Being short of funds is something no entrepreneur is a stranger to. Thousands of startups never see their tenth anniversary due to the lack of funds. According to https://www.entrepreneur.com, running out of cash ranks right after shortcoming of the founders as a reason for business failure. When getting funding is such a big issue, smart entrepreneurs will do well by thinking outside the box to meet the most important marketing challenges even when operating on a very tight budget. Some practical tips:
Engage in Guerilla Marketing
When you do not have a big marketing budget at your disposal, you need to employ guerilla marketing techniques that rely more on imagination, creativity, and originality rather than deep pockets. By being innovative, even startups can compete very effectively against large and well-entrenched companies. The main idea is to get you noticed and create appeal among your target audiences. Something as simple as a chalk artwork on the blank wall of your brick and mortar store can create a buzz. Other effective ideas for brand promotion include flash mobs and product promotion on the streets.
Get Active on Social Media
Social media has become ubiquitous and you can be sure that regardless of the niche your product or service is in, the target audience will be on some social media platform or the other. According to an industry estimate, there are nearly 3.5 billion social media users in the world. Entrepreneurs need to identify the platforms their users frequent the most, and set up their accounts to post original, useful, and entertaining content that will raise their brand equity among the target audience. However, with the number of social media platforms in existence, it can be a tough call to select the few that they can engage their customers on. It is also important to keep in mind that each of the platforms has its distinctive identity and method of engagement so you will have to customize your content accordingly for maximum impact. It is a good idea to start with just a couple of the top social media networks and expand to establish presences on others only when you are more confident that your efforts are paying off, according to https://www.askpreeto.com/tips-by-eric-j-dalius-on-small-business-marketing-with-minimum-budget/.
Create Content That Is Valuable to Customers – the Eric J Dalius Formula
There is immense value in creating high-quality content. Not only does your target audience appreciate content that is original, up-to-date, relevant and useful but so does Google that is forever looking for great content to fulfill search intent better. There are myriad ways of creating great content; apart from text web content and blogs, you can host podcasts, create videos, use infographics, and submit articles to websites with high domain authority. By posting content that is useful and relevant, you can project yourself as an authority on the subject, a move that will get you a load of free traffic. Guest blogging for sites that are reputable and have a lot of traffic is also a good way of driving traffic to your website. Entrepreneurs who are concerned that given their hectic schedules, they will not be in a position to create high-quality content consistently can outsource content creation to freelance writers, photographers, graphic designers, etc. for very affordable sums. In times of crisis when you find yourself out of fresh ideas, you can very easily repurpose old content by bringing them up-to-date and publishing them in a different format, observes EJ Dalius. For example, a text article can be presented as an appealing infographic or even a slide presentation or a video.
Contests and Freebies
There is something about a contest with the promise of an attractive prize that attracts the attention of even the most hardened of customers. You can use a variety of media to announce your contests right from posters on your shop window to posts on the social media linked to a special landing page on your website. The cost of designing and conducting a content can be very low, as typically, you can use product samples, white papers, discount coupons, or a special opportunity to see or do something special as the prize. What matters is that the contest must not be too difficult for most of the participants; they must feel that they have a real chance of winning a prize, and that the prize or the recognition is worth the effort. When promoting your products at a trade show, a street corner kiosk or even on social media, allowing customers to purchase the product at a good discount in exchange of an honest review is invariably an opportunity that draws a lot of participation. An idea, if it is really good, can quickly turn viral on social media giving huge exposure to your brand, however, it can be difficult to do it consistently and may not be easily controlled. Also, giving away inexpensive freebies with your business or brand name is a marketing technique that can have a long-term impact at a very reasonable cost. Key chains, USB drives, smartphone wipes, fridge magnets, notepads, pens, etc., can all be procured very easily and customized inexpensively, especially if you are ordering in bulk.
Collaborative Marketing with Complementary Businesses
Entrepreneurs with limited marketing budgets can engage in partnerships with businesses that do not compete with them directly but have the same target audience for a win-win situation. A successful marketing initiative can benefit both the partners and lend confidence for more enduring efforts. Exchanging customer lists and implanting an email marketing campaign is a prime example of a collaborative marketing effort. By paying a reasonable commission on every sale achieved, both the partners can add to their bottom lines without spending too much. Even lending your retail space in brick and mortar stores to a partner can be very profitable. A loyalty program for your existing customers for repeat business or for referring new customers can be a goldmine.
While entrepreneurs can find it very daunting not to be able to afford a generous marketing budget, it is evident that by thinking smartly and innovatively it is possible to stretch the budget quite far. The trick is to engage the target audience with a marketing device that they either find useful or entertaining and which can also be easily afforded by them.