Making the Most Out of Your Small Business Marketing Budget
For small businesses and those just opening their doors, marketing budgets are usually fairly tight. To make sure a business can grow, while still maintaining its bottom line, every marketing dollar needs to be stretched to the limit. Here are a few small business marketing strategies you can use to instantly get more out of your marketing budget.
Stay Focused on Results
Create goals in tools like Google Analytics to accurately measure the quality and the source of your sales and leads. By comparing sources such as pay-per-click advertising, social media platforms, and organic search traffic, you can apply some common sense marketing practices.
For example, if you find that the top 20 percent of your site traffic accounts for 80 percent of your marketing results, then it only makes sense to put more of your business’ marketing dollars into whatever is driving that traffic to your website. In fact, with businesses with exceptionally small marketing budgets, it may make sense to put the majority – 90 percent or above – of your marketing dollars into these avenues to maximize your growth potential.
Stay on Top of Your Budget and Targeting
Not all marketing avenues provide you with full control of how much is spent and who you can target. Instead of spreading your budget thin by marketing on a wide variety of platforms, focus on using those that give you the most control of both cost and targeting. Some of the most common marketing platforms known for their ability to allow users to really drill down deep on demographics and targeting features include Adwords, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
The better able you are to control both your marketing budget and the types of potential customers your marketing campaigns target, the better able you’ll be at eliminating what’s not working while focusing on those avenues that lead to the greatest return on investment.
Don’t Increase Your Budget Until a Campaign is Profitable
Regardless if you’re marketing offline or online, every campaign needs to begin on a small scale and feature a very narrow focus. The smaller the scale and focus of your campaign, the better able you’ll be to judge its results. Overexposing your budget or overreaching in the initial scope of a campaign can be a recipe for disaster if you fail to reach your stated goals.
As a result, you should only increase the scale and budget of a campaign after it’s become profitable. Scaling can mean experimenting with different types of similar campaigns on the same platform or creating campaigns on new platforms using what’s previously been successful.
The rationale behind starting small and waiting for a profit before going all-in on a particular campaign is twofold: One, the profit you generate from the initial campaign can be used as a safety net just in case scaling up a campaign proves unsuccessful. Second, once you gain a better understanding of what’s working, you can use that information when developing a new campaign. Or you can simply double down on a proven strategy in hopes that an increase in budget will directly lead to an increase in revenue.
Whatever direction you choose to go in, make sure to base your decisions using data you’ve collected, rather than gut instinct or a hunch.
Coordinate Your Marketing Across Different Platforms
Every minute of your time and dollar spent should all be focused on promoting the same marketing message. This includes everything from your pay-per-click campaign to boosted Facebook posts to what you pin to your board on Pinterest. Time is money. This means that even the work you put into managing your brand on social media platforms you use for free carry nearly as much value as those you actually pay to use.
Don’t waste your time or your money by failing to develop a consistent marketing message across every platform you use.
Improved Marketing Leads to Better Results
Every business needs to market itself to compete in today’s competitive environment. For small businesses that lack the resources to learn through trial and error, successful marketing comes down to knowing what works. By setting clearly defined goals, using available data to identify lead generation, and never overextending the budget, your small business can find the initial marketing success needed to continue growing now and into the future.