UK companies cut their marketing budgets during the third quarter of 2019, for the first time in seven years.* Continued uncertainty about Brexit is leading many businesses to pull back on marketing spend at a time when they should be investing more.
If you’re a small business, it’s likely that you have a proportionately small pot for marketing. So, how can you maximise your marketing budget?
Understand your ideal customer by creating a detailed buyer persona. When you know your target audience well, you can direct your marketing in the right places, and it will be more effective.
Rather than embark on lots of different marketing activities focus on the few that work best and do them well.
Never accept the rate card price when taking up sponsorship or advertising opportunities. Always negotiate. You’ll be surprised how low some companies are prepared to go to get you on board.
Focus on search engine optimisation (SEO) to improve your search engine rankings and increase visitors to your website. People who search online already have an intent to buy so they should be easier to convert than cold prospects.
Expand your sales force by asking your happy customers to refer you to their contacts. There’s a feel-good factor to passing on a recommendation so happy customers are often happy to oblige.
Get more out of your content by repurposing it, for example, turn a blog post into an infographic or take out soundbites to share on social media. Rehash your content, so you maximise its value by using it again and again.
Link up with a synergistic business and collaborate on a marketing initiative. Not only will this give you exposure to their contact database but will expand your budget.
Always follow up when you’ve met new business contacts or received an enquiry. If you’re active on social media, make sure you respond to interactions and engage with your community.
Attend business networking events to grow your contacts and meet potential customers. You can often find free or low-cost networking events. Eventbrite is a good place to start your search.
Build-in tracking mechanisms so you can measure return on investment from your marketing spend. Analyse your expenditure so you can do more of what works best and less of what doesn’t.
Save money and outsource. As strange as it may sound, outsourcing to an external marketing agency can be cost-saving. An external marketing expert will be able to use their experience to advise on the most effective marketing activities for your business. This approach can prevent you from wasting money on unsuccessful initiatives.
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