Many small businesses don’t have the resources to allocate a large portion of their budget to marketing. But that doesn’t mean you need to forgo it altogether. Marketing is essential to the growth and success of a business, and it's important to budget and plan for it.
For all marketing plans, it’s important to know your customer. You must understand your audience and what they are looking for. Advertising content must be relevant and personal to the customer. A little research about your customer can help ensure your marketing dollars are as effective as possible.
Prioritize your marketing channels and content, whether digital, print, email, or a combination. Different audiences require different types of interactions. Match your spending to revenue, and adjust the plan as needed. Knowing how much to spend on marketing is critical, but knowing how to spend the money is just as important. Below are some low-cost and unique marketing ideas for your business!
After you’ve done your research and determined your budget and the marketing tools and channels to utilize, you should re-evaluate. Can you afford to do everything you would like to do, or do you need to pull back in some areas to maximize your ROI? There are some fixed costs that you can budget for, such as subscriptions and software, and some costs that will hit your budget all at once. These are factors to consider when planning.
Depending on needs and resources, some business owners may decide it is more cost effective to outsource marketing. This would depend upon your staff and the time they have available.
Finally, remember to test, revisit, and revise your plan. You don’t need a huge marketing budget to promote your business, but you must be strategic.
Disclaimer: As with anything new, do your research before launching new marketing strategies to understand applicable laws and regulations (e.g. email marketing opt-in laws, CAN-SPAM, contest rules & regulations, and even potential community legalities with sidewalks decals or sandwich signs.)