When it comes to marketing our small businesses, budget is one of the biggest considerations and limitations.
Yes, it would be brilliant to be able to spend a fortune testing and scaling Facebook Ads or Google Adwords – but the cost of this can add up pretty quickly.
Luckily there are many other options and ways in which we can connect with our ideal customers online for free or cheap (I even share 54 specific ideas here).
In this post, I’m talking the big picture. The general approach to marketing which will have you kicking those business goals without spending a fortune.
BUDGET SAVER #1 : create content
Content based marketing is the no.1 way to get traffic to your website and build trust & likeability, without needing to spend a cent.
The basic idea is that we provide something valuable for free – some advice, information, inspiration or motivation.
Something that will attract and help your ideal customer.
This can be in the form of a blog, video or podcast. Or it can even be beautifully styled photos or cornerstone web content. (For ideas, check out this post)
It is a massive budget saver as it provides a low-pressure way in which to first connect with your ideal customer. They don’t need to do anything except click a link. No money spent. No email address required. Just value in exchange for a few minutes of their time.
This also gives you something other to promote that just your products or service – so you don’t have to feel “salesy” the whole time.
Budget saver #2 : focus on relationships
It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to use all the latest technology and automations that the online space provides us with. But sometimes, this can be at the detriment of building real relationships with people.
In the early days of business especially, relationships are huge. In an ocean of ads and sales, having a conversation with someone on a 1-to-1 basis is what will cut through and is what that prospect will remember you for.
But relationships are not just important with potential customers. With potential collaborators and potential champions of your business, those that will be happy to share what you offer to their audience as well.
budget saver #3 : Increase your odds
You spend a lot of effort getting in front of your ideal audience and to get them to go to your website. This could be in the form of time and money – so we want to get the most of that website visit as we can.
To do this we want to give your web visitor options as to what their next step will be.
Yes, we would love if they came to your site and instantly added an item to their cart or booked that connection call but the statistics show that this will only be around 2-3% of your visits. What about the other 98%.
Well let’s give them another option – to sign up to your email list. This will mean you have an opportunity to nurture the relationship further and be in the front of their minds when they are in that place to buy.
Want to increase the odds of them giving you their email address even more? Offer an incentive such as a pdf checklist or top tips in exchange for it. (Here are 20 ideas to get you started)
budget saver #4 : retarget
It is much easier to move a “warm” prospect to purchase than a totally “cold” one.
Once someone has visited your website or signed up to your email list, these prospects have a much higher probability of converting to a sale than someone who has never met you before.
You can retarget your audience in a number of ways:
- Through a welcome sequence of emails
- Through your regular email updates
- Through abandoned cart emails
- Through retargeted Facebook Ads
- Through retargeted Google Ads
It takes on average around 14 times for someone to see your offer to then take action. By using a mix of retargeting methods you can help reach that “14” much quicker.
In addition, if you did choose to use advertising for retargeting the cost per click is significantly lower than to a cold audience.
For more, you might want to read this post about Facebook Ads Audiences.
budget saver #5 : keep track
Probably the biggest money (and time) saver of all is to keep track of your numbers.
What promotional methods are getting the most traffic to your website? And which are resulting in the most sales?
What messages and blog posts perform best? What does your audience relate to most?
What emails tend to get the most opens and which fall flat?
By taking just a small time each month to check on your numbers, you will reach your goals so much quicker. You will know what to do more of and what to do less of. No more throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks.
Confused by all those Google Analytics numbers? You might like this post.
So there you have it, 5 budget saving principles that will help you market your business without the expense.