15 low-cost marketing strategies
Regardless of how big a business gets, the amount it spends on its marketing budget, versus its effectiveness, is something that always comes under scrutiny. Many companies worry that marketing is a bottomless pit which does nothing but consume money and provide no tangible expectation of return on investment. The sad fact is that, sometimes, this is true; but only when you don’t plan.
An intelligent marketing strategy performs several functions, including; connecting businesses to their customers, raising awareness of products and services, developing brand loyalty with new and returning clients, creating a lower cost of acquisition per customer, and increasing the life time value of your customers to maximise potential return-spending opportunities.
Before spending big bucks on your marketing plan why not consider harnessing the power of low-cost marketing strategies that can help get your business moving in the right direction, without the need to part with your hard-earned cash.
- Be Digital
- Get web ready – Nowadays, anyone can build a website in minutes. Whilst there’s a lot more you can do to increase its effectiveness, having a website builds credibility. Spend some time on your message and don’t forget to include contact details. Make sure it’s mobile compatible.
- Google My Business – A free way of getting your company, literally, on the map. Google My Business takes records of companies and puts them into Google Maps so that you are searchable by postal address and phone number. Add extra details and reviews to help potential customers find you.
- Effective Social Media – By effective, I mean planned. Too many businesses just hit social media with no message or purpose and spend too much time on it. Think about the reason you are using social media, where your customers are, what to say. Make the most of social media with this blog.
- Content Marketing/vlogging – Got a bit of spare time when starting up? Probably not, but find some. Content marketing/vlogging are the latest buzzwords to help demonstrate your expertise. Write an article/record a video to give you ready-to-post content for your website and social media.
- Utilise e-marketing – Done well and done right, a strong e-marketing campaign can be a highly effective way for always being on the periphery of potential customers. Try to avoid personal e-mail addresses like Google/Hotmail and use ones linked to your company name.
- Go Old School
- Make phone calls – Got a mobile? Access to the internet? Cold-calling heaven, or hell, awaits. While it can be a fruitless task without any market intelligence to back it up, you can use this to talk directly to the decision makers and understand their thought processes/access to market opportunities.
- Get out flyering – Some say print marketing is dead, others say it’s all about time and place. If your target market shop on a Saturday morning on the High Street, get down there with flyers and make yourself seen. Online printing services have loads of offers. Include promo codes to see if it worked.
- Run a competition – Not just for big business. See if there is an inviting offer you can make to your potential customer base. Use Facebook and get people to share posts, direct them to a page on your website, or make them watch a video. Use it to raise awareness of your services/products.
- Conduct a survey – A great way to understand what the market wants and needs, surveys can help you hit the nail on the head with finding your niche. With lots of free software like Google Pages or Survey Monkey, you can collect data with meaning. Make sure you ask the right questions!
- Meet the people
- Host a workshop – Use your knowledge and experience to help others. Giving a presentation is a great way to demonstrate your expertise. Don’t just use this as a chance to sell, offer genuine, valid advice and understand where people are having problems. Then, show how you can help.
- Attend networking events – Business networking is alive and better than ever. No more old men in grey suits, these events are lively, fun and brimming with potential customers/referrals. Don’t expect immediate returns but build your connections. See my article on networking for more tips.
- Exceptional customer service – No marketing is better than word-of-mouth referrals. While friends and family will do this for free, customers are the best ambassador. Providing exceptional customer service can be time consuming, but it can also be an investment that provides the biggest return.
- Partnerships – An under-utilised strategy of most companies is recognising the opportunity for a contra-deal. If you work in an area that complements another business, strike a deal. Work as an accountant and need a logo? Partner up with a graphic designer and offer a skills-swap.
- Mix it up
- Understand what works – In anything you do that relates to spending money, always test and track the effectiveness of what you are undertaking. With all marketing, you have the ability to see what the return is against the investment made. Keep a track of these to see where you get the best ROI.
- Use A/B Testing – A/B testing is a variation of testing and tracking by running the same campaign twice, simultaneously, but with different messages to see if one elicits a higher response rate than the other. This can help you understand if customers respond to one message better than another.
More about the author:
Becky Lodge is the Business Founder of Little Kanga, a company that provides outsourced sales and marketing services for businesses in the UK.
In 2017, Becky is bringing a ‘first of its kind’ event to Hampshire.
Hampshire Meet The Buyer is coming soon and is supported by Uber, Portsmouth City Council and the University of Portsmouth.
Follow the Twitter feed now for more information: @HampshireMTB this event is for the following vertical markets: STEM, Facilities Management, Construction, Engineering and Power Generation.
Get in touch: www.littlekanga.co.uk
Phone: 0333 444 0364