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9 Ways To Do Super Effective Marketing Without Spending A Lot

9 Ways To Do Super Effective Marketing Without Spending A Lot

Are you overspending on marketing?

Most entrepreneurs and companies know they can significantly cut their marketing costs by implementing a few smart marketing strategies. With so many marketing tools to choose from, and self-proclaimed marketing gurus telling you different things, it’s hard to know what to do.

With years of experience in the marketing realm, from helping run Kickstarter campaigns that generated over $600,000 to being acting president of San Diego Digital Marketing Experts, I know the ins and outs of effective marketing. I didn’t start with a huge budget; in fact, I started with zero and worked my way up.

Here are the nine more effective strategies I used to be a marketing baller on a budget:

1. Run a Facebook sweepstakes.

hidrateme facebook sweepstake

    Facebook sweepstakes are an easy way to capture leads while creating a viral effect. They are my go-to for attracting new business. It doesn’t take much time to set up an effective sweepstakes, and if you partner with another business to give away prizes, you can take your marketing results up a couple of notches. The best part of running a Facebook sweepstakes is that it promotes word-of-mouth referrals to help increase brand awareness.

    If you’re looking for a more exciting way to grow your company, I suggest 22Social for your sweepstakes. 22Social is the all-in-one solution for tight budgets because it enables you to sell digital products, implement a referral process, create digital courses, hold podcasts, and integrate Facebook live Hangouts all for under $29/month.

    2. Encourage user-generated content.

    Promoting a hashtag on Instagram or Twitter can do wonders for your brand. This strategy helps build community, gives you great content to re-post, and generates more followers. To get a head start on seeing what hashtags you should be implementing, check out Topsy. The software allows you to analyze almost any term on Twitter while giving you detailed analytics on trends.

    Be aware that your followers won’t just use your hashtag because it looks cool. You need to give them something in return. This is why syncing user-generated content with a giveaway can be quite powerful. If not a giveaway, then you can re-post your followers’ content as a reward.

    3. Implement an easy referral process.

    One of the best marketing tactics that costs almost nothing is implementing a referral process. Instead of spending money on ads to acquire new customers, why not get your current customers to acquire new customers for you?

    By setting up a quick “Terms & Services” document and using a simple plugin like WordPress Affiliate or 22Social, creating a referral process can take less than a couple of hours. Moreover, your customers will be excited because it’s a way they can get something in return for sharing a brand they already love.

    4. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

    I see marketers lose most of their money because they spread themselves too thin. Instead of conquering Facebook, then Instagram, then YouTube, they try to dominate every social media channel at once. The truth is that each channel requires careful calculation and precision marketing.

    All you need is one steady channel of traffic that converts into paying customers for you to have a successful business. Social media is a complex world, and it’s much easier to understand when you approach it one channel at a time.

    5. Utilize brand ambassadors.

    Brand ambassadors can shoulder some of the marketing. By giving your ambassadors special bonuses to encourage them to advertise your company, you can acquire not only more customers but create an incredible community.

    Be selective when hiring brand ambassadors because they are the face of your company. A bad brand ambassador can turn even the most profitable company upside down. A great example of brand ambassadors is Apple Store employees. They are the Apple know-it-alls and live and die by the brand.

    6. Find your voice.

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    Chubbies shorts

      The biggest problem facing most companies is that they can’t differentiate themselves. In other words, they can’t find their unique voice. Instead of setting their brand apart, they copy what others do. Copying is easier, but it doesn’t leave a positive or memorable impression of your brand. Best part: being unique is free.

      Chubbies does an excellent job at making their advertisements stand out. Take a look at how the Facebook Ad above speaks directly to their audience.

      7. Use low-cost tools.

      There are many inexpensive and even free tools out there that can effectively run your marketing like an expert. Some of the best tools include a free MailChimp account for email marketing, a free SumoMe account for collecting email addresses, and a 60-day free trial with Basecamp, a project management software.

      If you’re interested in putting together beautiful images to post on social media, take advantage of using a free Canva account. Moreover, my favorite resource to find free stock photos is at AllTheFreeStock.com. A couple of more free tools include Grammarly, an editing tool that can clean up most of your writing mistakes, and CoSchedule, a top-notch headline analyzer for blog posts and email optins.

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      8. Don’t focus on too many metrics.

      If you’re focusing all your time on analyzing each and every metric, you’re losing out on serious business. The more time you spend analyzing numbers, the less time you devote to landing clients and creating value. To minimize your time analyzing, keep the metrics you concentrate on to just the click-through rates and conversions. Anything more, and you should probably add another team member to help you with your workload.

      9. Reach out to relevant influencers.

      Reaching out to relevant influencers to get them to promote your product in exchange for a gift can give you a boost in both credibility and customers. It’s as simple as sending a message on Instagram to an influencer in your niche to get them to use your product in an upcoming picture. They get the product for free, and you get an influx of traffic.
      Remember, never reach out with a what-you-can-do-for-me attitude. Always start with what’s in it for them. If you take this approach, you’re more likely to get responses. Two great tools for finding influencers are Topsy (mentioned earlier) and BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo has a free version that allows for limited search; the tool focuses on analyzing content, what’s trending, and what’s highly shared.
      Ready to start marketing on a budget like an expert?

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      Published on March 20, 2019

      How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

      How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

      Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

      As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

      While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

      What is a Mission Statement?

      Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

      In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

      “Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

      In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

      Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

      While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

      First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

      While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

      While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

      “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

      This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

      What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

      When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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      Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

      When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

      • What we do?
      • How we do it?
      • Whom do we do it for?
      • What value are we bringing?

      Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

      After all, that did check off all the boxes:

      What we do? Provide widgets.

      How we do it? Online.

      Who do we do it for? The consumer.

      What value we bring? The best widgets.

      The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

      Compare that mission statement to this one:

      “We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

      What’s the difference?

      Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

      Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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      You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

      A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

      Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

      1. Keep It Brief

      Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

      You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

      2. Have a Purpose

      A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

      Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

      3. Include a “How”

      Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

      How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

      4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

      This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

      Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

      5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

      It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

      Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

      6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

      Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

      7. Think Long Term

      A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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      8. Get Feedback

      This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

      Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

      9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

      You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

      First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

      And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

      For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

      The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

      It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

      First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

      If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

      Strategic Planning

      A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

      Measuring Performance

      By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

      Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

      Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

      Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

      As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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      Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

      To Hold Management Accountable

      By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

      So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

      If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

      To Serve as an Example

      This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

      After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

      Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

      Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

      Final Thoughts

      Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

      Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

      That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

      By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

      More Resources About Achieving Business Success

      Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
      [2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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