business considering marketing on a budget, the thought of competing with the big guns can be overwhelming.
How on earth can a local grocery shop compete with the giant marketing budgets of Woolies or Coles? And while you may be flipping the best hamburgers in town, you know your marketing efforts are always going to be drowned by those of the global fast-food chains.
Yet did you know there are marketing steps you can take right now that are free or low-cost, but can target the customers you’re eyeing in a way that can generate significant boosts in brand recognition and sales?
Here’s five steps you can take today to market your business on a budget.
1. Create a Google My Business account
An increasing number of customers are choosing to shop locally, for convenience and from a desire to support their community – and Google My Business can quite literally put you on the map.
Google My Business allows businesses to show up on Google Maps and the local section of Google search, as well as in the Knowledge Panel on the right side of the search results page, which contains branded information.
Best of all, for those marketing on a budget, Google My Business is free!
2. Share content and engage on social media
Social media isn’t just a great way to promote your goods and services and elevate your brand, it allows businesses to connect on a deep and personal level with customers.
Posting content, such as videos, images, infographics, and articles can inform customers about who you are, what you offer, and why they should choose your company over another.
Responding to comments, offering discounts, and sharing reviews can connect you directly with customers in a way no other marketing activity can.
Social media also allows you to check the temperature of your current and potential customers, by telling you what they care about and what they respond to.
3. Make email marketing part of your strategy
Email newsletters are a quick and inexpensive way to directly reach a large number of people in a way that feels more private and personal than public platforms such as websites and social media.
Remember, you’re communicating with people we call ‘hot leads’ – those who have already expressed enough interest in your brand to agree to be contacted.
Email newsletters, also known as EDMs, can also be highly personalised, via segmentation, making conversion that much easier.
You can directly target recipients by location, gender and buying history. You can also retarget customers who came close to making a purchase but didn’t (e.g. abandoned carts) with an offer that pushes them across the line.
There are some simple ways you can start growing your email database today. Make the newsletter sign up prominent on your website and use engaging language, offer a discount to those who sign up, and make your newsletter valuable by offering benefits like exclusive access to events, bespoke content, or previews of upcoming products or services.
4. Publish great content
Excellent content isn’t just about creating fancy graphics or video – the best content is created by people who ask: what do my customers want?
Audience engagement happens when the person consuming the content is being delivered something they need. For example, a hardware chain might produce a series of videos explaining how to do simple DIY projects around the home. This is perceived as a gift from the company to the consumer, building trust, brand awareness and interest.
Content can come in many forms. It can be an article de-mystifying a specific beauty treatment, a video showing how to use a product, or an infographic showing how your business can resolve an issue.
5. Experiment with digital advertising
Advertising online is much cheaper than traditional advertising approaches, such as television or radio, and can cost as much or as little as your budget allows – but there are many other reasons businesses are focusing on digital advertising.
Digital advertising hits the people you want, where you want, via targeting. You can select your audience by age, gender, location and specific interests.
It’s also rapid response. You can run ads responding to trending topics or news in a matter of hours.
The other benefit is that digital advertising offers sophisticated retargeting, meaning you get back into front of the people who saw your initial advertisement, or those who engaged with it, to reinforce your message. It’s often an effective method to massage prospective customers through the buying cycle and encourage them to make a purchase.
Are you getting the most from your marketing budget?
The key to successfully marketing on a budget is choosing where to spend your money wisely. Often, that’s engaging a professional to make sure you get the biggest return on investment for your marketing budget.
Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne and we make sure that every cent of your marketing budget yields the greatest financial return.
To find out how we can help your business, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.