You don’t always have to spend a lot to get a high return.
Even though the return is often worth the investment, spending money on marketing can be difficult for a small business with an even smaller budget. However, a budget of even $100 is more than enough to launch an efficient marketing campaign that will get the ball rolling and grow your business. Here are a few suggestions for the best ways to make every dollar count when advertising online.
For a small investment, you can begin advertising online with Google AdWords or Facebook ads in a targeted effort to reach potential customers. Before the internet, advertising was a pretty broad tool, without fine control over who sees your ads. Today, thanks to an abundance of demographic information, you can be extremely specific about who your ads get served to.
For example, a Facebook ad campaign can be created to target women between 18-35 who live within 50 miles of your business. You determine the objective of your campaign, like driving people to your website or increasing brand awareness, and set a daily or lifetime budget for the ad as well as a timeframe where it will be displayed.
Email Campaign (under $50)
Email is one of the most common marketing tools in the digital age. Everyone has an email address, and it’s incredibly easy to collect them from your current and potential customers in order to start building a robust database.
Most email marketing tools, like Constant Contact or MailChimp, can be used for under $50 a month, a small price to pay in order to network with your customers on a more regular basis. Email campaigns are a great way to get people to your website or social media pages. Being able to directly communicate with your customers about new products or services, special offers or just reminding them you exist can make a huge difference in your bottom line.
The visual nature of social media makes your branding incredibly crucial to the success of your online presence. It’s important to have a well-designed cover photo and profile picture, as well as a decent selection of images, graphics and icons to create future content with. Consistent branding takes a bit of an effort, but it can make your business look that much more organized and professional.
While branding can be done at no cost by searching for royalty-free content online or designing it yourself, it can be beneficial to invest in some high-quality tools to help you get going. If you don’t have time to hunt down free options, stock photo and graphics websites offer affordable monthly subscriptions. Depositphotos has a flexible plan for $2 a month that provides up to 30 downloads, more than enough to get your social media profiles and website appropriately branded.
Canva is a great companion tool for Depositphotos, and provides web-based tools for generating engaging graphics for your social media pages. Its $12.95-a-month plan gives you access to a library of photos, illustrations and templates, as well as a host of tools for collaborating on and organizing your branding.
Research & Education (free)
What you’re doing right now — yes, reading this blog post — is research. You are doing research for your marketing campaign. It costs you nothing but your time. There are countless resources available online to help you decide the best course of action for your marketing efforts. Not only is it free, but it will help you save money by informing you of the best and worst ways to spend your money.
Scouting out your competition can also be considered research. Getting an idea of how similar businesses market themselves can help you understand what needs to be done for your business. It can also give you some insight into what doesn’t work for your competitors, and prompt you to try to capitalize on those failures.
Educating yourself about online marketing can make your campaigns more efficient. Paying for tools and services is a great way to get started, but knowing how to do it all on your own can save you money over time. However, just because you aren’t spending money up front doesn’t mean you aren’t still spending money in the form of time.
Depending on how much you value your own time, or that of your employees, paying for outside services or marketing companies to assist with your campaign can let you worry about more crucial aspects of your business. That’s where we come in. At Dream Local, our team of experienced marketing strategists can help you advertise your business while you focus on running it. Contact us today for a free consultation!