Marketing: it is one of the most elastic budget lines for any business. In good times, the marketing budget may flow like the Amazon River, while in a weak economy, it may trickle to a skeleton of its former self. Whether you spend a little or a lot on marketing, and whether you love it or find it a chore, there is no doubt that it is essential to keeping your business alive and thriving.
How do you continue your marketing efforts when money is tight? Strategic marketing doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune. You simply need to be creative to get your business products and services in the minds of customers.
If It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It
Do you have an expensive strategic marketing niche that pays off in big dividends? Then why scrap it? The key to marketing is to make the investment worth the return. If your ROI is big on an expensive marketing strategy, let that be your focus. Curtail your investments on other marketing campaigns that have a lower ROI while you explore other inexpensive strategies.
Get Free Advertising
Some of the best exposure you can secure is free. For example, Craigslist gets read by thousands of local people each day - some who may be looking for your services or products. Create flyers and post them on community bulletin boards. Submit a press release regarding your new product line, and it could result in free PR in a local newspaper. Network with relevant industry or local blogs that may mention your company in a post.
People are interested in buying from those they recognize as experts. Instead of spending money to sell your products, sell yourself for free.
You can become an expert in many ways. One way is to write articles about your expertise and industry. Write for your own small company blog. Write for other popular blogs. Get published in a national magazine. Your recognition can be a great way to promote your own business for little or no money.
Explore "Pay Per" Advertising
Stretching your marketing budget means getting your money's worth. In "pay per" marketing, you have access to real-time results of your marketing efforts. Pay per click and pay per call advertising on search engines are highly effective, and these strategies allows you to pay only for qualified leads who click your online link or call your office from a search ad. With the conversion rates right at your fingertips, you can make quick changes and alterations to your strategic marketing online, or determine that your campaign isn't effective and have spent only a little money.
Don't pay for new professional photographs or sales literature. If you have marketing resources, reuse them as much as possible. If you have professional photos made of your products, use them in multiple print ads. If you hired a freelancer to write up sales literature, use it on your website and paid ads as well.
There are so many ways to make strategic marketing work for you on a limited budget. If you need to stretch your marketing budget, look to these tips, and find others that can give you ideas on marketing without spending a fortune.