Marketing is one of the business processes that requires a good investment. Through marketing, you create brand awareness, get prospects to convert, and maintain a good relationship with the customers. Basically, marketing sells your products and maintains your presence in the market. When you fail to engage your customers, your competitors will take over and you will lose business. However, marketing a business can be an expensive affair. This makes marketing costs a big challenge to some businesses, especially the SMEs. If you are not doing enough to market your business because of the cost, consider the following tips.
Stop Spending Where There is No ROI
The first step you should take is to evaluate your past marketing campaigns and their returns. Take note of the campaigns that received minimal engagement and didn’t generate leads. You should avoid putting more money into such campaigns. Since such projects aren’t bringing in any leads, cutting them off won’t affect your sales. Most importantly, it will save you money. However, note that some investments take time to give returns. For instance, when you start a blog, it may take a few months to rank on the first pages of the search engines. Therefore, don’t do away with SEO spending when you don’t get traffic in a month. But when it comes to ads and email, you should see results soon after implementation.
Know Your Target
Before you create a campaign, know your target. Your target is the group of people who are most likely to buy from you. Knowing your target will keep you from spending money on individuals who are not interested in your products. For instance, assume your plumbing business is targeting a section of the U.S. market and you create a campaign showing ads to people in all countries including Africa. Your ad spending will be high, but lead generation will be very low. This is because people in Africa will not call you for plumbing services. By targeting your audience, you avoid spending where there is no chance of making sales and this makes your marketing more cost-effective.
Consider Cross Promotion Partnerships
Cross promotion partnerships can save marketing costs and attract more customers to your business. You simply have to get a business whose audience is similar to yours to promote your products and ideas to their audience and you do the same for them. Cross promotion partnerships will only work with companies that are not your direct competitors. The key benefit of using such a strategy is that you get customers without spending any money. Cross promotion can be done in a number of ways. Some of them include social media posts, newsletters, YouTube videos, blog posts, joint advertising, joint contests, joint events and ad display.
Consider Marketing Automation
Through marketing automation, businesses can effectively manage leads and customers to boost conversion rates and revenue while keeping marketing costs down. Some of the marketing activities that you can automate include emails, social media, content promotion and lead capturing among others. With marketing automation software, you will eliminate the repetitive tasks and this will leave you with enough time to spend on other processes.
Use Free Tools and Platforms
Take advantage of free platforms such as social media to market your business. There are also tons of free tools you can use for email marketing, keyword research, marketing analysis and social media management among others.
Negotiate When Buying Tools or Hiring Service Providers
While there are numerous free tools you can use for marketing, some of them have limited features and thus as you expand you may need some paid ones. When shopping for marketing tools, take time to compare prices and negotiate where possible. You should do the same when hiring a marketing expert. Most providers are open for negotiation especially where you are using their tools or services for the long term.
Retain Your Existing Customers
Don’t focus your marketing efforts so much on gaining new customers that you forget the existing ones. Remember, it is much more expensive to get a new customer than to maintain an existing one. Therefore, balance the two well and your marketing costs will not go up. You can retain your existing customers through email marketing, social media engagement, contests, offers and free giveaways among many others.
Let Customers Speak for Your Business
When your existing customers are satisfied, they will share positive reviews and recommend your business to friends. Customers trust each other more than they trust businesses and thus a positive remark from a satisfied customer carries so much weight. With positive reviews and recommendations, your business will make more sales without increasing the marketing spend.
Outsource Instead of Hiring
As your business expands and your marketing activities become too much for you and your in-house marketing team, consider outsourcing some tasks instead of bringing in more in-house staff. You can outsource some tasks to freelancers or marketing companies. Some of the marketing activities you can outsource include SEO, social media management and email marketing among others. Take time to learn more on your business marketing needs, the expertise you have in-house and what you need to outsource. You don’t have to outsource a task if you have the skill and the time to do it well.
Promote Old Content
Instead of creating new content, use the old one, especially when marketing to new audiences. This will save you money you could have spent on new content. However, when promoting old content, check whether the information is up to date. Some bits of information may get outdated and irrelevant over time as your business expands. Update the information that is outdated to avoid misleading your prospects and losing their trust.
Get Free Publicity for Your Business
You can get free publicity from PR websites as well as local reporters. Free publicity will make your brand known and draw more customers to your business. However, getting free publicity can be a tough task and may take some time. Some of the things that can help include quality products or services, a unique brand story, involvement in the local community, compelling stories or information and a good relationship with the reporters.
As you cut on marketing spend, perform continuous evaluations to ensure you are meeting your customer acquisition and retention goals.