We’ve all been there. Marketing and advertising budgets are cut or non-existent, leaving little room for creative campaigns and solutions…or does it? This economy requires marketers to think outside the box and spend smartly. In order for your business and numbers to grow, you need to spread to new areas. You need to think of new ideas, use original approaches—anything to ensure that your marketing attempts aren’t wasted on uninterested consumers. Below are some ways for marketers to do this:
It’s not right for every situation, but it is an excellent way to maximize reach while minimizing cost. This benefits your business in two ways. First, it helps you to reach an audience you might not automatically reach. Secondly, it will reduce advertising costs by splitting the cost between multiple businesses.
Powers by Design, LLC detailed an excellent 5-step cross-promotion process for their blog. Their suggestions went as follows:
- Think about what you do. Take time to examine all the particular services you offer clients.
- Find businesses that are compatible to yours. For example, perhaps you’re a pre-owned car dealership. See if a local oil change company wants to promote too with a free oil change for car purchasers.
- Approach businesses with the ideas for cross-promotion. Point out the benefits that a company can expect when they cross-promote a business. In the case of the oil change company, giving away one oil change for free creates the opportunity for greater business for years to come.
- Decide ‘who pays what.’ That also means deciding how long a promotion will last, who handles the initial cost and what the terms will be.
- Advertise. Since you’re the one who suggested this cross-promotion, it’s only right that you handle the details like designing the materials, finding advertising venues and so forth. If the other owner wants to help, that’s fine, but don’t assume they’ll do the work for you.
Cross-promotion is an excellent way to break out of your traditional market reach without breaking your budget. If you think it would work for your business after analyzing your situation—go after it! Find another business with comparable services and work together to promote your brands.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a great way to target your marketing campaign in a way that is both cost-effective and efficient. Pay-per-click and organic search optimization are two SEM techniques that are very useful for companies with limited marketing budgets.
Pay-per-click is a way to directly target interested buyers. To avoid wasting budget on low quality clicks, employ savvy marketers who can devise highly optimized placement matrices and ad testing strategies that will generate high quality clicks that convert to sales.
Similarly, organic search optimization ensures that customers find you when they are looking. It takes an ongoing effort but, in the end, it pays off by reaching interested customers.
Social Media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are excellent ways to market your brand online. Most, if not all, social media sites are free for users, so the only expense for your company is the time it takes to manage your various sites.
That being said, the effort it takes to run a social media campaign will pay off in the end. Each “tweet,” “post” or “status” update is the chance to reach thousands of potential customers. And to remain engaged across all channels, B2B marketers and thought leaders need to expand their online footprints. Right now, whether you are involved in the conversation or not, your customers are using social media to discuss your brand. The only question is how will you influence the conversation?
Contest marketing is a social, interactive strategy that grabs a user’s attention and increases brand awareness. What’s appealing to marketers about this approach, is that it lets you control the level of consumer involvement, build your brand and take advantage of some great exposure to both target and under-served markets on their social channels.
While building your company’s brand is critical, it’s also important to focus on the branding of company executives. Fortunately, most tried-and-true thought leadership tactics translate directly to the digital age. Take a look at our video below to see for yourself.
Whether you’re just starting to implement some of these strategies or deep in the trenches, it’s important for thought leaders and B2B marketers to merge their once-siloed strategies with fresh thinking. That means aligning social, content, email, video and other initiatives to enhance your overall B2B marketing plan and secure brand awareness—and eventually, loyalty.