Most small business entrepreneurs think they don’t have enough funds to create and implement complex marketing strategies, so they stick to handing business cards to customers and boosting one or a few posts per month on Facebook.
Since insufficient budget is usually the biggest issue for small business marketers, we’ve decided to help them with the marketing budget guide that focuses on channel optimization. This is not one of these articles about cost-cutting that will tell you to shift your marketing to the digital sphere since the secret of marketing budgeting lies in choosing the most appropriate marketing channels. So, which channels are those? They are the ones that can be optimized & customized to best reach your target consumer.
The best way to determine this is to use the Pareto principle. Find 20% of the channels that bring the 80% of the leads and sales. Businesses that use small marketing budgets can make this even narrower and choose 10% of all the channels they use. For most small companies, these would be the channels that allow them to target their best consumer in the local community.
Facebook Ads is a great first step into the digital marketing field, but it needs to be backed by strategy and requires an advanced use of Ads Manager or Power Editor tools. Their targeting options are among the best in the industry and are very suitable for narrow targeting. In digital marketing, efficient and narrow targeting means cost cutting, so it’s the ideal to which all small business marketers should aspire.
The Facebook Ads platform offers plenty of location targeting options. You can choose your audience according to their place of residence, but you can also target the people who have recently been in some location or are visiting it at the moment. There’s also a very helpful feature called radius targeting, which allows marketers to specify how far from the selected location Facebook should show their ad. Although in the developed countries Facebook ads are more expensive, this social network is still the channel that offers the best ROI.
AdWords is another big marketing platform that comes with the efficient location targeting. It allows you to target a specific location and draw a radius around it. With Google AdWords, marketers can also target specific location groups and places of interest. More developed small businesses that cover several areas or have more than one store can also target multiple locations in bulk.
Both AdWords and Facebook ads have advanced budgeting options. The most important thing is that campaigns can be paid by engagement, which is more precise and effective way of paying for marketing services. On TV and radio, you don’t have this option. In addition to this, these platforms allow you to accurately determine how much funds you want to spend for promoting your page, post, banner or the whole campaign.
Geofencing is a very useful mobile marketing technology that helps you to cover the service area around your shop and to advertise your business to nearby consumers. This technology is also used for targeting consumers who are already in the shop, by advertising additional discounts and sales. Geofencing requires a large upfront investment. You need to make a mobile app that comes with geofencing functionality and motivate the locals to install it on their phones. This technology comes with a great ROI, in the long run.
Some communities have a very high newspaper circulation. There are local papers that share their copies for free and finance themselves through marketing. If you have one of those papers in your area, you should use them for advertising, especially those reaching specific communities allowing you to target your particular service area. Plain newspaper commercials won’t attract too many customers, even if they take the whole page. Try to give the readers some incentive. For example, you can add a coupon to your ad and give present or a discount to every customer who brings it to your shop.
Leaflets and other guerilla marketing tactics
Although most marketers think that leaflets and posters are a thing of the past, they can be very effective for small business entrepreneurs. Since many printing services are more affordable than ever, this type of marketing can easily fit your small budget. Also, Direct Mail and circulars/inserts are a preferred advertising method for many individuals and can be highly targeted - from individual zip codes all the way down to road / route level. Depending on your industry, you can also implement more creative guerilla marketing tactics, like murals or other forms of street art.
Community work costs should also enter your marketing budget. Small companies depend on the local consumers, and they always need to give something in return to their community. Although most people think that community work is done only by the big corporate enterprises, small businesses can also use it for spreading their local brand awareness. This type of work will allow you to create a lot of highly engaging content that you can use to improve your digital marketing campaigns.
Here you have a nice set of channels that will help you to optimize your marketing budget. Of course, this list is not definite. Your budget and the choice of channels should depend on the products and services you sell and on the type of consumers you want to target. Make sure that you start every campaign on a small scale and to increase your investments only when you make sure that it will provide a reasonable ROI.
For more information regarding optimizing your marketing budget or to discuss your marketing efforts, please Contact a Dispatch Media Group Multi-Media Sales Executive. We can help focus your marketing efforts to target your best consumers with both digital & print products that offer local, custom footprints.
Want to learn more about maximizing profits over the long term? Check out this article on the five most common mistakes small business owners must stop making.