Let’s face it, whether you’re a brand-new company or simply looking to expand your existing business, marketing can get pretty costly. On average, businesses spend about 7-8% of gross revenue on marketing, and as much as 20% in a competitive niche (Source: Chron.com).
If you’re not a seasoned professional, it’s easy to drain your entire marketing budget on just a few (unsuccessful) campaigns. In this article, we’re going to share some helpful tips and tricks that you can use to trim down your marketing expenses while still getting the results you want.
It’s always tempting to introduce new marketing strategies. Maybe you just read an article about new cutting-edge tactics, or maybe you want to adopt a strategy that’s been working wonders for another business, but it’s also important to keep in mind what’s been working.
Have you ever heard the saying, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”? If you have marketing strategies that are working and bringing in revenue, continue to focus on them. While trying new things is one of the best ways to keep your brand current and moving forward, you have to do it in a way that’s not limiting the strategies that are producing results.
Launching a new marketing campaign isn’t as easy as throwing together some flashy pictures and quality copy. You also have to consider the amount of market research and outsourcing that needs to be done in order to ensure success.
Before you dive headfirst into that new strategy you just read about, consider the cost of getting it off the ground and actually making a profit. At the end of the day, under every successful marketing campaign out there is a well researched, step by step plan.
This timeless piece of advice is still worth its weight in gold to this day. One of the fastest ways to sabotage and sink a new (or existing) business is by trying to expand too fast. To avoid this rookie mistake, it’s important that you flesh out an achievable marketing strategy and stick to it. As tempting as it is, trying to do too much at once can overextend your marketing budget and cause you to compromise on on other aspects of your business.
Stick to your goals and work at a slow but steady pace as it applies to your available budget.
What’s the best way to appeal to your customers? By getting to know them better on an emotional level and really understanding what they want. When you have this powerful knowledge, it’s much easier for you to identify where you should be focusing your marketing efforts on existing and future campaigns.
In order to do this, track the results of your campaigns and see what your target audience is responding to best. This will give you a clear path as far as what’s worth investing in and what will generate the best return on investment.
It doesn’t just cost money to acquire customers, but to retain them as well (crazy, right?). Pay attention to the patterns your customers display. Do they just buy once? Do they become repeat buyers and loyal fans?
The more you track, the more you’ll learn. The best bang for your buck is going to come from targeting customers that have already bought from your company (preferably more than once). When you focus your budget on those that are actually buying what you have to offer instead of the higher maintenance customers that cost a fortune to get the wallet open, you’ll see a big difference in your ROI.
Marketing doesn’t just take place through your campaigns, but with your employees and most loyal customers as well. Whether it’s the occasional lunch or treat for your producing employees, or a special offer for loyal customers, building positive relationships is a potent tool you have at your disposal.
This can encourage your employees to continue doing well, increasing the business they bring in, and it can also encourage your customers to make more purchases. That’s a win-win! Taking the time to put together some kind of reward system is one of the best ways you can quickly trim your marketing budget.
If you haven’t jumped on the content marketing train, you need to! Content marketing is one of the fastest growing (and free) ways to reach your target audience. That being said, it’s not all about pumping out blog post after blog post.
Consider diversifying the way in which you deliver content so your readers can consume it in different ways. Whether it’s turning a series of posts into an eBook or creating a weekly podcast that recaps the most important talking points, repurposing your content for distribution across multiple mediums will help to save you money.
Thanks to modern technology, there are dozens of free marketing tools that you have at your disposal. As we covered above, one of the best ways to make the most of your marketing budget is by learning more about your target audience.
Website analytics should be the bread and butter, capable of providing your business with invaluable information that you can exploit to create more effective marketing campaigns. On top of that, utilize keyword tools, social media, and hashtags to optimize your strategies for the best results.
Once you have the content squared away, there are plenty of free photo and design tools that you can use to create stunning images for a complete package.
While paid marketing campaigns are almost always going to produce better results than completely free ones (in most cases), you don’t have to spend a fortune. The tips that we’ve shared in this article are just a few ways that you can save money and increase the efficiency of your marketing strategies. By being careful about the tactics and tools you use, you’ll be able to better control your spending and stretch your dollars the furthest!