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8 low budget marketing ideas for small business owners

In this blog, Sophie Comas from Rimu Marketing shares some great tips for marketing on a budget. This doesn’t mean you’re cutting corners, it means you’re working smart and getting the most out of your marketing channels.

 
Written by Sophie Comas from Rimu Marketing

You are up against it. You have an order to deliver, accounts to finish, a proposal to write and you have not yet written this month’s newsletter. As a small business owner, we are asked to wear many hats and we are often
confused on where to start with promoting our products and services. In a post-COVID world, with some challenges still on the horizon including rising costs in every direction, we wanted to share some low budget marketing ideas to help you refocus and keep the conversation about your brand going.

 

Before we make any suggestions as to the kind of things you should be thinking about we have assumed you have a business name and your branding is set.  If not then of course Helen from HK Graphics is the lady to speak to. Aside
from this, the first place to start is to build a plan.  It is key that you take some time to reflect on the business successes; consider your objectives for the year ahead, define your target audience and what products you can provide that resonate with them. Once there is a plan in place, where should we focus our energies?  And more importantly invest our budget? 

 

Below we share 8 tips to help get you started, sharing some time saving tricks along the way:

 

1.    Build or refresh your website

In today’s digital world your website is your shop window. This is the way that your target audience can begin to know who you are, hopefully like what you do and build up enough awareness to then buy from you. It is key to feature the products and services you offer, demonstrate your expertise and share social proof that you are good at what you do, through client testimonials.

 

2.    Write a blog

This is a great way to answer a client question, share updates from your industry or demonstrate your knowledge.  Not only does it help to build the trust with your potential audience, it will help your SEO and also form a key part of your content for the month ahead. Think about each blog as a mini campaign, you can then re-purpose this content for your email and social media activity, helping not only to take a coordinated approach to your marketing, but also saving you time along the way. It is cited that we need to connect with our potential audience 3-5 times before they will buy from us, so having a multi-channel approach is a good thing.

 

3.    Deploy an email

Email marketing is cited to generate a 40:1 return on investment, when done well.  A gift for any small business owner, to regularly drop into their ideal client’s inbox.  With free tools on the market such as Mailer Lite and Mailchimp to help you create a professional look, it makes sense to include this in your marketing toolkit.

 

4.    Engage in social media

Social media is certainly a key tool to promote any small business. With engagement in the social media networks changing, do check out where your audience hang out and connect with them there. Once you decide on your network, post frequently in a way that works when you are busy.  It is important to be consistent, there is
limited value in posting 3-times a day for a month then nothing for 6-months.  Re-purposing your content and
using scheduling tools such as ContentCal, Hootsuite or Social Pilot will also help you gain time efficiency.

 

5.    Collaboration

If you are working to a small marketing budget, creating a partnership with a similar like-minded business can be a
really great way to increase your reach. Look to build a reciprocal plan of activity or joint proposition to help
you both drive business. An example of good partnership could be between a florist and a wedding venue. As people go through their wedding planning journey, they will want to source things in a particular sequence eg: they will want a venue and a dress, before they think about a photographer or flowers. To build a selection of partners to call on, can not only help to grow your business, but also help you to provide great customer service.

 

6.    Pick up the phone!

So often we hide behind emails or texts, but sometimes that personal touch of picking up the phone, talking to people, reconnecting with past clients or contacts, can in itself generate opportunity. Draft a hit list of people you are going to speak to – you would be amazed at the results it can generate! If you are wanting to be a little more sophisticated then you could also make a small investment into a CRM system such as Capsule CRM, Hubspot or Zoho.

 

7.    Invest in marketing

Once you have ticked the above off your list, you have a good foundation from which to develop your marketing, then you are ready to put a little budget into taking your business message to the next level. There are many ways you could advertise and grow your reach which might include: PR (editorials in local magazines), online advertising, social media advertising or Google ad words.

 

8. Enjoy and have fun!

Marketing is fun and creative, if you have a passion for what you do then let that shine through, as a small business owner that is what your clients will buy from you.

 

Don’t forget, to put metrics in place to help you measure the impact of any marketing activity you run to make the most of your budget. There are many ways you can do that which we share in one of our articles here: 7 Key Marketing Campaign Metrics

 

If you have a marketing challenge or wish to find out more about RIMU Marketing and how they can help a small business get to the next level visit: rimumarketing.co.uk