Reaching your target audience and getting adequate exposure is an integral part of running a successful business. Even with the best products or services, sales can be minimal without an effective marketing campaign in place. While dishing out big money for advertising may not be a problem for large businesses, it just isn’t an option for many small to mid-sized companies.
Fortunately, there are several ways to get your name out there without spending a fortune. Here are some techniques for cutting marketing costs while still running a quality campaign.
First, determine which marketing techniques are working and which are simply draining your time and budget. Google Analytics is the choice of many marketers because the basic version is free and it provides detailed performance metrics on a plethora of areas. This platform generates data about consumer demographics, behavior, traffic sources, mobile devices and several other aspects of marketing channels.
In turn, you can get a clear picture of how consumers are finding your business’s site and what’s leading to conversions. As information accumulates, it becomes easy to tell which strategies are leading to sales and which aren’t. When a particular channel is doing more harm than good, you can scrap it and slash marketing costs considerably.
Focus on Customer Retention
Sometimes businesses fall into the trap of constantly trying to reach new customers rather than concentrating on existing ones. Although increasing your presence is important, it can be deplete your marketing budget. According to Marketing Metrics, “it’s 50 percent easier to sell to existing customers than to brand new prospects.”
That’s why it’s smart to nurture relationships with individuals who have already made a purchase and let them know how much their business is appreciated. Whether it’s sending customers a “thank you” email or alerting them of new promotions, putting forth the effort to generate repeat business is advantageous and can reduce the need for costly marketing campaigns.
Opt for Digital Instead of Print
If you’re using any type of print materials like direct mail, brochures or catalogs, the costs can add up in a hurry. Besides the costs for materials and printing, sending them out through traditional mail means paying for stamps as well. Instead, it’s much cheaper and efficient to create PDF versions of brochures and catalogs. Rather than sending direct mail, creating an email newsletter is perfect for reaching a large volume of consumers quickly and with minimal costs.
Establishing trust in your niche and proving industry knowledge are both important for increasing conversions. A simple way to prove your worth is by blogging and engaging in social media. These tactics are effective for two reasons. First, these are inbound techniques, where consumers essentially come to you. This means the vast majority have a pre-existing interest in your content. Second, it’s extremely affordable and costs little when done in house. As your audience continues to grow, you can develop a loyal following and a thriving community around your business for a small monetary investment.
Repurposing is a simple trick to expand the reach of your content. For example, let’s say you wrote a white paper about a certain topic. You could extract the core message of the white paper and write a blog post, create an email for newsletter subscribers and make a video for YouTube.
This doesn’t mean rehashing content so that it’s a duplicate or becomes watered down. It simply means spreading the same message across multiple channels so the maximum number of people can find it. Maybe a person hates reading lengthy blog posts, but enjoys quickly digesting content through a five-minute video. Repurposing content allows consumers to digest the content they’re interested in through a variety of mediums. Not only can this save money, but it optimizes your output and is great for improving branding.
Outsource Certain Tasks
In a world that’s becoming increasingly globalized, it’s never been easier to outsource. Let’s say you have some redundant tasks that are draining your time and resources, but don’t require any major skills to complete. Rather than paying an in-house employee or performing them yourself, outsourcing those tasks to someone in another state or country can boost productivity dramatically.
With sites like oDesk and Elance, you can quickly find a freelancer to handle it. Due to the healthy amount of competition out there, it’s often possible to get great deals. This should free up your time to concentrate on more pressing issues while slashing marketing expenses at the same time. In some cases, if the work is performed overseas, this can even help with reducing taxes as well.
With so many possibilities and technologies working in your favor, running an A+ marketing campaign doesn’t have to kill your budget. By being smart and capitalizing on available resources, you can generate new leads while converting first-time customers into repeat sales. Over time, this can increase profit margins and put your business in a position to thrive.