5 ways to squeeze every drop out of a tight marketing budget

Become a helpful resource on social media, focus on email personalization, and dive headlong into DIY design.

Being a marketer with big plans and a tiny budget is often frustrating.

Lack of cash is certainly a limitation, but it shouldn’t prevent you from summoning plenty of marketing magic. You can connect with your customers in meaningful ways and boost sales without a large marketing budget.

Here are five effective marketing strategies to lean on when money is scarce:

1. Listen to social media.

The essence of marketing is to “know your customer.” It’s crucial to understand who buys from you, what problems they have and where they spend time online.

Social media platforms are fantastic forums to get to know your customers. By listening to what your audience is talking about on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, you can better understand your customers’ preferences (and pet peeves).

What sorts of things are they complaining about? Which products or services are getting rave reviews? Learn from your audience, respond to questions or concerns, and use feedback to deliver better results.

2. Enhance email marketing.

Email remains one of the best marketing channels for generating revenue. However, success hinges largely upon how well you segment and personalize your campaigns.

Start by choosing an email marketing software that works for you. Bolster your email list with a sign-up form on your website, and take care not to end up in spam folders. Use data about past purchases to customize the offers you send, and use email to build genuine, personal and thoughtful connections with customers.

3. Try DIY design.

Even if design’s not your thing, you can create professional-looking infographics, social media images and other graphics that enhance your marketing. Tools such as Canva and Venngage offer free features that even graphic design novices can quickly master.

WordPress and Wix make simple web design and landing pages a cinch, too.

4. Step up your content marketing.

Even if you have an extremely limited budget, invest time and resources into producing content that your audience will find useful, helpful or instructive. Publish posts on a consistent basis to establish a steady cadence and an expectation from your followers.

If you lack the resources to produce more robust, lead-generating downloads, find a way to meet your audience’s needs. Share helpful links, write how-to blog posts, shoot quick video tutorials, participate in conversations, and actively answer people’s questions online. Become a valuable, trustworthy and respected member of your industry’s online community.

Consistently measure which content marketing efforts are producing the most tangible ROI, and let those metrics shape your strategy.

5. Be mindful of SEO.

You can’t afford to ignore SEO. Thankfully, you don’t have to be an expert to master the basics.

Just think like a customer: What would someone search for to find your site?

If you sell women’s clothes online, think of each type of product as a keyword: women’s capris, blouses or swimsuits.

The more detailed you get with your keyword research and use, the better chance you’ll have of being found. So, instead of “women’s clothes,” try phrases like “A-line skirt,” “vintage cocktail dress” or “sequined jumpsuit.”

All the tips mentioned above can provide substantial wins for marketers on a shoestring budget. However, each approach requires consistency, commitment and patience. Don’t let a lack of funds stymie your marketing magic.

Christine Soeun Choi is an SEO associate at Fit Small Business. A version of this post first appeared on the Glean.info blog.

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