The majority of business owners simply don’t have a vast marketing budget to play with, so they have to devise some strategies which will generate sales without breaking the bank.

Using a local SEO analytics tool like chatmeter can make a big difference when pinpointing and targeting local customers through trends, social media mentions and other sources of data. This is just one of the ideas and tools that can help to maximize your return and make the most of your small marketing budget.

Getting the best bang for your buck

If you are just launching a startup or already running a small business with a limited budget, you need to spend some of that money on marketing in order to breathe some life into your sales figures and fuel growth.

Easier said than done if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, but every business should have some sort of marketing budget.

When you launch your business, you will need to find money for so many things, such as web and graphic design, marketing materials, plus money for adverts and social media marketing as well. Even if you have been trading for a while, you still need to apply some resources towards marketing, so that you have a chance to grow the business and add new customers.

Your aim should be to try and allocate up to 10% of your revenues towards marketing. The next trick once you set a figure, is of course to work out how you are going to get the best bang for your buck.

Using social media to drive traffic to your website

If you can use it effectively and hone your skills as you go along, you should be able to use a social media platform like Facebook to drive traffic to your website.

Facebook is often a cost-effective way of getting the marketing wheels in motion without spending loads of money. You could get some results from a budget that is as small as $5 per day, targeting local customers and hosting events in order to market yourself and your business.

Advertising a live event can be a win/win situation, as you raise awareness on Facebook about your business and then get the chance to interact offline with customers when they turn up to your local event.

Getting involved with your local community and creating a real connection with people in your area will help to grow your business organically and getting involved with some local charities for example, can be rewarding in every sense of the word.

Social media is a good platform to open up a dialogue with customers and a relatively inexpensive way to generate interest in your business.

Make the most of free listings

There are plenty of online and offline directories which you can use to promote your business name without having to spend any money to do so.

If you are a local business, it is vital that you can be found online. This is because unless someone is driving by and finds your premises, they are going to search locally online for the resource that they want.

This is a point that is not often fully understood by some business owners, so make sure you take advantage of online directories that mean your business will come up when someone who could be a local customer, conducts an online search.

You can claim listings on search engine sites like Google my Business, Bing and Yahoo.

Make sure that there is absolute uniformity in how you present the information across all of these sites, so that search engines don’t interpret you as different business, which affects your search engine results.

Grow organically

Another cost-effective strategy that is often overlooked, is the opportunity to increase revenues by focusing on existing customers.

It is less expensive to keep existing customers than find new ones, so don’t lose sight of the opportunity to look after customers who have already done business with you, by introducing a rewards program with discounts and offers, and targeting them with cross-selling incentives.

Growing your business organically like can be a successful strategy which doesn’t put a dent in your marketing budget, plus it helps to strengthen relationships with your customer if they are in regular dialogue with your business.

A small marketing budget doesn’t mean you should have small ideas for your business, you just have to take advantage of free resources and use some proven cost-effective strategies.

The post Small Business, Smaller Budget: Local Marketing Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

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