The majority of new businesses start with a shoestring budget but why does that have to be a bad thing? Having a smaller budget means you can be more creative and focused on seeking out new ways to market your business. There are plenty of marketing tactics that suit any budget, or no budget at all. You don’t have to pay your way to get recognized in your field. Take, for example, business blogger Dan Norris. Norris is the author of ‘Content Machine’, receiving praise from influencers including Neil Patel and Joe Pulizzi. The business blogger has revealed he has spent a total of $181.23 on external advertising! $181.23 that’s all. That’s nothing when you consider how much medium-sized businesses spend. If you have money to spend, you’ll probably do it regardless of the return on investment because the funds are already available. Why wouldn’t you? So, with these points in mind, we’re sharing ten big marketing ideas for small budgets.
ONE: Invest your time into connecting with other websites
It’s time to visit your favorite bookmarked industry websites. These sites likely offer the opportunity to comment on articles. Posting comments on these sites can help you forge a relationship; this means the website might be more likely to accept a guest post from you. Commenting on sites that are popular within your target market can also have a positive impact on increasing your exposure.
TWO: Build a blog packed full of high-quality content
Engaging your audience is something you build upon over time, but you’ll never build it if you don’t start small and practical. We understand that time is tight for all your startups, and this often means marketing falls to the side. The thing is, how are you ever going to grow your business if you don’t invest time into your own marketing? No one will ever know you’re there. You have to make things happen for yourself. Creating a blog with high-quality content will generate a lot of benefits over time including:
- An increased presence in the search engines
- A higher rate of returning website visitors
- An industry authority stance to be proud of
It’s important that you don’t just create content for the sake of creating it. Only create content that is of genuine interest to your target audience. But how do you go about doing this? Finding out what your audience is searching for is the key to success with this strategy. You can use many tools to help you find out what search queries your audience is searching for. Tools including Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Answer The Public, are a great place to start. Knowing what your audience is searching for takes the guesswork out of your strategy. This way, your content will always address a challenge or a problem your audience has shown through their search queries. If your content helps them solve their problem, there is more chance that they will come back to your site to read more. This brings them a step closer to becoming a valued customer!
THREE: Create instructional video content
Creating video content doesn’t have to cost the Earth. There are many free and cheap video editing software platforms out there. Whether you use your smartphone to film a video and edit it using iMovie or you download the free plan from Filmora by Wondershare; you can edit your short ‘how-to’ videos in no time at all. Video content has become a must-have channel for many online businesses. It is not just a channel reserved for the business to consumer industries. Did you know that according to MWP Digital Media, 75% of business executives watch work-related videos at least once a week? When creating your ‘how-to’ videos, they don’t need to be the length of a feature film. In fact, Video Hosting site Wistia found that videos up to 2 minutes long received a ton of engagement. If your video reaches 2 to 3 minutes long, every second counted; so keep your videos on the shorter side. Video content is easy for your audience to consume. It’s easily watched on the commute to work or when passing the time at work. Why not start brainstorming ideas around your industry and research your competition? The reality is that you can create engaging video content that your audience loves without breaking the bank!
FOUR: Design your own content
Not gifted in the design department? Fear not! We’ve got some great tools you can use to make your designs stand out and grab your audience’s attention. If you create a piece of content that is informative for your audience it’ll perform great, right? Not always. If your design is below average the chances are, your audience won’t look twice. So, how can you remedy that? Invest money in a top-of-the-range graphic designer? What startup has this money to spare? Why not do it yourself? There are many free tools to help you create spectacular infographics, eBooks, presentations and more! Some free tools include:
With drag and drop functions and plenty of free symbols and imagery, your content will look as good as it reads! You can thank us later…
FIVE: Recycle your content
Creating a blog post takes time and effort. Too much effort to publish to your blog and tweet about it a couple of times. Why not repurpose your blog post into another piece of content? You could repurpose it into an infographic, a video or extend it a little to make it into a downloadable eBook. You’ve already laid the groundwork so you won’t be starting from scratch. Repurposing your content means you’re being resourceful with the little time you have to market your business. We understand time and money can be very tight in the first few years of business, so this tip is sure to help you maximise your output from minimal effort.
SIX: Start building your email marketing list
Email marketing is still one of the leading digital channels with the best return on investment (ROI). In fact, according to Econsultancy, three-quarters of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to “good” ROI. Packing your email list with potential customers sounds great, but how can you go about building it? One of the best ways is to capture your audience’s interest as soon as they reach your website. You can capture their email addresses by merely implementing a pop-up web form. These forms can take many different formats, but the four main types include:
- Banners appearing at the top or the bottom of the user’s screen
- Entire takeover forms, these grab the user’s attention completely
- Or a neat box that appears in the center of the screen
Test a few different approaches and see which one catches the most email subscriptions. Check out free web form software such as Hello Bar or our forms over at EngageBay. It’s important to remember that implementing numerous pop-up web forms can cause the user irritation, so use them sparingly.
SEVEN: Perfect your elevator pitch
Walking around, you never know who you’re going to bump into – the next woman you meet could be your ideal customer. That’s why it’s crucial to perfect your 60-second business pitch. You should be able to summarise precisely what your business does and the value it provides its customers. This is a key marketing tactic you should have in your back pocket.
EIGHT: Learn from others’ mistakes
There are many businesses out there, many like yours, and they’ll have all made mistakes before, so why not learn from them? Making your own mistakes helps you grow your business, but it is wise to familiarize yourself with the most common mistakes made by others. This tactic can help you pave your way to success a little easier. If you can go into your venture a little more prepared, you’ll be well-equipped to handle anything that comes your way!
NINE: Host a webinar
There are many cost-effective webinar hosting solutions for the small and new businesses. The key to a successful webinar is exposure and topic. The topic has to address an important challenge your audience is displaying. Once you have your idea in mind, it’s time to start thinking about an exposure strategy. There are many ways you can begin to entice your audience to sign up to attend. Why not think about partnering up with a more established business? (one who offers complimentary services or products to you) This way, you include a guest speaker who is sure to give your audience more tips, AND you’ll gain access to their audience too. Be sure to record your webinar so you can repurpose the content as we discussed in point five. The webinar content could make a great mini-series of blog posts, for those who did not attend the webinar. Also, don’t forget to send the recording to the participants who attended the live recording! This helps you keep your communication channel open with these potential customers.
TEN: Don’t lose the personal element
As a new business, you might think you don’t have the time to add personal touches, but that’s not true. There are certain actions you can automate to make your life that little bit easier. You can schedule your social media posts, which would give you more time to log in and interact on a personal level with your audience’s content. You can personalize your email subject lines and email content with email automation tools. Email automation tools also enable you to send content to each user based on their content needs. But how important is that? Well, according to Statista, the open rate for emails with a personalized message was 17.6% compared to just 11.4% without personalization. Personalization counts for a lot so don’t dismiss it! Looking for an all-in-one marketing software that is cost-effective and saves you time? Check out our FREE beta version of EngageBay.