Whether you are looking to expand your business or are getting ready to release a new product into the market, marketing is vital to engaging with your audience, creating awareness, and boosting sales. But without proper management, your marketing efforts can end up underperforming. And, in the worst-case scenario, even drain your company’s budget! Luckily, as a small business owner, there are steps you can take to ensure that your marketing budget is optimized. Learn how in the guide below.
Carry Out Thorough Marketing Research and Set Clear Goals
Blindly redirecting a portion of your revenue to marketing can turn your well-planned marketing efforts into a money pit. To better manage risks, consider spending time to research your competitors’ marketing strategies, analyze current market trends, and study your target consumer’s behavior.
You can then use these insights to make more informed business decisions and minimize the risk of making the wrong marketing investment.
Use a Performance Marketing Agency
While each business’s strategy is unique, there are a few key marketing truths worth keeping in mind. These are:
- In today’s overcrowded digital landscape, the help of a professional marketer is invaluable;
- Marketing efforts should be data-driven and performance-based.
So, when choosing a marketing company to work with, you should look for an agency that leverages a performance-based approach. But, what exactly is performance marketing?
Performance marketing is described as an approach to the digital market that focuses on results. Digital marketing companies operating in this way often use KPIs and multichannel indicators to continuously adjust their marketing efforts and optimize the chances of success.
Be Clear About Your Marketing Budget
When it comes down to setting up your marketing budget, there is no “one size fits all” formula you can rely on. However, according to estimations, B2B companies spend 2-5% of their revenue on marketing, while B2C tend to spend around 5-10% of their revenue.
Of course, your digital marketing expenditure should vary depending on multiple factors, including the nature of your business (i.e.: online-based vs brick-and-mortar businesses), target audience, and future goals. Nonetheless, once you have set your budget, it is important to stick to it and prevent infructuous marketing efforts from draining your budget.
Upcycle Your Content and Marketing Material
It is undeniable that high-quality content is a vital element of any marketing campaign. Whether it is video marketing, blog posts, Instagram reels, or Tweets, content is critical to engage with your audience, hook viewers, and spread brand awareness.
However, creating new content can be costly – especially if your editorial calendar requires you to produce new videos and posts on a daily basis. That is why you should have a content upcycling strategy ready to deploy!
To utilize material you already have, consider updating cornerstone and evergreen articles, repurposing videos you already have, or posting old material on different platforms. In any case, make sure that the content you decide to post is still relevant!
Experiment and Test Your Assumptions
Marketing is both a science and an art, and getting your strategy right from the start isn’t always possible. That is why you should be open and ready to experiment with different materials, landing pages, email copy types, and call-to-actions.
A/B testing – also known as split testing – can help you compare how your audience reacts to different marketing efforts, thus preventing you from misspending most of your budget on inefficient projects and campaigns.
Monitor Progress and Track Your KPIs
One of the best ways to get the most out of your marketing budget is to track essential indicators and KPIs. Although these KPIs may vary depending on your marketing goals and business nature, some of the key ones worth tracking include:
- Revenue and sales changes
- Number of Leads
- Customer Acquisition Cost
- Sales Cycle Length
- Customer Lifetime Value
- Return on Investment
- Return on Ad Spend
- Cost Per Lead
- Lead to Customer Ratio
Be Ready To Pivot and Adjust Your Strategy
Data-driven marketing strategies are one of the best alternatives to drive business growth. Nonetheless, no matter how much research you have done, any marketing investment comes with a significant level of risk. And, this is true for both small businesses with limited marketing budgets and large corporations with an international reputation to protect.
That is why it is crucial to be ready to pivot and adjust your strategy even as your campaign is already running! Be sure to have a contingency plan in place to reduce reputation damages and financial losses.
Leverage Free or Inexpensive Marketing Tools
Thanks to the advent of inexpensive web hosting platforms and social media platforms, most tech-savvy business owners and entrepreneurs today have access to free or affordable marketing tools.
Establishing a social media community, using SEO techniques to improve your website, and striving to secure a spot in Google’s Local 3-pack are all great options to start building an online presence for your business on a budget.
Get Involved With the Local Community
Establishing a company is certainly not a one-person job. And, there is no doubt that, to succeed as a small business owner, you’ll need the support of your local community. That is why for growing businesses, community involvement is a lifeline.
Aside from creating meaningful connections with your direct target audience, getting involved with the community can improve your business’s reputation, enhance your public image, and gain the trust and loyalty of local customers.
If you are unsure how to get started, great ways to get involved with the community include:
- Partnering with local charities
- Offering pro-bono services to low-income households
- Launching charitable initiatives
- Being present at local events and festivals
- Partnering with other businesses in the area to offer added value and discounts to customers.
Think Outside the Box with Your Marketing Budget
The tips above can help you optimize your marketing budget. But if the competition begins to feel overwhelming, be sure to make a conscious effort to think outside of the box. And, don’t forget that, in marketing, no idea is too creative or unorthodox! After all, Alexis Ohanian managed to create the Reddit empire with a $500 marketing budget and memorable stickers!