All businesses want to spend marketing dollars where their money will have the biggest impact. For small businesses, there’s usually no margin for error when it comes to spending on marketing. Many penny-pinching small businesses actually cut marketing costs, which is counterintuitive as marketing brings in more customers and money. Rather than cut marketing budgets to save, small businesses should make calculated decisions about how to spend their small marketing budget.
Step 1: Determine Your Marketing Budget
To begin, you need to figure out what your budget is. Most companies are increasing their content marketing budgets because after years of effort, they see a real transformation in their customer loyalty and in their overall bottom line.
· Start by figuring out what your annual goals are; have quantitative and qualitative goals that you can measure against your efforts.
· Take ROI into account, but don’t put all of your eggs into the ROI basket. Some modes of marketing aren’t measured using traditional methods (or can’t be measured at all), and some modes of marketing can take up to a year to pay off.
Step 2: Figure Out Your Position Relative to Your Target Market
In order to know how to spend the budget you have, you need to know where to find your audience. Find them by:
· Knowing exactly who they are; be specific. They’re not just women who want recipes. Their vegan women who want organic, natural gluten-free recipes for their families. That audience is very different from the foodie millennial who wants to host gourmet dinner parties.
· Figure out where they hang out—are they on Pinterest? Facebook? Snapchat? Twitter?
· Who do they like? What do their friends like?
Step 3: Hire a Professional to Take the Wheel
If this sounds time-consuming, it is, which is why many smart small businesses hire professionals to assist with their marketing efforts.
While you might cringe at the idea of hiring a company to handle your marketing, consider that their insider advice is going to keep you from making the following budget blunders:
· Investing in tools and services you don’t need
· Overspending on content production
· Experimenting on channels and platforms that won’t pay off
They’ll also help by running analytics and showing what pays off, advising on trends, and planning for the future. Consider, too that Marketing is a full-time job, and you already have one of those.
Step 4: Focus on the Right Vehicles
Whether you go DIY or hire pros, there are a few content marketing areas that every business should have some kind of presence in. These are:
· Social Media Marketing: The right platform varies by brand and audience, but social media is essential. Importantly, there are right ways and wrong ways to use social media marketing; going about it the right ways can really stretch your budget.
· Blogging / Mixed-Media Content Creation: Blogs help boost your website traffic and searchability by algorithms. Invest in quality writing, video content, and images for a dynamic, user-friendly web presence.
· E-mail Marketing: E-mail marketing is the black of content marketing—it’s classic, and it’s never going out of style. You can reach your most loyal audience members via e-mail marketing and can offer them special perks and privileges for being your business’s the bread and butter.
All of this can easily be done on a small budget. Wisely casting your marketing net will bring in new loyal customers and with them—revenue steams, which can later enhance your marketing budget. Lather, rinse, and repeat, and watch as your small marketing budget pays for itself.
Make your small business marketing budget grow by putting it to work for you. Contact The Storyteller Agency and learn more about how we will make your inch-long marketing budget run for miles.