There is no doubt that small and medium size businesses are still operating under tight budgets. With that said, continuing to cut back on marketing communications could have a negative impact on how your business grows.
The economy is doing better than it was a few years ago and you’re likely to be torn as to whether or not you should be spending more money on marketing. The short answer is probably “yes,” but if you are like many businesses, that can be difficult.
As an entrepreneur, it might feel daunting to think about how to promote your products and services without spending a huge amount of money. Well, guess what: you don’t need a million-dollar marketing campaign to get results!
Marketing is not about spending tons of money on designs and media placements. Good—and effective—marketing means targeting your resources on the things that work and doing less of the things that don’t work.
Target your advertising. It’s about quality, not quantity.
Many small businesses waste money advertising in large, blanket publications. Unfortunately, many of their customers are not reading these media outlets. Money wasted. Part of that challenge is knowing your customer base and adjusting your strategy so you are precisely targeting them.
If you buy ad space, consider what publications your target audience reads. If you sell hospital supplies, you would probably have better success buying space in medical journals and magazines that you know hospital administrators and decision makers read, rather than Time or Newsweek.
That’s a bit of an exaggerated example, but you get the idea. Find out where your audience is and go there. When advertising online, you will be able to even further refine your options for reaching your target audience.
Don’t forget about earned media.
There is no better press than, well, press! Work on your public relations skills and learn how to target local and trade news sources and blogs for coverage. Good press releases can get you some much-loved media attention, which can give your brand credibility and a name boost. And you don’t have to pay for advertising space!
What is your brand doing that’s news related? Why is it a good story? These are the questions you should ask yourself when writing press releases. If you learn to think like a journalist, you will have greater success at gaining their attention.
Be social. Utilize social media.
Social media is also one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal these days. Where else can you not only broadcast your brand’s message, but also receive feedback about how your business is doing and what people want from you?
Social media allows you to change and evolve with your customer base while building lasting relationships with people.
As you might imagine, I could go on and on with tips on how to better market your business. These three items are just a few ways you can start thinking about refine your marketing communications to be more effective.
The important thing is not to limit yourself by thinking you can’t make an impact without spending foolishly. Everyone has to start small, but the ones who can be creative and make the most of the tools at hand are the ones who will most likely succeed in the end.
If you have an hour to spare, give us a call at 214-528-5775. We’d love to chat with you about how a strategic marketing communications plan can help you pin-point how to make the most of your limited budget.