Expand Your Reach Without Expanding Your Budget
Times are tight for everyone. Marketing and advertising budgets are being cut every month, which leaves little room for creative campaigns… Or does it? This economy requires marketers to think outside the box. Marketers must spend smartly. In order for your business to grow, you cannot plant your marketing seeds on barren soil. You should spread to new areas—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:
1. Think about what you do. Take time to examine all the particular services you offer clients.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Advertise. Since you’re the one that’s suggested this cross-promotion, it’s only right that you handle the details that include graphic design for a promotion and finding advertising venues. 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. After analyzing your situation, if you think it would work for your business—go after it! Find another business with comparable services, and work together to promote your brands.
Search Engine Marketing 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 Twitter 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” and “status” update has the potential to reach thousands of potential customers. 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?
For more advice on how to effectively run social media campaigns check out these useful sites: Mashable, DMNews and Marketing Guerrilla. Or follow LoSasso on Twitter to see how we manage some of our social media.