Guest post by Daria Masson.
Marketing your brand doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are many effective marketing techniques you can use without spending a fortune.
Below are nine great tips for successful marketing on a small budget, from free marketing tools you can use to get your brand noticed to tips for low-budget marketing strategies you can start using today.
Plan Everything in Advance and Set a Budget
Marketing your brand effectively starts with careful planning and setting a budget. Taking the time to map out your marketing strategy in advance will help you avoid overspending on unnecessary activities.
Budgeting helps you stay in control of not just the money you’re planning to spend but the money you expect to receive—your return on investment.
Additionally, setting a budget will help you track your progress and ensure that you’re spending within your means. Implementing strategic planning leads to more accurate forecasting and a reduction in the potential for errors.
Share Your Content on Social Media for Free Exposure
Sharing your content on social media provides no-cost (though not no-effort) exposure for your brand. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all free to use at this basic level and can help you reach a wider audience.
While you don’t have to pay for attention using organic social media, you do have to earn it. Create and share useful, thought leadership content. Provide value to your audience. An endless stream of self-promotion will get your brand nowhere (except muted and blocked). Make sure you’re active on the platforms your target audience is using, and post engaging content that will get them talking.
You can also run social media ads on most platforms for a relatively low cost; appropriately targeted, these can be very effective in reaching new people. Create captivating content and make use of hashtags to get your brand noticed. Social media can be a highly effective channel for building relationships with potential customers or clients.
Develop Email Marketing Campaigns
By crafting engaging and compelling email marketing campaigns, you can reach people with your message at little or no direct cost.
You can expose your brand to new prospects using rented lists (e.g., working with an industry publication). However, list rental can be expensive and you get one shot to get it right, so your messaging and creative have to hit the mark.
Building your own opt-in email list, on the other hand, is a great way to stay in touch with known prospects and existing clients and build on your relationships with them. Plus, with email marketing platforms, you can automate your email campaigns so that they are sent out automatically, saving you time and allowing for more precise targeting and results analysis.
Use Free Tools for Content Creation and Scheduling Posts
There are lots of free marketing tools available online that can be used to promote your brand. Some of the most popular include social media platforms, email marketing systems, and search engine optimization (SEO) apps. Using these tools can help you keep your marketing activities organized and on track.
Additionally, there are plenty of free or low-cost content-creation and post-scheduling tools available that can make your life easier as you work to get your message out there.
Here are some free tools that can save you time and money:
- Google Docs is a must-have tool for all content creators to write articles of any length and add tables, images, and videos. Share files with your team in seconds for easy collaboration. Manage text-editing access.
- Google Analytics provides valuable insight into your website traffic and marketing campaign effectiveness. By understanding where your traffic is coming from and how people are interacting with your site, you can make more informed marketing decisions that will help you attract more visitors and convert more leads.
- Movavi Video Editor Plus is video-editing software that’ll help you create marketing videos, product demonstrations, and other types of multimedia content. Take advantage of a wide range of editing features to create engaging and professional videos.
- Canva is a free online design platform that makes it easy to create professional marketing materials. With over a million templates and tools available, you can produce any kind of marketing collateral you need, from social media posts to infographics and business cards.
- Mailchimp is an email marketing service that can be used to send newsletters, product announcements, and other promotional materials to prospects and customers. With Mailchimp, you can create engaging email marketing campaigns that will draw in and convert your audience.
- Hootsuite is a free social media management platform that can be used to post updates, monitor conversations, and track your social media analytics across multiple platforms.
- Buffer is a social media scheduling tool to plan and publish your content.
Collaborate with Bloggers and Influencers in Your Industry
One way to increase brand exposure and credibility without spending a fortune is to collaborate with bloggers and other influencers in your industry. By teaming up with someone who already has an established audience, you can tap into their following and get your brand in front of potential new customers.
There are a few ways to go about this. You can reach out to influencers directly and offer them some sort of incentive to promote your brand on their blog or through their social media channels. Alternatively, you can work with an influencer marketing agency that will help connect you with the right people and manage the campaign for you. But be aware that this latter approach can quickly get expensive.
Either way, collaborating with influencers is a great way to get your brand name out there and improve your brand image without spending a lot. And it’s a strategy that can be used again and again as you continue to grow your business.
Hold Contests or Giveaways on Social Media
Hold contests or giveaways on your social media platforms and offer prizes that are related to your brand and relevant to your target audience. This will not only help you promote your brand, but also give you an opportunity to interact with your audience, get their feedback, and grow brand awareness.
Make sure to promote the giveaway across different channels ahead of time. The more people you reach, the better.
Paid ads on social media can be effective, but they can also be expensive. If you are on a tight budget, use organic methods to promote your brand on social media. This includes posting engaging content, using relevant hashtags, and tagging other users in your posts. You can also run contests and offer discounts to followers who share your content.
Hosting a contest or giveaway is a great way to promote your brand while also giving back to your followers. This is a win-win situation that will help increase engagement and grow your social media following.
Encourage customers and followers to post about their experience with your product or service using a specific hashtag. This will build social proof and gain additional exposure. User-generated content is free and can be very effective in promoting your brand.
Develop Cross-Promotional Campaigns with Other Businesses
One of the best ways to get your brand out there on a limited marketing budget is to run cross-promotional campaigns with complementary businesses. This can be done by partnering up with another business that has a similar target audience to promote each other’s products or services.
Collaborating with other businesses in your industry can help promote both of your brands while splitting the cost. Partner marketing is an effective and often overlooked way to gain exposure and build mutually beneficial relationships.
Focus on the Social Media Platforms that Bring You the Most Profit
To stretch your marketing budget, focus your efforts on the social media platforms that will deliver the best ROI. For example, if you sell consumer products that are popular with Millennials, you’ll probably do best by focusing your marketing efforts on Instagram and Snapchat.
If you sell B2B products or services, LinkedIn is unquestionably the top platform, while Twitter is arguably still number two. By understanding your audience and where they spend their time online, you can save money by targeting your marketing efforts at the optimal platforms.
Keep track of what social media platforms and tactics work best for your brand, and analyze the results regularly. This will help you save money by focusing on the most effective methods and dropping or modifying those that aren’t delivering results.
Attend Industry Events
While attending events can sometimes be costly, face-to-face conversations are unmatched for networking and building brand trust. To make the most of a tight budget, be selective (is “your crowd” really going to be at this event?), prioritize local gatherings, and send small teams.
Be smart about handing out branded promotional items. People are sensitive to sustainability, plus they don’t like carrying around junk. High-quality pens are often a good bet because people will use them. Items that are cheaply made and bulky reflect poorly on your brand (and judgment).
Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. By following these tips, you can save money on marketing without sacrificing the effectiveness of your promotions. Get creative, do your research, and think outside the box to find marketing strategies that will work for your brand on a budget.
Daria has been in the blogging and Internet marketing industry for more than three years. She is known among her colleagues as a professional who always puts the needs of her clients first. Daria takes great pride in her work and is always looking for new ways to help her clients grow their businesses.