The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

A Modest Marketing Budget Doesn’t Have to Mean Mediocre Marketing Content

How to get great value from your marketing with limited to no budget.

Maybe you work for a start-up that’s surviving on a shoestring budget? Or perhaps you’re part of a small business that never really needed marketing because you didn’t have much competition until now? Whatever the reason, having a modest marketing budget doesn’t mean you can’t have some seriously great content! We’ve got four tips that’ll help your small business get the most value from a limited budget.

Focus on Community Partnerships

If you’re a small business, chances are you operate within a fairly confined territory. No matter how big or small your turf, you’re likely to find some great allies just around the corner that can make for some incredible partnerships. Make the time to network and get to know your community members, or join your local Chamber of Commerce. Once you discover another business with like-minded values or complementary services, you’ve found a great opportunity to share each other’s stories.

Focusing on community partnerships can lead to great opportunities.

Imagine a company that sells solar panels that finds a roofing company just down the road from them. If someone who is looking to get solar panels needs their roof re-shingled, the solar company can refer the homeowner to the roofing company. Or, if someone is getting a new roof on their home and mentions they wanted to look into buying solar panels, the roofing company can refer them to the solar company. It’s a win-win, and it’s totally free. It doesn’t get much better than that! So, whether it be a simple post-for-post share on social media, or a business-to-business referral program, you’ll be reaching an audience you may not have had access to in the past.

Ask for Customer Referrals

If you’ve been in business for a while, you (hopefully) have at least a few satisfied customers. And, if you know who they are and you haven’t asked them to write a brief online review or testimonial… What are you waiting for?! Online reviews can be a quick and easy way to bolster your reputation and improve your search rankings on Google. Additionally, you should consider adding a link to your online reviews in your email signature and on your website. This will make it much easier for customers to contribute their thoughts on your products or services.

Google Reviews do help improve local search rankings. With more and more people turning to local search Google is even starting to automatically filter out local businesses with less than a 4-star rating.

Podium, 2020

Also, don’t forget to look for your Brand Evangelists. If you have customers who are posting reviews without you asking and sharing an overwhelmingly positive experience, take note! You might want to feature them in a social media post or have them make a short video that talks about why they love your product or service so much. This type of content is called User-Generated Content (UGC) and can make for a simple (and inexpensive!) addition to your marketing assets. If you’re able to, considering saying “thank you” by offering the customer a small discount on their next purchase or a gift card as a token of your appreciation for their on-going support.

Utilize Your Team’s Hobbies and Interests

Start thinking outside the box about the unique skills and hobbies your employees can offer your business.

Do you have a copywriter on staff who has always wanted to gain some graphic design skills? Maybe you have someone on your sales team who flies drones in their free time and takes some amazing photos? If you can spare the employee’s time for a day, consider having them use their passion to benefit your business! It would likely be a nice change of pace for them: They’re still being paid to work, but they’re able to develop new skills (think: free online Adobe classes) or showcase their hobby in a unique way (photos of your products or services from a different point of view). Chalk that up to another “win” for your minimal marketing budget! Most importantly: Be sure to highlight your wonderfully creative and versatile employees who developed all of this incredible content!

You’ve Got Mail

Here’s a question: When’s the last time you reached out to your prospect or customer base? If you’re focusing only on social media (or maybe you’re putting a bit of your marketing budget toward traditional advertising), you’ve probably forgotten about the goldmine sitting right in front of you.

If your CRM is even halfway organized, you should be able to pull together some pretty targeted email lists. Imagine 1,000 people showed interest in your latest product, but only 100 of them ended up purchasing it. Why not send a targeted email to the other 900 and offer them a 5% discount? Similarly, if you’ve got a list of customers who have never left you a review, why not email some of the ones who have the highest lifetime value and send them the link to your Google review page? You can even offer them special incentives – discounts, early product access, etc. – for subscribing to your email list. Email marketing is inexpensive – Start using it to your advantage!

Don’t be shy about asking for customer referrals. The majority of people say they are willing to provide a referral if asked, but very few take the initiative to do it on their own. Referrals make it easier to get in the door with new customers. If you aren’t asking for them, you are missing opportunities.

Constant Contact, 2020

Drop us a comment below if you found these tips and tricks helpful… Or, if you’ve got some great ideas on how to get the most value out of your marketing budget, please share them with us!

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Category: Social Media Marketing 201