How Can I Affordably Market My Business

One of the first questions that comes up when meeting with a new client comes down to money. Whether you create a visual and compelling proposal, generally people skip straight to the cost. This is understandable. There is a perception that marketing will always be ultra-expensive. People want to see what the damage will be and if it is in the realm of possibility. People have often been burned in the past and wasted a lot of money on marketing “experts” that under delivered and overcharged. 

All kinds of customers come to us for help. Wherever you are in the process of starting, trying to grow your business or positioning it for a strong sale, we can help! We treat your money like our own and want to help you get the most bang for your buck.

In an economic or business downturn, it is often the marketing budgets that are first to go. This is actually the opposite of the tactic that should be taken. Marketing is necessary to keep your business front and center and in front of the right eyes. It’s time to really commit. That being said, we can help maximize those dollars so you feel great about the efforts being taken and truly see the ROI. Let’s talk marketing on a budget.

Strengthening Your Brand Story

This is something that universally our clients struggle with. Who is your company? What do they stand for? What do they offer? Some of those fundamental efforts are important to work through and convert into a compelling elevator pitch. Every day there is an opportunity to communicate what your brand is about. We find ourselves telling this story multiple times a day. From new potential client meetings, networking events, sales people calling up to pitch their services that we could take advantage of, it is a story that will continue to be told. Make it a good one. Everyone is slammed with their own to-dos. You need to develop a strong pitch that will grab their attention and leave them wanting to know more. Often the best way to create this strong pitch is with help from an outside perspective. We become so bogged down in the day-to-day that it is easier for an outsider to ask questions, digest and simplify the message. Going through this process will assist not only with future conversation, but can also be utilized for future messaging that integrates into your website, collateral and social media.

Start From Where You Are At

There are so many different phases that our clients start at. There are the entrepreneurs who come to us with nothing but a great idea. They are excited about this new idea or service that will provide an offering to the market that no one has yet to experience. They need everything-logo, website, content, social media profiles set up and more. Sticking with one company to do these things will be an investment, but will ultimately end up putting you in a better place than trying to cut corners and piece meal things together. Making the investment into one agency, the right agency, will leave you with a cohesive marketing plan that your customers will be able to notice and benefit from.

Other customers have been in business for decades and have had success but are looking to change things up and are ready to grow. Often they have a 10-15 year old website that isn’t mobile responsive and graphics that make us reminiscent of the nineties. While we love the nineties, who doesn’t love Brittney Spears, Starter Jackets, the Tamagotchi or Friends...bringing your brand into this century is critical because the vast majority of your web traffic will be mobile. Make sure that people won’t need a magnifying glass and a lot of patience to figure out what you do. You will lose or alienate people. You have a matter of seconds to draw people in or send them on to your competitor. We can often help by mixing things up and handling some important marketing tasks like email newsletters, social media, blogging and more so that you can focus on what you are good at and we can re-connect with past clients you haven’t touched in a while and gain new ones.

Understanding Your Buyer Personas

Understanding who it is you're marketing to is crucial to getting the most of your marketing spend. Investing some energy into identifying your buyer personas will help focus your spend and dial in your messaging to connect with those that you need to be to grow your business. Your business will often have several main personas that all have some similar characteristics that you can use to help find more of them and better talk to them. What are these shared characteristics and interests? What can you decipher about their shared demographics? Male vs. female, level of education, age, income level, etc. The more that you can learn about your customer, the more successful you can be at creating look-alike audiences and using other marketing techniques to go after a larger share of the market. If you are a local company trying to target business within a small radius, are there places that your customer is most likely to frequent? This might be a great opportunity to advertise and get new eyes on your business.

Are there things you can learn from what your main competitors are doing? These businesses might be taking an approach that is different than anything you have considered. Look at areas where they may be weak or leaving money on the table and start with going after those areas. We learn a lot by studying a few key competitors of our clients and look at these weaknesses, their messaging, their content efforts, keywords and other marketing techniques.

What is Your Website Saying to Your Personas

We talk about this a lot because your website is your basecamp. As I mentioned earlier on, you only have a short period to leave an impression. Make a strong impression right out of the gate. This is critical for not turning your customer away or negatively affecting your search engine results with a high bounce rate. You want a strong user-experience, brand consistency and to communicate exactly what is needed to help convert your customer from a viewer to a purchaser.

The right website designer will make sure to optimize your website using the best search engine optimization practices so that your website is being found by your personas. Developing the right strategy and taking the time to look at this or hiring the right team to handle this for you will help cut through a lot of hastle and get your business in front of the right eyes.

What is Your Company Doing on Social Media?

The right social media approach is arguably the most cost effective paid promotion strategy, when done right. Say you are a dental specialist. We could do a paid promotion for dental implants that can range anywhere from $3,000-$20,000, but average $6,000 per procedure. With an example ad spend budget of even $500 per month, even if you get an average of 6 quality leads per month and a reach of 50,000 people, that results in an incredible ROI. Our clients see those returns. You have to invest in your business in the right ways, smart ways, to see real business growth.

Even non-paid approach can have a positive effect. You need, at minimum, consistent, quality content to legitimize your business and show people that you are serious and still around. Then, if you put time into engaging with customers, interacting with groups that make sense for your business, and doing outreach to specific people or business it can give you a real leg up on the competition and help spread your network. Use social media and engaging content you create to blast on these social networks to keep your customers abreast of the latest news and promotions your company is offering. Not all platforms make sense for every business. Maybe your company just needs a Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn company page. Some companies could benefit from making funny YouTube videos. Businesses like restaurants benefit from being on profile-based sites like Yelp and Foursquare. It is better to pick the few platforms that make sense and spend the time to develop consistent, quality content for them vs. trying to do too much and being sporadic with your posts.

Start with Your Current Network

Just getting your business off the ground or looking for a spike in new business during a series of slow months? Use that elevator piece we talked about earlier and let your friends, family and acquaintances know about what you are doing and your business objectives. The people who already know and care about you are likely to be willing to help you spread the word. Word of mouth referrals are one of the most highly effective marketing you can get. Once you satisfy that first round of happy customers the word will only spread from there.

Once you start to get some traction you can find ways to ask current customers for referrals. Often adding an incentive for sharing can help sweeten the pot and encourage more activity in this sense. Even with some sort of discount offer for sharing or chance to win a prize the ROI is still worth it because positive testimonial for satisfied customers is invaluable. If asked, many people won’t mind giving feedback for no cost.

Top Notch Customer Service

We know this is something you already aim to do. No one goes into business to try to piss off their customers. Sometimes we all need a subtle reminder to keep this front of mind. There are a number of different approaches we can take to bring in new business, but bringing in that new business is the hardest part. Keeping the customers you already have happy will allow for the opportunity for repeat business and increase your chances that they will share positive experiences with your brand with their network. Use social media, newsletters, direct mail and other marketing efforts to retarget those who already enjoy or believe in your products or services to increase repeat sales and remind them of your brand and how much they like it. Depending on your industry, keep them up to date on current promotions, new product introductions, seasonally relevant services they should schedule and other major company news.

We know what it takes to run a business and make smart choices to try to help bolster that growth you are looking for. Let us use what we have learned to help go from Point A to Point B a little quicker, cheaper and with less hassle. With a free business consultation, we will deep dive into your current status, where you are looking to go and set an action plan to get things started in the right direction. We will be with you every step of the way. Contact us today to get started!