There are a million and one ways to get your message out there, but since you probably don’t have an endless supply of money, getting the most bang for your buck is crucial. Educate yourself on the right approach and pretty soon you’ll be the “budgeting master.”
So perk up, grab a notepad, and start writing down these 6 awesomely inexpensive marketing strategies … or I guess you could just copy and paste it.
1. Social Media
The go-to of any budget marketer - social media! One of the most effective things you can do is engage your audience in various ways on the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and/or a website are all great and inexpensive ways to reel in your targeted crowd. Everyone is ditching the newspapers for their laptop, so the more content you make available online, the better.
Having a strong social media presence can also help drive traffic to your website and increase your search engine rankings. Creating relevant website content (we’ll talk more about that later) and sharing via social media creates more inbound links to your site, making it easier for users to find you.
Managing your social media presence can be time consuming, but it’s low-cost and an easy way to reach your audience at any time of day. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to make a few accounts, get out your lightsaber, and start battling your competition.
2. Guerilla Tactics
Technically speaking, guerilla tactics involve high levels of sabotage, raiding, ambush, and any element of surprise to ward off competitors. However, actually bombarding your customers may not be the best way to generate business.
Instead, print off a few fliers or stickers and leave them at local storefronts around town. You could create an Easter egg hunt with your message inside, draw an ad with sidewalk chalk, or pull an awesome public stunt (not this kind of stunt). The goal is to do something that will get you noticed.
This is a cheap way to make potential customers aware of your brand and urge them to learn what you’re all about. Use your strong social media game to support your guerilla efforts to spark even more interest, and you’ll be bombarded with inquiries before you know it.
3. Referral Incentives and Discounts
Coughing up a small amount of dough might be in your near future (sorry). Everyone likes discounts and freebies. Giving your current customers referral incentives is a great way to encourage them to spread the word about you (in a good way, of course). Discounts, t-shirts, gift cards, stickers, event tickets, or really anything of value will work to get them telling your tale to others. It helps market your business, and they’ll feel like a boss because they earned something in return.
To make your referral campaign even stronger, offer special discounts to the people who are referred to you. The exclusivity of having access to this discount will drive users to take advantage of the offer. You can take it a step further and create a sense of urgency by adding an expiration date to your referral offer.
Partnering up with local businesses to host events is another great way to market your pride and joy. It allows you and your customers to build relationships and interact in ways you normally wouldn’t. The unique environment will bring out a new kind of excitement that gets your customers pumped to know more about you and share what they learn.
Collaborating with local hot spots also opens you up to meeting new people and conveniently gives you the opportunity to hardcore talk up your company (and possibly sip on a cold brewski). It invites fresh eyes to see what you have to offer and how your business brings something new and positive into the community. After the event is over and done with, you’ve now left a memorable stamp on everyone who was lucky enough to be in your presence.
5. Blog about it.
Time to bring out your inner Buzzfeed. Being able to supply award-worthy content that glues your audience to their screens makes you an ultimate winner. Even if you’re not a writer, you can always find help to crank out a few posts, blogs, or articles (cough, like us, cough). Write about topics that, if you were scrolling through Facebook, would catch your attention and cause you to click that Like button. The internet is filled with ideas that have yet to be elaborated on, so find something interesting and go with it! Don’t be afraid to step out of the box and take a route on the road less travelled; most of the time that’s where the genius ideas are born.
The key is to provide content that is useful and relevant to the people you are trying to sell to. Think about what your customers would search for, what their problems are, and how you can solve them. Creating your content with this mindset will allow your users to find your content and ultimately, you.
6. Email Marketing
94% of adults use email. Other 4% are probably so far off the grid, they won’t be buying from you anytime soon. Starting an enewsletter allows you to reach your customers where they already are: their inbox! Sounds pretty great, right? That’s because it is - if it’s done right.
If you’re anything like me, you live amidst a constant flood of emails. In order to get noticed, your email marketing needs to stand out. You do this by creating strong, relevant content (where have I heard that before?), an engaging subject, and incentivizing your users to interact with you.
There you have it, now you know what it takes to be a successful budget marketer. All you need is a little time, imagination, and a Wi-Fi connection.