In many ways, small businesses and startups are the heart and soul of our society. That being said, it can be a real challenge to ensure that your business hits the ground running if you’re lacking the most essential funds needed for marketing. But the fact is, bankruptcies in the US increased to 25,227 companies in the second quarter of 2016, and if you don’t spend wisely in the early startup stages, it could really cost you down the line and even limit business growth.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some budget-friendly marketing tips all startups should keep in mind.
Understand Your Brand
Before you delve into any long-term media projects or marketing initiatives, make sure that you understand what it is about your brand that makes it unique. Why should potential customers choose your brand over a different competitor? Without a solid grasp of this elementary info, any marketing campaign is bound to be a flop.
“You must have a solid concept regarding what your business is, what you desire to accomplish, and why it even exists before you can even think about launching a successful marketing campaign. One of the preliminary first steps concerning the marketing process is to first make sure you know exactly who you are…What can you offer the world in a special and unique way that no one else can? This is the ideal point in time to get some consumer or customer research in,” writes Ivana Taylor on QuestionPro.
Strategize on Social Media
Even if you don’t have the funds to perfect your business’ website or overall online presence, you can start at the most basic level with social media interaction. While your specific strategy should depend on the products or services your business provides, it makes sense to create a profile on the most widely used platforms, like Facebook, where people share about 730 billion photos per year. Creating a Facebook page for your business and posting regularly won’t cost you a dime, and you can start to construct the virtual building blocks necessary to foster a trusting relationship with your customers and social media following.
Combine Physical and Virtual Branding Efforts
As mentioned, developing a social media presence is important, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect the most basic physical marketing resources like signage. About 35% of customers find out about local businesses from seeing a sign while passing, so make sure your business’s sign is printed in large, easy-to-read font and can be seen from the road. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to combine physical and virtual branding efforts by communicating your business’s social media handles on traditional marketing resources, like with each receipt. These small changes can go a long way when it comes to growing your long-term customer base.
Adjust Budget Based on Market Trends
Finally, it’s important to remember that we’re constantly learning more about the way consumers prefer to consume media, and by extension, how we can more effectively and strategically communicate our business and brand building efforts. Keep up with the most current research analyses that can help you understand consumers’ needs. For example, marketers used to think that content was the main indicator of a high-quality website. But according to a recent study, 96% of consumers cited design over content as the main reason they trusted a site, so your budget may be spent more wisely in the graphic design department. Understand these evolving needs and consider incorporating them into marketing budget decisions.
When implemented strategically, these tips can serve as the necessary building blocks that help your business become the best it can be.
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