November 18th, 2011 Archive

Marketing Strategies for Penny-Pinchers

November 18th, 2011 by Adaire in Financial Freedom, Sharing Success

Running your own business can really strain your budget. I’ve had my own share of penny-pinching from time to time, but I’ve always, always made it a point to keep my businesses’ marketing campaigns up and running. Losing exposure and missing out on potential customers are two things that you definitely want to avoid as a business owner. But how do you do that when you’re running low on funds?

There are a couple of ways to work your marketing campaigns around a tight budget thanks to the fact that there are a lot of great marketing strategies out there that are both cheap and effective. I found two articles that mention a few of them at Small Business CEO Magazine, and figured I’d share them with you here! :)

In her article 5 Creative And Low Cost Marketing Ideas, Janice Jenkins mentions traditional marketing methods such as using business cards and getting involved in community activities as well as e-mail marketing and internet marketing. She mentions internet marketing is “the latest trend in marketing today”. I wouldn’t really call it a trend – it’s too important to be called just a trend! :) Online marketing is something that no business can survive without. Everyone and everything is on the internet now; if you don’t get your business up online, then you’re going to find it very difficult to promote it on a tight budget.

“It is the digital age,” she says, “so if you have not been using the email to send out your message to your existing and prospective customers, then you are missing out a lot.” E-mail marketing campaigns really are cost-effective – all you need to do is find a suitable e-mail server that’s both reliable and affordable, like AWeber, set it up with your e-mails and auto-responders, and you’ll be all set! Just make sure that your e-mails are well-written and catchy, or else your customers and clients will ignore you or mark your messages as spam.

There are several methods you can include in your internet marketing strategy, and most of them don’t require you to spend a lot of money. Aside from e-mail marketing that Janice mentioned, Matthew Bylett mentions a couple of other free (or affordable) internet marketing strategies in his Small Business CEO Magazine article, The Best Internet Marketing Strategies for Beginners.

One of the first things he mentioned was article marketing. “The idea of this,” he says, “was to get a whole heap of content out onto the internet quickly so I could lay foundation of back-links on which I can later build.” The basic gist of article marketing is to write articles that contain keywords that are related to your business, and linking those keywords back to your site. This way Google and other search engines will associate your site with them, and allow it to show up in the top results when someone searches for those keywords.

Having a blog is also one of the great marketing strategies that Matthew mentions. A blog is where you can really establish your identity and share your stories and experiences as a small business owner. A blog (like what we have here for Make More Live More Give More :) ) also gives you the opportunity to get to know your readers and clients a bit better too, since a blog is a great venue for discussions and commentary!

Making good use of social media sites is also an effective way to establish a friendly relationship with your customers, partners, and readers. You can set-up a fan page to help promote your site on Facebook for free, and you can tie it in with your other social media accounts like Twitter for maximum exposure. You can gain a lot of insights from them through reading your fans’ or followers’ reactions to your posts, and you can respond to them really fast, too, which is great for starting up conversations.

While article marketing, blogging, and using social media is pretty much cost-free, there are other internet marketing methods that will cost you some money to get started. You can offer to pay other sites to put up banners or buttons that link to yours, or invest a little in affiliate marketing or pay-per-click marketing (PPC).

Affiliate marketing and PPC involve setting up affiliate/advertiser links that your advertisers can put up on their websites. These special links allow you to track how many people click on it, and let you know how much you have to pay your advertisers for sending the traffic your way. These marketing tactics will cost you a bit more, but most websites that host these services allow you to tweak your payment settings at any time, so if you’re running short on cash, you can send out an e-mail to your affiliates or advertisers and inform them about the temporary delay or adjustment in payment. You may lose a few advertisers in the process, but it’s definitely better than going bankrupt or shutting down your advertising program altogether!

Even when you’re running your business on a tight budget, there really is no reason for you to put your marketing campaigns on hold! Try out any of these online marketing campaigns that I’ve mentioned above and see which one works best for you. :)


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