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.
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.
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.