Marketing costs can be astronomical.
Indeed, last year, businesses were expected to spend approximately $240 billion on their marketing efforts. You can only hope that the return on investment was worth it!
Alas, such exorbitant sums of money are off-limits to most small businesses.
With minimal spare cash to play with, marketing efforts must be both effective in terms of both cost and return. That’s a tricky balance to strike, but it’s by no means impossible to achieve.
With the right approach, businesses can successfully cut their costs without sacrificing results.
Keep reading to learn 7 effective ways to market effectively for less money.
1. Audit Your Marketing Efforts
Sometimes, the best way to move forward is to look backward.
And that’s definitely the case with reducing your marketing costs. Simply put, you need to know how much you’re currently spending, and where that money’s going.
Look back on the previous quarter and conduct an audit. Identify how and where you’ve divided your budget. Consider everything from direct mail (learn about direct mail marketing via that link) to social media.
Remember, this isn’t just the ads and efforts themselves. It includes all the software, content creation and other related costs.
This process will be revealing. You’ll see the current state of affairs and identify areas of overspending. From there, finding areas to cut back will be far easier.
2. Hone Down Your Efforts
Take a look at the list of marketing channels revealed from your audit.
How long is it, and where were the greatest returns?
There’s a good chance a number of them will have been more expensive than they were worth. How did social media marketing fare relative to email; direct mail to content? Which channels deliver the most leads at the least expense?
One of the easiest ways to cut costs, then, is to stop spending cash on those channels. Redirect that budget into the more effective places and you’ll enjoy better returns with minimal fuss.
3. Incentivize Referrals
Word of mouth marketing is powerful.
From a marketing perspective, there’s nothing better than other people doing it for you.
For one thing, it’s totally free. For another, it’s a good sign that your business is doing well; that your brand is out there and growing in reputation. After all, people never recommend anything to a friend or family member that they don’t like!
Continue to deliver top value and the referrals will keep coming.
You could think about creating a referrals program too, though. These programs incentivize recommendations by offering promotions to the referrer. Clients are far more likely to suggest your business to someone when they’re getting something tangible in return.
4. Automate at Every Opportunity
People are expensive.
They cost money to hire, train, pay, and let go.
The more employees you have, the more money you spend. Thus, in a purely clinical sense, minimizing the need for new marketing hires through automation makes great financial sense.
One of the best (and most popular) examples would be leveraging AI and chatbots.
A bot can be used to interact with consumers, send out important information, collect data points, and answer questions. You can use it to boost open rates, respond instantaneously, and better your brand.
For a fixed monthly fee enjoy oodles of marketing value. Automate where possible to reduce your marketing overheads.
5. Leverage Free Opportunities
The only thing better than low fee is no fee.
You might be spending a fortune on marketing tools and subscriptions. With a bit of digging, you could find similar options for minimal or no money.
Likewise, make the most of effecting and no-cost marketing efforts.
The best example of this is arguably content marketing. Sure, a lack of cash investment demands one of time and effort. All the same, in the context of this article, the fact you can score serious results for free us an undeniable advantage.
Start creating as much content as possible that solves your target audience’s problems. Get it ranking in search engines and you’ll draw a steady supply of leads for no expense.
6. Use What You’ve Already Got
…Or, in technical terms, repurpose your old content.
Think about how many old blog posts you’ve got gathering dust on your website.
That high-quality content deserves to get a new lease of life. If the information is still relevant and of use, then turn it into something new.
Start by updating the post and republishing it. From there, you could create a slideshow to post on Slideshare, a podcast episode, a video for social/YouTube, and so on.
This prevents the hard work you put into researching and creating the article from going to waste. It also extends your reach to new audiences by finding a place on hitherto unused platforms.
7. Combine Video Content and Social Media
Social media marketing is another powerful tool at your disposal.
In and of itself, social media platforms can be used to great effect and at minimal cost. Make sure you have a presence anywhere you target demographic resides.
Be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or TikTok, send out a steady stream of engaging posts and you’ll enjoy a cost-effective return.
Combine those efforts with video content, though, and you can skyrocket your success.
Video has been booming online for a couple of years now. It’s consumed more than any other form of content. An emotive and engaging video can catch on and go viral; shares, comments, and likes come your way at no expense.
Sure, a bit of ad spend is going to help out, but there’s always a chance it’ll catch on for nothing.
Time to Lower Your Marketing Costs!
Don’t let your marketing costs get out of hand.
With the right insight and approach you can spend less while enjoying the same results. Hopefully, this article has provided a selection of tips to help you do it.
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