Marketing your business is an investment of time, money, effort, and grit. It is important to invest in your activities so that you can get the most out of your spend. However, there are ways to minimize costs and maximize spend, so that you can make the most of your marketing. In this post we’ll go over how to get the greatest impact from your marketing budget, by using your budget more efficiently and reducing costs associated with marketing.
How to Use Your Marketing Budget More Efficiently
Your marketing budget is one of the most important components of a marketing plan. Your budget is often the deciding factor in how you market your business and can vary monthly. For this reason, it’s important to pay attention to the cost of your marketing activities, as well as how much you are able to spend each month. Here are some ways to make more efficient use of your budget, no matter how big or small it is.
Target the Right People
Spending money on people who are not interested in your business is a waste of time and money. The best way to keep your budget down is by targeting the right people with your efforts. Find your target audience and focus your marketing resources on them. Customers from your target audience cost the least to acquire, as they are already interested in your products and services.
When you target a specific audience, you don’t have to worry about coming up with multiple versions of the same content for different groups—which can be costly and time consuming.
Look at Customer Patterns
The right customers for your business are not just the ones who are quickest to buy. They are the ones who are likely to stay with your business over time. Make sure to attract customers who are in for the long haul and not just people who only buy once, or who want only your most resource-heavy products and services.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out of your way to accommodate your customers and provide high quality service. It just means that you want to capitalize on your products and services that satisfy people most and which are not expensive to provide.
Create a Marketing Plan
The next way to make the most of your marketing budget is to make a marketing plan. There are many ways to achieve the same goal, and there are many goals that will benefit your business. This makes it easy for you to go off track with your marketing activities or branch out too far. Usually, the more activities, goals, or methods you tackle at once, the less effective they will be. A marketing plan keeps you on track with the most specific objectives for specific goals . It enables you to stay on track with only the most effective activities, and to focus on maximizing the time and money you spend on them.
Related: 6 Sample Marketing Plans
Track and Measure Your Marketing
Your marketing plan will keep you on track with your marketing activities, but you still need a way to make sure your marketing activities are giving you results. Another way to make the most of your marketing budget is to track your marketing. There are two basic ways to track your marketing: tracked links and tracked phone numbers.
Use tracking links or URLs so that you can see which activities are working best. Create tracked phone lines so that you can know which advertisements or flyers are catching peoples’ attention. With tracked marketing, you can identify what you are getting in return for what you spend on each activity; eliminate those which are not generating any revenue, and maximize those that are.
Tips for Lowering the Cost of Your Marketing
There are many ways to promote your business, with or without money. However, activities aren’t separated into free or paid. The cost of a marketing activity will vary depending on the approach you take. Here are some tips to help lower the cost of online and offline marketing activities.
Maintain Your Contact List
The cost of many marketing activities, both online and off, is sometimes dependent upon how many people you are trying to reach. For example, email marketing programs tend to get more expensive with the number of contacts you have. Offline marketing strategies such as direct mail increase in paper, printing, and postage costs the more people you are trying to reach.
Take some time every month to update and clean out your contacts lists. Segment these leads into their likelihood of engaging with your business, in case you want to reserve certain activities for certain customers or leads. Remove contacts who have moved, unsubscribed, or are past the point of rekindling contact with, so that you aren’t using resources on uninterested or (nonexistent!) people.
Events are a great way to market your business, but can be costly. See if there are any larger companies that share your values or serve the same target audience (in a different way) that would be interested in sponsoring you. If you are hosting a 5K, see if a sneaker company would be willing to cover some of the costs, or if a T-shirt company can provide event shirts at a discount.
Use Local Vendors
Local partnerships are a great way to lower the cost of your marketing activities. Team up with a complimentary business nearby, and run a promotion together. In addition to splitting the cost in two, you double the audience you get in front of. This benefits both of your businesses, while strengthening your relationship with the community.
Reach Out to Micro-Influencers
One last tip for reducing your marketing costs is to find micro-influencers to promote your small business. It used to be that only big businesses had the ability to leverage celebrity endorsements to market their business. Now, thanks to social media, local and industry celebrities are more influential, identifiable, and accessible than ever. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a powerful endorsement for your business. Offer your service for free to a micro-influencer, in exchange for a blog post mentioning or featuring your business.
Understanding the best way to allocate your resources is a gradual process that you will learn as your business grows. Pay careful attention to your finances along the way, and you will find there are many opportunities to save money and maximize your spend in your marketing.