Marketing is a crucial investment for any business — keyword investment. As an SME, or small-to-medium business enterprise, allocating funds to marketing can be a hard pill to swallow, but it doesn’t have to be.
Keeping in mind that this is an investment (therefore there should be a return) and approaching it with intentionality can help you create ROI. Here are a few budget-friendly marketing strategies:
Utilize Social Media
Social media continues to grow every day. It’s a great way to capture your customers’ attention and create an opportunity to market your business. Not only is it free to use (organically), it also has the potential to reach a sizable audience, ideally targeted, if used correctly.
There are many platforms out there (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc.) — but don’t feel like your business needs to be on all of them! Focus on using the platform(s) that is used by your target audience. Keep in mind that you may not be your target audience, so don’t just go with the one(s) you use. By creating engaging content, posting consistently, and building a loyal following, businesses can effectively market without spending a dime.
Collaborate with Other Businesses
Although social media is free and effective, it shouldn’t be the only tactic used. Another budget-friendly marketing strategy that works is collaborating with other businesses in the same industry. This can include cross-promotions, joint events, or even partnering on social media campaigns. By working together, the overall reach expands, and businesses can tap into each other’s audiences.
Take Advantage of Email Marketing
Your business could also leverage email marketing as a cost-effective way to reach potential customers. Keep your company top-of-mind for subscribers with targeted email lists and a consistent schedule. For example, always send newsletters on the same day or two weeks apart.
Do your best to segment your audience by interest or interaction with your business, i.e., service, sales, events, etc. and send them communication about those areas. They’ve already demonstrated interest, so leverage that.
Email marketing also allows you to target laggard customers, or those who haven’t been in your store for some time. Entice them with an offer to draw them back inside. There are plenty of email marketing tools available that are affordable and easy to use, including Mailchimp, Brevo, or Constant Contact.
Leverage Public Relations
This is another cost-effective marketing strategy. You can use publicity to build brand awareness and promote products or services. Unlike traditional advertising, which requires a substantial budget to run campaigns, successful media relations can be achieved with minimal to no investment by earning media coverage.
By building relationships with journalists, writers, and industry influencers, businesses can be included in news articles or in TV segments that can help create visibility and credibility. With a well-executed publicity campaign, you can get your message/product/service in front of potential customers without breaking the bank.
Finally, the power of word-of-mouth marketing shouldn’t be underestimated. Businesses should encourage their satisfied customers to talk about your business to their friends and family. This creates “user-generated content.” Incentivizing referrals with discounts or other rewards could help get the ball rolling.
Don’t forgo marketing to save a few bucks now. Try these budget-friendly strategies and grow from there. By utilizing social media, collaborating with other businesses, email marketing, publicity, and word-of-mouth, marketing could generate a major return without breaking the bank.
Caitlyn Anderson is the Communication Specialist with Pushing the Envelope, Inc., a strategic marketing communication firm based in Fort Myers, Florida, servicing clients regionally and nationally. If you need help with your marketing, Pushing the Envelope is here for you. We can be reached at www.getpushing.com.