It is quite rare, these days, that small businesses would allocate a large portion of their budget towards marketing. There are pros and cons to this, but if you’re a DIY marketing type, are just getting off the ground, and want to keep your budget as slim as possible, there is hope!
You’ll eventually need to think through Marketing as a more serious part of your long-term strategy. Until you can consult a professional, there are steps you can take to be as efficient as possible.
Have a goal
Every business has specific needs. Do you want more sales? What about brand awareness? Do you want it all? Pick a specific goal and go for it. If you don’t know how to achieve your goals, meet with a Marketing guru. It will be worth more than you pay, because in the end your business meeting it’s goals is invaluable.
Having a goal helps you cut down on unnecessary spending in wasteful areas.
Know Your Target Demographic
If you want to be aggressive and efficient you must know who your target demographic is and where they are. Are you targeting professionals or businesses? Make sure you’re available on LinkedIn. Do you want to get the attention of middle aged women? Have an interactive Facebook page. Do you want teenagers to notice you? Make a statement on Snapchat. There are so many options when it comes to social media.
The good news is that social media is something you can do yourself! Practice makes perfect. As long as you’re focusing on the right things and not trying to do it all, you’ll be able to narrow your focus on what your consumer like and want.
Analyze your Results
What if you’re spending time and money on a Google Adwords account but not getting any actual leads? Or Facebook just isn’t delivering what you expected? Take a break! If something isn’t working, change it! One of the worst mistakes small businesses make is that they assume their marketing is going fine, and never tweak it. If you’re running a business you’ve already learned that you have to be flexible. Marketing is no different. Be flexible in what you’re trying.
We advise that you check in with what you’re doing every 3 months. If you aren’t getting any expected results, give it 3 more months (especially if you’re creating content or a blog), and at 6 months if it still looks like a money pit, take your hiatus. Focus on areas that are performing how you want. If you can put more energy into something for 3 months you might be able to come back and recognize your mistake or find a new platform that is better for your business.
Automate Whenever Possible
A great example of automation is with email. You can plan and organize an email campaign that will work on its own over as long or short of a period as you want. By spending a few hours on Monday morning doing this, you can forget about marketing for the rest of the week or month! There are social platforms that let you decide what you’d like to post and schedule it in advance, as well. Buffer is a tool we use here at Salesmanna and it works great! You can even use the free version for just a couple of accounts.
The more you automate, the more you can prioritize your schedule. If you can plan and execute an entire week of marketing in just a few hours, why not? This lets you spend hours of Tuesday-Friday on uninterrupted tasks. Studies show that when you have a schedule (not checking your email constantly!) and refuse to get distracted (hello, Facebook) you are much more productive.
Sometimes marketing can feel hopeless- especially with a small budget, little time, and very little immediate return. This is even more true when you’re creating content that isn’t getting much feedback. But keep going! It takes an average of 6 months of blogging fresh content for your website to be noticed by most people and search engines. You won’t regret starting now, especially when you’re meeting sales goals by the end of the year.
We would love to hear from you! Drop a line any time.