Great small businesses know that marketing is still very important. In fact, a good advertising campaign is one of the major keys to success. But small companies also have small budgets. So here are some smart strategies to help even the little guys do big things when it comes to marketing.
What’s in a Marketing Plan?
Marketing is a pretty big term that includes everything from advertising to promotion and public relations. A plan should really start with some research to identify and understand the target audience and what your competition looks like.
In terms of budget, marketing typically requires anywhere from 1 percent of sales to 30 percent. And for a new company just starting out, 50 percent of sales might be the budget required to introduce the business in its first year. The budget typically includes efforts such as:
•Print and broadcast advertisements
•Designing, printing and mailing materials like newsletters, brochures and press releases
•Web site development
•Attending trade shows
•Hosting special events
How much a company spends on each of these areas will come down to its goals, industry, competition and resources.
Financing Ahead of Time
Sometimes there is a Catch-22 in marketing because products need the most promotion prior to initial sales. But without significant sales, there is not a lot of extra funding lying around. And without funding for marketing, it is hard to drive sales. And—you get the point.
The interdependency requires outside financing in the company’s beginning stages. In some cases a short term loan like those from Hot Payday might be enough to kick off an effective campaign and bring in necessary sales. In other instances, backing can be raised with investors. Though this involves some risk for a small company, it is a necessary risk to develop future success.
Taking a Look at ROI
ROI is an easy way of saying return on investment. This analysis looks at what was spent on marketing, how well it worked and what kinds of sales it may have brought in to the company. Consistently examining ROI helps to monitor how well your marketing dollars are working and can show areas where changes need to be made and tactics can be modified to work even better.
Thus, it is necessary to track spending carefully so that you can develop a clear picture of how things are working. Track spending along a specific timeframe of other business statistics. Many organizations use quarters. An annual basis should be the bare minimum. Of course, some strategies are harder to quantify than others. But keeping a close eye will help you to know their real impact.
Social Media Marketing
We don’t really have a choice anymore about whether or not we do social media, some experts say. The choice is how well companies choose to do it. According to one survey, 53 percent of people on Twitter recommend products in their tweets. And 93 percent of shoppers buying decisions are influenced by social media. So it is no secret that social media is where it is at when it comes to connecting with consumers and inviting them to engage with your brand.
And an added benefit of marketing through social networks is that compared to other advertising platforms, it is almost free to do. Minus paid ads, setting up a company page on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. doesn’t take much and can produce amazing results. The key is to use as many channels as possible and to keep the brand message consistent across all of them.
With these things in mind, even small businesses can make a major impact through marketing.
Image from blog.socialmaximizer.com