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How to get the most from a small marketing budget… (Part 1)

small marketing budget

If you’re responsible for marketing in a small or mid-sized business, the chances are – you’ll only have a small or mid-sized budget to work with. So how do you get your brand seen and your message heard when the purse strings are tied? Here’s part 1 in a 2-part series which offers a few ideas to help your small marketing budget go further….

Don’t use Google AdWords

Controversial I know but the reality is, unless you have a stack of cash or your product is the most niche product imaginable, stay well away from Google AdWords. It will empty your pockets and deliver very little in return. One of its major flaws, is that your competitors can drain your budget by clicking on your links. It’s a common practice which will leave your business virtually invisible to the online world once your small marketing budget has been used up.

If you insist on using AdWords / search engine PPC advertising – use Bing instead of Google

Yes, we know that billions of people use Google and only hundreds of millions use Bing. However, if you’ve only got the budget to pay for 20 or 30 clicks per month – is the number of users really relevant? On average, the cost per click for advertising on Bing is about 1/5 of the price of Google. That means, for your monthly budget – you can afford to attract 5 times more visitors to your website with the same budget. There’s absolutely no difference in the quality of the visitor.

You might also want to think about advertising to mobile users only. More users than ever access the internet via the mobile and the PPC option for mobile is often cheaper.

Only market where your target audience is likely to be

Don’t waste your time and money trying to reach the biggest audience. Do your research and find out where your target audience ‘hangs-out’ and market specifically to them. Having exposure across every social media platform imaginable is pointless if your audience only hangs out on one or two of them. Choose marketing channels (Facebook / Twitter / Email Marketing / PPC etc.) that are most relevant to your audience, that offer the best value for money and that offer you the best way of getting your message across.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Never rely solely on one marketing channel. Make sure you have a few options in your marketing mix.

Understand your sales funnel and your customer journey

A singular marketing activity working alone has very restricted capabilities. Let’s imagine for example, you want to spend your budget on acquiring followers on Facebook. Ask yourself, what’s the purpose of this? What actions do you want your Facebook followers to take? For your audience to become your customer, you need to devise a “sales funnel” or a “prospect journey” which transforms your audience to followers, your followers to website visitors, your website visitors to enquiries and your enquiries to sales. If you don’t have that journey mapped out, your marketing activities will be far less effective and that means you’ll have to spend more money to achieve the same results.

Pair your marketing with you sales activities

This is really an extension to the above. If you’re expecting to put out a marketing campaign and be inundated with inbound enquiries – without a huge budget, I’m afraid to say you might be disappointed. To maximise the effectiveness of your marketing – you need to pair it with a sales initiative. If you’re sending out a marketing email, complete a follow up call for all those that opened or clicked on your email. If you’re running a campaign to drive people to your website, make sure there’s an effective landing page to capture prospects information so that you can call them back.

A sales persons job is so much easier with marketing support and a marketing persons activities are so much more successful when paired with sales activities – yet in many smaller and mid-sized organisations, these skill sets and strategies rarely merge to fulfil their potential.

That’s all in this, the first part of a 2-part series on “How to get the most from a small marketing budget”. Pop back next week for more great tips… or if you’d like to discuss your marketing in more detail – why not drop us a call on 0207 458 4788 or visit our marketing services page.

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