Running a business is all about return on investment. You want to minimize the money you spend while maximizing your profit. It sounds simple and as a concept it really is. However, in reality it’s a tricky balancing act. It’s often hard to know where you can cut costs and save money, and where you should focus your spending to get the best results.
Marketing is always needed when running a business. You can’t have an idea, open your location or start your website, and expect people to come to you. You have to get your brand in front of people and encourage them to come in. However, if you're in cost-cutting mode, then you may have to be creative with your marketing to keep succeeding.
TV ads, radio ads and other broad outbound marketing methods reach a lot of people, and as such you pay a lot of money. However, you end up paying for people who are never going to buy your products or services. What you need are some strategies that are cheaper and while they may reach fewer consumers, they still increase your chances of having those people convert into paying customers. Here’s how you can cut costs and still reach clients.
Know Your Audience
If you’re going to be more targeted with your marketing, you need to understand the audience for which you will be creating content. What other interests do they have? What music are they likely to enjoy, and what pop culture do they consume? Everything you produce should be written with those things in mind so that you can better target those customers.
You will never be perfect, so create an ideal customer. You should have their complete profile, including their buying history if they have one. This ideal customer is who you need to focus on.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The great thing about SEO is you can handle as much or as little of it on your own as you like. If you have a talent for writing and you can spare some time, then handle that part of it. If you don’t, hire a freelander or a marketing agency. Either way, it will still be more affordable than outbound marketing. SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it appears as high as possible on search engine rankings. Ideally you want to be at least on the first page for possible search terms related to your product or industry.
There is a lot that goes into an optimized site. For one, the content is current, relevant, informative, and engaging. You will also need to have backlinks from reputable websites, and fast-loading pages. All of these will be indexed by search engines, and their algorithm will then rank your pages.
This will lead to organic traffic to your site. Organic traffic means that people visit your website without clicking on ads. They are already presumably predisposed to purchase your products and services because they specifically searched for them.
If you can create a phone list of your customers and prospects, then SMS messaging is a powerful way to connect with them. Think about it. We are so conditioned by our phones, that when we get a notification we immediately take it out and see who’s messaging us. Not only that, but your message is likely to be read, even if they only read it to delete it afterwards. Text messages have an open rate above 95%, which is much higher than email. Also, it’s immediate. They will read the message within seconds of receiving it.
You might be thinking that it sounds pretty time-consuming to write all those texts and numbers with your thumbs on your phone. However, there are online text messaging services that allow you to write texts and build contact lists from your computer. The best part is that it’s very affordable, and not many businesses have started using it. You can get ahead of the competition and save money at the same time.
The best thing about social media is that it doesn’t have to cost you a cent. You can create informative and engaging social media accounts with a little time and creativity. What you have to do is post content that is likely to be shared, commented on, and liked. It’s harder than it sounds, but it can be done. Amazingly, one thing that will make your social media accounts more engaging for customers is replying and starting conversations. If you can successfully do that, then your customers will feel like they are a part of a community around your brand. That bond will only grow stronger when they make a purchase.
Something else that doesn’t cost a cent, other than any equipment you want to use, is live streaming. Most social media platforms have an option for doing this. Live streaming is great because it gives your customers a glimpse behind the scenes and a peek at your personality. Showing your customers that there are actual people behind the brand will further build a connection. On a live stream you can provide how-tos, behind the scenes footage, or something funny or interesting. One of the best things you can do is a question and answer session. Your customers can get the information they need or even give you feedback. All this for no cost.
It’s tough when you have to cut costs and you still need to reach your customers. However, with a little creativity and some hard work, you can do it. Follow these tips and concepts and you can save on your marketing costs now and in the future.