Optimize Your Small Business Marketing Budget | Fora Financial Blog
How to Optimize Your Small Business Marketing Budget
July 07, 2017

How to Optimize Your Small Business Marketing Budget

In the current economic climate, spreading the word about your business is a necessary move. Anyone who’s ever launched a business can tell you that, for small businesses, times often get tough because of budget restrictions.

Your marketing budget is one of the things that you can try to cut back on, while still creating the buzz you need to build your business brand.

Small business entrepreneurs tend to think that it’s enough to boost a Facebook post once a month and hand out business cards to their customers when they don’t have enough money for a complex marketing strategy. As an entrepreneur, you should know that things don’t have to be expensive and intricate to be effective. These are five ways you can optimize your small business marketing budget by choosing the right marketing channels to reach your target audience.

1. Social media

Social media is what the vast majority of marketing strategies are focused on today. They are perfect for small businesses because they don’t require much financial investment. You may already have a Facebook and Twitter account, but there are other platforms such as Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram. Not all of them will suit your business’s audience, but they are all viable options to explore and implement if possible. The best first step for entering the realm of digital marketing is Facebook Ads. Back it up with a strong strategy, combine it with Power Editor tools or Ads manager, and use their targeting options that are among the best in the industry right now.

Facebook Ads is perfect for narrow targeting (which means cutting costs) as it offers various location targeting options. You can set your ads to target audience according to their place of residence or a particular location they’ve recently visited. The service also has the radius-targeting feature, allowing you to specify how far from a particular location Facebook should show your ad.

2. Geofencing

Geofencing requires a somewhat bigger upfront investment, but it comes with a great return on investment in the long run. You need to make a mobile app with the geofencing feature and motivate people to install it on their iPhones and Android phones. Geofencing is a very effective mobile marketing technology that helps you advertise your business to nearby consumers by covering the service area around your shop. Target potential buyers and advertise additional sales and discounts to those who are already in the shop.

3. Networking

Working on a tight budget means that you should be more creative and find low-cost ways of spreading the word about your venture. You may be able to get some good advertising by expanding your circle of professional contacts and bartering your own service. For example, if you operate a computer service shop, offer to do diagnostics and repairs for your local advertising agency in exchange for their marketing services. Join forces and create a business partnership where each side wins.

4. Free public relations

Always build relationships. Getting any kind of free PR starts with this, so find out when and where local gatherings of journalists are held, or reach out to several members of the local media directly. Get to know your contacts, speak about your business, and ask for an opportunity when the time is right. Ask for an interview opportunity, whether on TV, the radio, or in print, and make things easier for them by coming up with proposed Q&A on your own.

5. Community involvement

If you don’t have money for a more complex initiative, there are many marketing options at your local stores that you can take advantage of. Giving away promotion items with your business logo on them or setting up a booth at a local festival is a great way of informing the community, and it doesn’t cost much. Startups and small businesses mostly depend on local consumers, so give something in return to earn their respect and appreciation. Use this method to spread local brand awareness.

Instead of investing large sums of money in developing complex marketing strategies, use these low-cost marketing techniques. If you feel that you need more funds, try cutting costs in other areas of your business. Just remember the main goal, and that is to provide the best possible customer service. That alone is the most affordable and best marketing strategy of them all.

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Her interests are digital marketing, social media, start-ups, and the latest trends. She is also a contributor at Bizzmark blog.