While there are countless marketing strategies available today, not all of these are suitable for startups and small businesses. Novices will have limited financial resources, which means that they have to be extra careful with the marketing strategies they create and implement.
Using a marketing strategy that is too expensive can result in debts and bankruptcy. This is especially true for businesses that make impulsive decisions in an attempt to ride the bandwagon in the industry.
If you're an entrepreneur who is currently on a shoestring budget, take note of the tips below so you can easily create an affordable yet effective marketing strategy:
1. Be A Savvy Social Networker
According to statistics, over 3.8 billion people worldwide use social media on a regular basis. This number shows that social media has become an integral part of everyone's lives today – and if you want to reach out to this audience, you should learn how to become a savvy social networker.
To create an affordable marketing strategy, the use of social media is always a must. Social media serves as a free local marketing platform as you can use this to easily reach out to individuals within and outside of your location without spending a lot of money. In fact, you can maximize social media to engage and communicate with your customers for free!
Moreover, social media can overcome any geographical barrier, making it very easy for you to expand your reach and acquire more customers. Even if you only have one store operating in your local neighborhood, you can still cater to individuals who are located on the other side of the globe through social media.
You can start by creating business accounts on big social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, if you want your social media marketing efforts to be successful, it's not enough that you create accounts in all of these platforms; you should also observe the following tips if you want to become a savvy social networker.
How to become a savvy social networker?
With the prevalence of social media today, most of your competitors might have been using these platforms for years and have succeeded with their efforts.
Identify your goals:
If you want to level out the competition without wasting resources, make sure that you're not using social media just to keep up with the times – you should actually have goals for why you're doing it. Are you going to use social media to haul in more customers? Or would you want to focus more on advertising your products and services using this platform? The more specific your plan is, the better it'll be for your social media marketing strategy.
Decide which platforms are right for you:
A successful social media marketing campaign requires consistency and commitment. After you've created a business account on different social media platforms, you need to make sure that you regularly update the content posted. You don't want your Facebook or Twitter profile to end up being stale, right? When using social media for your marketing efforts, assess which platforms are right for you. Conduct market research on which social media platforms your audience uses the most and focus on creating a strong online presence on that platform.
Know your audience:
With the number of people using social media today, it'll be challenging to satisfy all of their needs. This task is nearly impossible to complete and will require a lot of resources from your business. Instead of attempting to reach out to every single person who uses social media, know your audience and streamline your efforts to satisfy them. If your audience involves individuals who are conscious about their diets and nutrition, consider adding healthy recipes or images of fruits and vegetables in your content. Your social media marketing campaign will have better chances of succeeding if you know what your customers want and if you're aware of how your business can satisfy these wants.
2. Publish Great Content
Publishing accurate content is another cost-effective marketing strategy. Adding this technique to your marketing strategy is affordable because you can always produce content from scratch. Aside from saving money, content marketing can be very beneficial as it allows you to reach out to other businesses and create healthy relationships with them.
Moreover, content marketing is vital because it serves as an avenue for you to answer all of your customers' questions. Adding a robust content marketing strategy to your business plan will help you build trust with your audience, improve overall conversions, connect with more customers, and generate better leads. A lot of customers also consider high-quality content as their basis to determine the legitimacy of a particular business. They will likely transact with a new business if they see that it regularly publishes high-quality content.
But with the number of businesses operating today, it's important that you pay careful attention to the content you publish. Including a poorly-written article on your website, for example, can shoo away potential customers and can become the reason why you'll lose profits. Apart from keeping this tip in mind, you should also consider the following if you want to publish great content:
How To Publish Great Content?
Writing any document is easy, creating one that hauls in customers is a bit challenging.
Understand the content marketing sales funnel:
Besides making sure that your content contains accurate information, you need to ensure that this also adheres to the content marketing sales funnel. Understanding this process is vital as you'll know which direction to take when creating content for your marketing strategy. Content is a very broad term, and publishing it impulsively can cast a bad light on your business.
To steer away from this direction and avoid wasting any resources during the process, make sure that your content helps you attract new customers. It should then convince them to buy from your business, make a sale and establish brand loyalty, and foster long-term relationships with them. All of the content you'll publish – regardless of whether these are articles, infographics, or videos – should be able to address these needs.
View your content as data:
Regardless of how in-depth or attractive your content is, remember that you can't become successful overnight. More often than not, you have to regularly improve your content to better suit the needs and wants of your customers. To make this process easier for you, utilize your content as data.
By using analytics tools, you can easily determine if the content you published on your website helped customers to stay longer on your online platform. These tools can also help you determine whether your articles contain keywords that they were looking for when they used their search engines. Your content can become a goldmine of information for you to know your customers better and improve your marketing strategy moving forward.
Employ a dedicated content manager:
An effective content marketing strategy requires hard work and a lot of time. If you are not going to give this strategy the time and attention it deserves, starting one will be useless.
3. Ask For Reviews
Reviews are important for businesses because a lot of customers consider this a deciding factor for patronizing a particular business. Before a customer makes a purchase from a specific business, they will check out its reviews first. This is especially true for businesses that are new in the industry, or for customers who have not yet experienced the products and services of a business. The reviews of previous clients can help them assess whether a business matches their expectations.
Additionally, positive reviews can also result in increased sales and the trustworthiness of your business. The higher the number of customers who leave positive reviews about your business, the easier it'll be for you to haul in more customers in the future. These reviews can also help your business create a strong and positive impression in the business arena. These are some of the reasons why you should strive to always ask for reviews from your customers.
Because of how significantly reviews affect your business, this tactic can also be utilized as an affordable marketing strategy. This strategy is often cheap because you won't have to commission any marketing ads or billboards – you just have to satisfy clients with your products and services and ask them to leave comments vouching for the credibility of your business.
How to win reviews?
For you to make the most out of reviews and use them in your marketing strategy, ask customers for reviews by following these tips:
Make it easy for them:
Most of your customers live a very hectic lifestyle and won't have the time to read lengthy questions. In fact, they are willing to spend their hard-earned money to enjoy products and services that will make their lives more convenient. You should keep this idea in mind when asking for reviews from them.
The questions in your survey or the platforms you'll use in asking for reviews should be easy for your customers to understand and use. Instead of asking them to write a paragraph to describe their experience with your business, use closed questions that can be answered with a yes or no. The shorter and simpler your questions are, the easier it'll be for them to respond.
Make sure it's mobile:
All of the content of your survey should be responsive and adaptable to different screen types. This means that regardless of whether your customers are using their tablets, smartphones, laptops, or desktop computers, they should be able to access the same platform and questions for them to leave reviews about your business.
It'll be challenging for your business to gain any reviews if your survey is only accessible via a specific device. Your inability to offer a mobile-friendly and responsive survey can become the reason why your business will create a negative brand in the market.
Asking customers for reviews can benefit your business in a lot of ways. Aside from those already mentioned, reviews can also help your business stand out from the competition and earn a bigger market share in the long run. However, what will your customers get out of this? What will be their incentive to provide reviews for your business?
Aside from making it easy for your customers to leave reviews, it's also important that you reward them. Depending on your preference, you can offer discounts or coupons to customers whenever they provide a review of your business. You can even reward them with freebies, such as brand merchandise and product samples.
Don't Stop Learning
Your marketing strategy plays a crucial role in the success of your business, which is why you should exert a lot of time and effort while creating it.
For starters, you should conduct in-depth research about the industry to know what your customers want and to determine what your competitors are doing. You should also make necessary changes as you progress to ensure that you can effectively cope with the market trends and demands.
For you to become a successful entrepreneur, learning should become innate to you – and this skill should always be practiced as you're creating and implementing your own marketing strategy.