While marketing in today’s digital world provides many more options for businesses, it also makes it more difficult to know where and how to spend your marketing dollars. And when startups are competing with larger companies who have extensive marketing budgets, it can be especially intimidating to figure out how to win over consumers. Let’s take a look at how businesses can implement low-cost marketing strategies that still get results.
Pivotal Relationships Are Key
Instead of attending low-budget networking event after event, give your time and attention to strategic functions that could lead to beneficial partnerships. Invest in attending high-caliber conferences or becoming a member of trusted organizations.
Also, be sure to research which organizations or groups the high profile individuals in your industry are a part of, and see if you can join those communities. You can use social media platforms, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, to reach out and engage with movers and shakers as well. This can increase the chances of meeting and developing pivotal relationships with individuals who have leverage in your industry. Above all, make sure you’re adding value to the people you meet as opposed to asking for favors or advice.
Focus On The Product And Service
Word-of-mouth marketing is extremely powerful and effective, and that’s because it isn’t easy to obtain and isn’t a marketing ploy that a corporation has carefully crafted. Word-of-mouth marketing impressions result in five times more sales than paid media impressions. Not to mention that consumers are more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend.
But without a rock solid product or service, and a near-flawless customer experience, it is difficult to get people to tell their friends about your brand. Hosting focus groups, or using feedback software like SurveyMonkey or TypeForm can help you pinpoint what customers would like to see changed about your product. And it’s important to pay attention to reviews on sites like Google and Yelp to see where your product or service could be refined.
Word-of-mouth marketing drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending and is estimated to account for 13% of consumer sales.
That’s why it’s important to always be listening and improving – by doing so, you may find your customers do all the advertising for you.
Be Flexible, Yet Calculated
A great deal of the digital advertising rat race is caused by brands constantly hopping on the latest marketing trends just because others are doing it. Seeing competitors running Facebook ads doesn’t mean you should throw money into Facebook advertising the very next day. For one, the ad may not be converting as well as you suspect. Secondly, every brand is different. And lastly, getting a potential customer’s attention can be very challenging on a platform like Facebook where users are scrolling through to catch up with old friends or simply share a life update.
Be flexible and open to experimenting with new and creative ways to advertise your company – but also be meticulous in your ROI calculations. This way, you’ll know which avenues to double down on the next time you’re putting together your marketing budget. You might find your referral system is driving 90% of your company’s leads every month, which implies you can pump the brakes on more traditional forms of advertising.
If you have the right connections and your product solves a big enough problem, you might even find that you don’t need to advertise at all – the key is to find out what’s best for your business.
When all your ducks are in a row in terms of advertising – creative concepts, prospect targeting, brand messaging, high-quality imagery and crisp copy, advertising can work wonders for a company of any type.
Marketing and advertising works, which is why the U.S. digital advertising industry alone is valued at $192 billion. Yet, if you’re strategic and crafty enough, and focus exclusively on relationship-building, your product, and word-of-mouth marketing, your company can significantly minimize advertising spend.
I am the CEO of Studio 15, a socially responsible fashion brand. After leaving behind a 15-year career in the corporate fashion world, I started a company that focuses on doing good and supporting women. It’s Studio 15’s mission to promote and collaborate with other female-owned businesses and to support female entrepreneurs in developing countries through a partnership with Kleos MFG, a non-profit organization.
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