Running a business means having to face a range of challenges. As a business grows, it has to keep up with the rapidly changing markets, invest in new technologies and adapt to new marketing channels. One thing that has never been more apparent is the fact that when budgets are tight, marketing is the first expense many entrepreneurs look to cut.
In fact, a survey from HubSpot shows that the third top marketing challenge for many businesses is the lack of budgeting resources. Here are some sure ways to market a business on a shoestring budget.
Networking is the least expensive yet most effective way to market a business. It does require a time commitment, and it may not provide instant gratification. But having a strong network is one of the greatest assets any entrepreneur can have.
Many small start-up companies tend to face a lot of skepticism before doors start opening for them. Initially, they might need to work harder and offer much more, such as assisting with problems or introducing referrals, before other businesses start building interest in working with them.
There are two different approaches to networking. The first one is random networking, which is meeting as many people as possible to understand what they do and how both companies can work together. On the other hand, smart networking employs a more selective approach to networking.
It targets specific people to network and to achieve company goals. For instance, a budding entrepreneur mined his existing contacts to introduce him to a production servicing executive in Manchester. In this case, a smart networking technique is employed to eliminate having to contact the executive without prior introductions.
This kind of networking generates more positive responses, especially for start-up companies.
Socialising in Social Media
Nearly two-thirds of customers use social media now. And according to Shopify, product discovery via social media has increased 202% in the past few years. Several social media platforms are unique in their own rights and require unique ways of engagement.
Identify which audience the business wants to do business with, what platforms they use and then plan the content for these social media platforms. One major key to making social media work for a business is by sharing informational and virtually appealing content.
Businesses who utilise social media reported the following benefits: wider audience reach, increased conversion rates and improved sales efficiency.
Leveraging on Scalable Marketing Channels
Channel leverage is a strategy used by companies to make the most out of the numerous marketing sand customer acquisition channels available. It is about maximising the different platforms to achieve scalability.
Popular options nowadays include pay per click and banner advertisements, in-store and online loyalty programs, and industry influencer marketing. Even bumper car stickers and window decals advertising for brick-and-mortar stores are some of the many cost-effective methods that start-up companies can leverage on.
Conventional advertising mediums such as newspapers and televisions are extremely costly, but these new marketing platforms can be cheaper.
Marketing budget cuts is not an excuse for business failure. With so many tools available nowadays, advertising on a limited budget is completely possible. A little networking, creativity and resourcefulness are all it takes to get the brand out there.