07 Sep
How to promote your business on a budget

When starting up it can be difficult to know how to promote your business, product brand or event. This simple guide highlights key thing to consider when marketing on a budget.

1. What do you want to achieve?
Whether you want to increase sales or expand the reach of your product brand, knowing exactly what you want to achieve is half the battle.   Outlining your targets prior to writing a marketing plan will save valuable time and money.

2. Write a marketing plan
When you know what you want to achieve, take time in writing a marketing plan and the strategy to achieve it.   Consider the budget you have to work with and the possible ways you can accomplish that goal.   A well-written marketing plan provides a more effective and targeted marketing campaign whilst still keeping to a pre-defined budget.

3. Get to know your customers
To improve engagement with your customers make sure that the content you are creating will appeal to them.   Spending time to profile your customers will enable you to understand them better and improve the results of your marketing campaign.

4. Check out your competition
Stay ahead of the game by checking out your competitors, take a look at their marketing activities and compare them to your own.   Assess their strengths and weaknesses and learn from them when creating your own marketing campaign.

5. Look into social media
Consider using social media to drive your marketing campaigns as this is a great way of building relationships and engagement with your customers.  Free social media management tools such as semrush and hootsuite provide a suite of online tools that can help manage and measure interaction with your customers and provide an insight into the best social media platforms for your marketing focus.

6. Look into paid social media content
Another good way of connecting with new customers is paid social media content.  Facebook, Google, Twitter and Instagram all have a range of chargeable advertising options that can increase your visibility online and offer an effective way to reach a specific audience quickly and effectively.

7.Build your brand identity and make a good first impression
Brochures and business cards play a big part in building your brand identity and need to make a good first impression.    Make sure that your collateral is always up-to-date and thoughtfully designed and fully represents the products and services you are able to offer.

17 Ways to market a small business on a budget

8. Seek out networking opportunities

Seeking out local or industry-specific networking events are an easy and cost-effective way of reaching like-minded business people and could present new business and networking opportunities.

9. Ask for testimonials and reviews
According to research undertaken by a leading data analytics company in 2018, 66% of shoppers trust consumer opinions posted online.  Encourage your satisfied customers to share their views through social media or online review sites such as TrustPilot. Reviews and testimonials will add credibility to your brand.

10. Get noticed at exhibitions and events
Exhibitions or industry-specific events are great places to meet with potential clients.  Make sure that your branding and corporate identity is consistent throughout and come up with a unique design aspect to draw in the crowd.   If done creatively this can make sure you are noticed and needn’t cost the earth.

11. Master email marketing
Email marketing is a highly affordable and measurable marketing tool that helps you communicate with potential customers. Specialist online mail deployment packages such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact provide an easy-to-use platform to help build, deploy and measure campaigns from start to finish at the fraction of the cost of normal direct mail marketing.

12. Direct mail marketing
Although sometimes expensive direct mailing if targeted correctly can be an effective marketing tool and a great medium of communication.  Consider using vouchers or coupons to encourage customers to purchase your goods or services.

13. Keep your website fresh and relevant
With 72% of purchases to be placed online by 2021, sharply increased from the events in 2020 it is important to make sure your business's products are available to purchase online.  Your website needs to be easily navigable, quick to load, and mobile-friendly.  Updating your website with fresh, interesting, and relevant content will help improve your visibility and ranking online which in turn will lead to more sales.

14. Measure the effectiveness of your marketing activities
To make the most of your marketing activities it is essential to measure the effectiveness of each marketing campaign when it has ended.  While this does take a little time to evaluate it will save time and money in the long run and make future marketing activities more successful.

With a blend of these online and offline marketing methods, you can improve brand awareness, increase sales and earn a greater market share without breaking the bank.