Small Business, Small Budget

Small Business, Small Budget

You need to get the word out about your small business, but what’s the wisest way to spend your marketing dollar when there are so many options? Experts agree it all depends on your target customer demographics, geography, product, and most importantly, your goals. Are you trying to increase website traffic? Get customers to call? Get foot traffic into your place, or have people sign up for a subscription?

Small Business, Small Budget

Infographic by Zhenia Vasiliev

It’s critical to weigh your budget when you consider the elements of marketing, also known as the 4 P’s [1]:

  • Product/service: What do your customers want and how do you meet that need? How is it branded? How do you differentiate yourself and your product from the competition?
  • Price: What is the value to the buyer? Are there already established price points in the industry or region? Will you offer discounts, and how price-sensitive is your target customer?
  • Place: How will buyers find you? How can you access distribution channels for your products or services?
  • Promotion: How and when do you get your marketing messages to your buyers? How will you advertise, use PR and/or direct communication?

Essentials that don’t cost a lot but can make or break a marketing strategy:

  • A website that clearly, efficiently and effectively reflects your brand and effortlessly allows customers to learn more, purchase/subscribe.
  • A network of customers, association/industry members and prospects you can maintain and grow. Stay in touch to stay top-of-mind.
  • Analysis and market research that help you understand what marking tactics and strategies are working for you, and where you might need to shift budget, efforts or channels to become more effective.

Trends [4]

  • Emails with social sharing buttons increase click-through rates by 158%
  • 67% of B2B content marketers consider event marketing the most effective tactic
  • 33% of traffic from Google’s organic search results go to the first item listed

5 Low-Budget Marketing Ideas from the Small Business Association [2]

1.Hold a monthly marketing meeting with employees or associates to discuss strategy and status and solicit marketing ideas.
2. Write a column for the local newspaper, local business journal or a trade publication.
3. Produce timely and newsworthy press releases. Politely let editors who cover your industry know about your business and that you can be called on as an expert.
4. Hold a seminar at your office for clients and prospects.
5. Project a message on the sidewalk in front of your place of business using a light directed through words etched in a glass window.

The Number for Small Business (B2B) Marketers [3]:

  • 9 out of 10 are focused on more conversions via their websites (vs. 84% of large businesses)
  • Top goals: Lead generation (87%), brand awareness (83%), engagement (80%)
  • 87% will use blogs as a content marketing tactic this year (vs. 77% last year)
  • 60% will use infographics (vs. 48% last year)
  • Content marketing spending over next 12 months: Significantly increase (8%), Increase (47%), Remain the same (31%), Decrease (1%), Unsure (12%)

[1]http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newSTR_94.htm

[2]https://www.sba.gov/content/marketing-201

[3]http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/01/small-business-content-marketing-research/

[4]http://www.socialfresh.com/marketing-statistics-every-cmo-should-know-in-2014/?utm_medium=Webbiquity.com

Vanessa McGrady

About the Author

@VanessaMcGrady

Vanessa McGrady is an award-winning communications expert skilled in creating content for national publications, Fortune 200 corporations and small businesses.

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