02 Feb Small Business, Small Budget – How to Prioritize Your Marketing Dollars
You have been chipping away for months, or even years to get to this point. You’ve got your papers in hand and you are officially a registered business. Congrats! Now, you are ready to tell the world about your products and services, but where do you even start? There’s so much information and marketing toolkits for purchase on the internet, but it can seem overwhelming when you don’t have a big budget or team behind you to execute. It can be hard when you are trying to balance it all – spending your hard-earned dollars trying to market your business while ensuring you get a decent return on your investment. You definitely want to be able to pay the bills and make your business endeavors worth it.
So, being a small business with a small budget, how do you prioritize your marketing dollars? The good news is, there are best practices that most every successful business starts with that we will cover in this article.
What is your Value Proposition?
Before you even start thinking about marketing strategies, it’s worth it to spend some time coming up with your value proposition. That is, what makes you stand out from your competition? In almost every industry, you will have others in your space trying to do the very same thing that you are doing or offer the same product you are offering. Determine who needs your goods and services, and list out everything that separates you from others. Without a clear differentiation and a clear way to communicate this, your new business will likely experience some challenges.
Once you have come up with your value proposition, you can jump into thinking about marketing strategies. If you only could invest in 5 things, here’s what we think you should prioritize.
DO invest in a website
The truth is, your online presence will generate the most leads. In fact, consumers are introduced to new local businesses and products on the internet more than anywhere else. In a world where we have the answers to everything because we can simply “Google it”, having a good website is more important than ever. It’s more than a personal billboard, it provides your business with control of your branding and market credibility. Think about the last time you used Google to find a service in your area. It was probably because you encountered a problem that you were experiencing right at that moment. Or what about the last time you searched for a specific product? We tend to search for things because we are feeling a pain point that we want a product or service to ‘fix’ for us. Did you know that Google processes approximately 3.8 billion searches a day? If you don’t have a website, you’ve already set yourself back from your competitors.
DO invest in Marketing Collateral
Yes, we know we just established that your online presence is important. However, we can’t ignore the value of having clear, concise marketing collateral to help you tell a consistent story to potential consumers. These marketing pieces can help prevent your message from being diluted. Another reason why it is worth the initial investment is that once you have them, you can continue to use these pieces in a variety of settings. From small business pop-ups to conferences and expos, you have the collateral in hand to support your pitch. All businesses will have different collateral needs, depending on what you are offering. At the very least, have business cards, brochures, and a pop-up banner if you plan on attending events.
Do invest in Social media Ads
Social media ads allow you to boost your engagement, drive more people to your website and overall expand your reach to potential consumers. Ultimately, it can increase your sales. The great thing about social media campaigns is that you can control who sees your ads by selecting a specific audience. Are you trying to reach a specific population by geographic area? A certain age group? People in their mid 40’s who love pets? Yes, you can be that specific. Unfortunately, the social media algorithm can shift without rhyme or reason, leaving many business owners feeling like an enemy of the social media gods. Setting aside a budget for social media ads will ensure the right people see your products and services.
Do invest in Email Marketing
Email marketing is a time-saving, cost-effective strategy that allows you to reach targeted audiences. It also allows you to keep your audience informed on things like upcoming sales and new products. Overall, having a solid email marketing strategy will increase the likelihood that consumers will return to your business. You can track the success of your campaign but checking out the analytics. From open rates to click-throughs, you can see what is working and what isn’t.
Do invest in Networking Events
There’s a long list of reasons why attending networking events is a good idea for a small business. The good news is, there are a lot of free events in most communities where the only investment you will have to make is your time. These events are a great opportunity to meet other people in your industry, learn from the experts, and generate new leads. Sometimes, the best marketing happens through a one-on-one conversation or a personal connection with someone who knows someone who could benefit from your business. There’s no better way to get personal than to be your own advertisement. No one can express the same amount of passion for what you do other than yourself as a business owner.
Need help getting started with any or all of these strategies? Our team will be happy to visit with you. Schedule a discovery meeting today!