Marketing costs time and money, and this can be a big problem for start-ups with little or no income. Thankfully, due to the disruptive qualities of a wide range of more cost-efficient online marketing channels available to today’s entrepreneurs, this balance of “investment” can be tipped in your favor. To put it simply, if you don’t have the money, you’ll just have to invest more time.
A Nice Problem
While a large marketing budget might seem like a nice problem to have, it can make marketers more complacent. Throwing money at a problem is not always the best solution and may be a very inefficient method of generating leads and driving sales. Marketers should never forget the tricks of the trade they learned when money wasn’t so easy to come by.
If I was starting out again in the world of marketing (and as I speak to small and medium-size businesses every day who face the challenge of managing very tight budgets, I guess I have to adopt this mind-set) these are the five strategies I would adopt.
Five Pre-Income Marketing Strategies
- Blog: Your corporate blog is the center point from which you hang all of your other marketing strategies. It’s a great starting point for what will eventually turn into a wider search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. It will help you generate traffic to drive email subscriptions and provide content to fuel your social media activities. It will also provide a suitable venue to host videos, podcasts, eBooks and any other content marketing collateral you produce in the future. WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging software, is available for free, and a budget of just a couple hundred dollars will provide you with all the hosting and design templates you need to get started. If you cannot find a couple hundred dollars, there are a number of totally free solutions available, such as Google’s Blogger platform (although these have limitations when compared to the more flexible and powerful WordPress and should be upgraded whenever possible).
- Social Media: After you have deployed your blog and email, social media is a great place to start engaging your prospects in conversations about your products, services or wider brand. It’s always a good idea to have your own content to share via social media, so don’t be tempted to skip the blog and dive straight in. Those who do often find themselves pouring fuel on other people’s thought leadership – and this is not a good idea. It should be remembered that while many social channels provide a free platform to post content, their algorithms often require a little budget to drive views and engagement. The good news is, on a platform like Facebook, even a tiny budget (try $10) can go a long way.
Don’t let lack of budget hamper your marketing efforts. With a lot of thought and only a little budget, you can go a long way in getting your message heard. How did you reach your audience before you were blessed with a marketing budget? Share your comments below: