How to get the most out of your marketing budget?
Marketing is a crucial aspect of modern-day business, but it is becoming increasingly more competitive to stand out from the crowd.
Small to medium-sized businesses must be innovative yet pragmatic with their marketing to stand out from the crowd. But with limited budgets, this can be difficult, especially for business owners with little to no time to spare.
This blog will highlight a few key areas which will allow your business to get the most out of your marketing budget and genuinely resonate with your target audience.
What should you spend your budget on?
Sorry to break the news, but there is no silver bullet answer to this question, other than knowing your customer. Every business will have its own unique situation depending on the industry it is in, the products it sells and who its customers are. The truth is, be an expert on your customers and prospects and you will have a fair good idea of where to spend your budget.
Whilst that may seem difficult for small businesses, the first step is ensuring you build robust buyer personas. Arming yourself with information about your target audience will help you to decide which marketing channels will achieve the best ROI for you. Whilst this is important for every business, small business owners very rarely have the time or money to spare on testing the market, they need each marketing activity to work and quickly.
At Yaudience, we have collected data on many business professionals, from CEOs to personal assistants, understanding their online behaviour and the channels they operate providing data-driven buyer personas.
As there is no right or wrong answer, we thought we would share some key insights on some of the most common marketing channels to make sure that if you do select this channel you get the most bang for your buck.
Whilst it may seem difficult to believe, email campaigns are actually one of the most effective marketing strategies today and have been a reliable go-to strategy for years. According to Hubspot, email generates $42 for every $1 spent, which is an excellent return on investment for any business.
The most important aspect of email marketing is your data list. You must ensure that they are interested in your product or service. The best way to get data is to generate interest and get people to sign up for your database. However, this takes time and significant effort, alternatively you can buy lists (much easier in the B2B market), in an ideal world you would not do this, but sometimes needs must. If you do go down the route of buying data it is very important that you ensure you purchase from a reputable company that has collected the in a manner that is GDPR compliant and will not land you in hot water. Also, ensure that you get quality data, do not settle for generic email addresses such as info@, make sure they are decision-makers or influencers in the buying process for your products and services and that this has been qualified.
Once you have your data, however, you acquire it, sending out a generic email will not cut the mustard; you must grab the recipients attention, especially with the number of emails that are sent in today's world.
Your email must jump out making the reader want to click on it! Resonating with potential customers will be easier, assuming you have established your buyer persona and targeted customers interested in your products. The subject line and description and crucial when it comes to emails so do not leave these as an afterthought, this is what will make the difference between a 10% open rate and a 28% open rate.
Here is a great resource for more email marketing tips
Social media marketing
Social Media marketing is also up there as one of the most effective methods to reach audiences cost-effectively.
With over 4.5 Billion users on social media platforms, the potential to grow your business and build brand awareness is enormous. It is a no brainer for companies with a limited marketing budget.
The primary key to success on social media platforms is consistency and identifying which channels are the most suitable for your business and its products and services, by yet again understanding your target audience. For example, if you have a photography business, Instagram would probably be the best social media platform to advertise your products and services.
For small businesses, it is best to focus on one or two channels that will deliver the most impact rather than spreading yourself too thin. But posting on your page is not enough, you need to ensure you extend your reach, this can be done in many ways from simply using hashtags that are most followed by your target audience, to sponsored posts.
On social media content is key, once you post your content try to generate a conversation around it, post it in relevant groups, tag relevant people in but do so in a meaningful way, ask them their opinion or tell them why it would be of interest to them, tagging 40people into a post with no explanation is a sure fire way to get on someone’s nerves.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
The importance of digital marketing has grown exponentially in recent years, with many businesses closing their physical doors and subsequently turning to their online platforms to generate new business leads.
Search engine optimisation is a significant aspect of digital marketing; ranking higher on search engines results pages (SERPs) for relevant search terms will drive a considerable amount of traffic to your website.
Thankfully, SEO isn’t all budget reliant, with many smaller businesses giving larger organisations a run for their money when it comes to reaching the top spot on search engines such as Google and Bing.
Take a pragmatic approach to your SEO strategy to help your business rank for the correct keywords and boost your standing on search engines.
Content marketing utilises valuable and creative content to attract and retain your audience and drive sales and is ultimately at the centre of all the other things we have discussed so far (email, social media & SEO).
Blogging is an excellent form of content marketing; it allows you to provide insight into the products and services you provide while also adding more indexed pages to your website, which is perfect for SEO! Blogging is also a very underrated form of lead generation in smaller businesses, finetuning your blogging strategy and your websites user experience is a solid method for generating new business leads.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that content marketing means blogs. Videos and graphics including infographics are equally as powerful if not more so. YouTube bring billions of monthly viewers per month to its site and although you may not realise it is actually the worlds second-largest search engine (the first being Google obvs).
Because people consume information in so many different ways if you have an interesting topic and have conducted the research to create a really nice piece of content, make sure you sweat it and in time (because we don’t have all the time and resources in the world) create a blog, video, infographic, podcast etc about each topic.
Marketing automation tools
Marketing automation tools are tools that help you automate and hopefully simplify various aspects of marketing and their processes. From generating leads to social media posting. Tools such as Hubspot offer a wide range of services to help your company improve your conversion from prospect to customer.
For example, if you want to create a new landing page for a new product launch, write eye-catching emails or curate your industry's latest information and trends, all this is possible and more with the help of automation tools!
Such tools are great for planning; this is crucial for smaller businesses, especially if you can plan your strategy months ahead of time. Investing time in planning your company’s strategy will significantly improve efficiency and optimise your chances for success.
Marketing automation tools allow you to be flexible; they often provide in-depth metrics on performance which helps to show you what is and isn’t working, changes can then be made to help improve upon your strategy.
In summary, the key to getting the most out of your marketing budget is knowing how your customers and prospects behave, what information they consume and how they consume it. Once armed with this you can better plan your activities to maximise the impact of your marketing spend.
If you would like to hear more about how to get the most out of your marketing budget, then feel free to get in touch with our experts today!