How to Navigate the Marketing Industry to Save Money on Advertising

how to navigate marketing industry save money advertising business brand

The average company spends 7.5% of its revenue on marketing expenses. This equates to tens of millions of dollars for major companies. But for a startup, there may not even be revenue to divvy up.

Small businesses need marketing solutions that offer an immediate return on investment at virtually zero cost. Problem is, the marketing industry is so comprehensive that it's difficult to determine what works and what doesn't. Thankfully, you do have options if you know where to look.

Spend money on the things that matter. Here are some great, inexpensive marketing solutions for startups and small businesses.

1. Research Customers and Competition

Going gung-ho into any marketing channel doesn't guarantee success. For one, your competitors may already have a heavy grasp using the same approach. Trying to break through the noise could be a lesson in futility.

Even more importantly, the success of a marketing strategy is less about the channel and more about the message. Who are you marketing to, and what do they need to hear?

This is the foundation of any intelligent approach to marketing. Want to know the best news? It won't cost you a penny.

Locate your competitors and research their current marketing methods. See what's working for them, and more importantly, what isn't.

As far as your customers go, the best place to cultivate information is your startup's website. The use of tools like Google Analytics will give invaluable insights into the qualities of your target audience. And once you know your audience, you'll know how to reach them.

2. Grow Organic Traffic

In the internet age, complicated search engine algorithms determine who gets seen and who doesn't. Likely, you can take advantage of this situation with search engine optimization.

Manpower is the only real cost of utilizing great search engine optimization, or SEO.

How does SEO work? It starts with producing high-quality, original blog posts. These informative articles are an opportunity to insert relevant search engine keywords and helpful advice that's relevant to your target audience.

But it's not all about blogging. Search engines such as Google also rank websites based on other factors, such as performance. By paying a few extra dollars every month for a better server host, you'll draw more traffic to your website and enjoy higher ranking on the search engine result pages.

The higher your ranking, the more likely people will organically find your website.

In truth, search engine optimization is far too comprehensive to detail in its entirety. It may be worthwhile to find an agency that specializes in marketing for startups to help you get started.

3. Start Email Marketing

No, email isn't dead. In fact, email marketing offers some of the best ROI in the business. Firing off a few email newsletters costs you pennies on the dollar, and yet it's oftentimes more effective than television and radio advertisements.

Best of all, email marketing enjoys a symbiotic relationship with search engine optimization. If you are already doing one, it makes sense to do the other.

It starts by attracting traffic to your business website. Once there, you have an opportunity to turn traffic into leads by asking them to sign up for your email newsletter.

A well-placed sidebar or exit intent pop-up can sometimes be enough to snag some contact information. But why would a potential customer willingly sign up for your newsletter?

That's up to you. You want to present a value proposition that encourages a conversion. Sometimes, great blog content alone is enough, as people want to be alerted to new posts.

But most companies make use of a special offer. By signing up for your email marketing, the lead could receive an exclusive ebook or article related to your industry. Contests are also an option but tend to attract low-quality leads. 

4. Promote Referrals

You don't need to come from a marketing background to know it's easier to let others do the marketing for you. That's why a generous referral program is a simple way to build your customer base.

If you offer a fantastic service or program, your customers may want to spread the word. So why not sweeten the deal for them? It could be as simple as a one-time discount or a gift card to your store.

At first, this approach can seem like it's hurting your bottom line. But realize that's the cost of a customer conversion. Seeing as the newly-referred customer made a purchase, you've already profited.

By retaining this customer, you'll continue to reap the rewards of a simple referral promotion. Not to mention, the converted customer may, later on, refer another friend, continuing this chain of events. 

5. Get Social

Social networking platforms should never be your only marketing channel, but they should be included in every advertising strategy.

Whoever your customers are, they likely use these websites on a regular basis. This is an opportunity to reach out, earn followers, and have them spread word about your business for free.

Not to mention, these websites have plenty of demographical data. You can run laser-focused advertising campaigns that only reach your ideal buyer personas. A great idea, seeing as curated digital advertising is one of the best ways to stretch your budget. 

Master the Marketing Industry

Every successful company achieved success with the help of a great affordable marketing strategy. And now you can be one of them. The marketing industry is awash in different strategies and ideas, but these low-cost methods will get your startup off the ground and navigating the marketing industry in no time.

Need help running your small business to better navigate the marketing industry? Search our biz site for more ways to find success. Visit the Digital Marketing and Social Media sections of the Bootstrap Business Blog right now!

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