Especially when your business is new, you do not want to waste money on marketing tactics that are not actually going to bring you any new clients or customers. Larger businesses may have the luxury of dumping money into experimental marketing practices, but the rest of us have to be very careful about where our money goes and how it is used to promote the business. You want to maximize every single dollar in your marketing budget, and finding ways to get the most out of your budget ensures that you can compete with those larger businesses that inevitably have a larger budget. Here are a few ways to make sure you are getting the most for every dollar:
1. Cut Out Any Marketing Tactic You Do Not Excel At
You may have heard a thousand times that social media marketing is integral to your success—and it is. But if you are not very good at social media marketing, it might be better to simply cut that marketing strategy from your plan for now, outsource the efforts, and focus your time and money on a strategy that you do actually excel at. Marketing, especially for small businesses, is all about quality and consistency. You can only provide those two things if you are adept at the marketing tactic you are taking on.
2. Focus on Marketing Strategies That Make Your Customers Feel Special
One of the biggest advantages small businesses have over large corporations is their ability to provide individualized experiences for their customers. If you can make that customer feel special, you will have cemented yourself in the mind of that customer. The next time they need to purchase something, they will automatically think of you and how your promotion made them feel like an individual. If you can find a way to provide something special to each person you talk to, you’ll start building brand recognition and a loyal following of engaged customers.
3. Become a Leader
Your best and least expensive marketing tactic might not be a marketing tactic at all. If you get involved in your local community, if you start working with the local chamber of commerce, organize networking events, reach out to local charities, etc., your name will automatically start popping up around town. People will start to see you as a leader and as a business that cares about its local area, which is much better than being a business that does not care about its local area. You cannot just wait for people to find out about you. This is a great way to get your business into the spotlight, without even having to pay for promotional spots.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Say Thank You
Thanking your customers is one of the best ways to turn one-time customers into repeat customers. Sending out a thank you note with every purchase is a great way to do this. Many Etsy sellers, for example, will always include something small, like a sticker or a piece of candy, with every order they send out. This sets them apart from the sellers that do not do this, and it provides a physical reminder that the consumer can look at and remember the next time they want to make a purchase. While a thank you card works great, something a little bit more substantial can be even more effective.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Change
You cannot be so afraid of making a mistake that you never change your plan. Besides just cutting out the marketing strategies that are not serving you, you have to be constantly monitoring your plan and making note of what aspects need to change. There is no point in having the plan if you are not going to use it to monitor your marketing strategies and to determine which ones are helping and which ones need to change or even be completely eliminated. Be willing to evolve and change, even if you really like the marketing strategy.
Above all else, it is extremely important to track everything you are doing. There are lots of different tools that allow you to do this, so pick one that you like and use it. If you don’t, you’re going to be a total loss when it comes to what to change and how to change it. You might not even be able to get a good idea of what is working and what isn’t working if you aren’t carefully tracking the progress of each of your strategies. Don’t be afraid to diversify, but make sure you are always keeping an eye on ROI and eliminating what doesn’t actually benefit you.