Behind every successful business is a good marketing strategy. But sometimes your budget is tight and you can’t afford to spend the big bucks on advertising. When this happens, it’s easy to cease all marketing efforts (DON’T DO THIS). But a small budget isn’t a good reason to neglect your marketing. There are many ways you can keep your marketing strong — even on a shoestring budget.
There are three core elements to a strong, inexpensive, modern marketing strategy: a strong social media, great relationships, and a pristine online presence. If you can rock these three by centering your marketing efforts here, the sales will follow. Even without the big marketing budget.
Strong Social Media
There’s no way around it: our modern world requires a strong social media presence. But many businesses don’t know where to begin with social media. Which platform is best for you? What kind of content do you share? How do you share it?
Regardless of which platform you choose and how you build your social media presence, there are three solid action steps you should take to make the most out of social media marketing.
All of the big social media platforms today — Facebook, Youtube, TikTok, Instagram, and so on — have the feature to go live. Live videos are trending in 2022, so today is a great time to begin. You can use a live stream to run a Q&A for your followers, host someone for an interview, demo and sell your products, share behind the scenes, or anything else you can come up with.
The point is to connect with people. Video content establishes trust in a brand, builds relationships and intrigue into what you offer. These are all valuable results that lead to sales. Live video amplifies these traits even further in a more intimate setting. Make a point to go live at least once a week to reap in these benefits.
Whatever platform you choose to stick with and whatever form of content you choose to share, there is one thing you should always be doing on social media as a business: share value. People like to follow thought leaders, experts, and professionals who teach them as well as help them to be better and grow.
Consider how you can bring value to your audience with your content. How can you establish yourself as a thought leader or expert? People will buy from experts. Be on social media not just to get others to buy from you, but to give openly to them as well. This will help you long-term in both sales and your company values.
Be Engaged and Active Consistently
Another solid strategy for every social media platform is to be consistent. Whether you are tweeting, tiktoking, instagramming, or any other sharing: be consistent. What does consistency look like? Posting regular content. Whatever you’re sharing, share it often. The more active you are, the more often people see you and the better rapport you build. And remember, your content does not have to be perfect to post regularly.
Consistency also means actively and regularly engaging with other users on the platform. Don’t just post and walk away. Social media platforms are looking to share the profiles who are actively engaging and building community with others. This could look like commenting, sharing, saving, or liking content from others on the platform. Staying consistent is one very simple but important way to build your following on social media, and increase your sales through this valuable and inexpensive form of marketing.
Businesses thrive by building relationships. It’s always been this way. People want to buy from someone they know they can trust. They want a reliable product or service that is worth their investment. And when you build this relationship and come through for them, they will use their relationships to tell others about you. Here are three ways you can build great relationships and continue to market your business on a budget.
Create a Unique Customer Experience
From start to finish, you want your customer experience to be exceptional. Look at your business now. Follow a customer through your pipeline and experience the process someone would go through from learning about your business to after they’ve made a purchase.
- Do you collect their email or phone number?
- Do you communicate in a friendly and personalized way?
- Do you continue the conversation after they’ve made a purchase?
Collect their contact information as soon as you can and communicate to them personally throughout the entire process. And don’t stop after they’ve made their purchase. Repeat customers are extremely valuable. Continue the communication and build the relationship even after the sale so you can tap into that lucrative repeat and referral business.
Build Your Word of Mouth Business
Word of mouth is often a large part of how businesses make money. This method does rely on your customers to share your business with others. But that doesn’t mean you don’t play a part. Here are three ways to increase your word of mouth business:
- Build a recommendation or referral program
- Make an offer for customers who refer other customers, this could be a small discount, coupon, or other referral reward. Either have fun and try something new or different, be creative
- Do everything you can to make a customer’s experience so great, they can’t help but talk about you
- Establish solid relationships with your customers and provide them with as much value as possible, making them excited to share your name. Like Dan Kennedy (GKIC) use to do with his “Shock and Awe box” strategy
- Openly ask for people to talk about you
- In your emails and social media, put the call to action: “Share with your friends!” and ask for reviews. But be careful as there is a right way and a wrong way to go about this. One way produces reviews that are MONEY while the other generates nothing more than a naked 5 star rating. You WANT REVIEWS with context!
Pristine Online Presence
Finally, a simple and inexpensive way to market your business today involves creating a pristine online presence. Where does your business appear online? Here are a few online presences every business should have online:
- Company website
- Google business listing (Google Business Profile)
- Social media presence
- Product or service listings, or as a guest feature
Having an online presence is great. But if your branding, colors, messaging, contact information, and so on are not consistent among these platforms, an online presence may actually work against you. Here are 3 quick ways to keep these presences working for you.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a must for businesses today. While this can be a large marketing effort on which you can spend a lot of money, there are a few simple ways you can streamline your SEO as much as possible on your own.
- Know the keywords for your business
- These could be locational like Dallas, or topical like medicare insurance
- Insert these keywords into every blog, social media listing or post, company profile, and website copy
Branding + Contact
Whether you’re building a social media presence, website, or any other online activity, your branding must be consistent.
- Grammar and spelling
- Email, phone number, website
Don’t have an old logo on your social media platform that’s different from the logo on your website. If you’ve changed niches recently, make sure your messaging is updated everywhere. You want someone to recognize you no matter where they find you online.
You Can Market Your Business
Don’t give up on marketing just because you can’t spend a lot of money on advertising at the moment. Your business can still thrive even on inexpensive marketing efforts. Remember, most marketing strategies are built upon the same value: building relationships. Every one of these tips is about building relationships.
On a budget, you can still build relationships on social media through live streams and consistent engagement. You can grow relationships with your customers through a unique customer experience and playing your part in word of mouth marketing. And you can clean up your online presence so people can recognize and trust you whether they see you on social media, Google, or your own website.
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Linda Musselwhite is an author, speaker and co-owner of Musselwhite Marketing (est 2009). Linda’s previous positions as Human Resources Administrator. Combined with extraordinary customer service makes her the obvious choice of day to day operations for Musselwhite Marketing.
Connect with Linda on LinkedIn.