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Marketing for small businesses – Budget, ROI and finding the right marketing company
Is Marketing Worth it For Your Business?
It can seem like a scary, overcrowded world out there for new businesses, full of big-name brands and established companies. It’s easy to look at a business with ‘Est. 1898’ under their name and feel like you’ll never be able to compete, but startups have incredible potential to offer blazing innovation in a potentially-stagnant marketplace.
It’s up to you to get the word out about why your product or service is going to be a game-changer…and while it’s not always a small business owner’s first instinct, approaching a marketing company is an excellent first step.
According to recent studies, 83% of small businesses believe their digital marketing is working, and with 2.14 billion people slated to shop online by 2021, it’s never been a better time to establish a firm and influential presence online.
Finding the Right Marketing Company
Don’t ever think you’re wasting your time approaching a marketing company as a small business, because in doing so, you’ll be taking advantage of their wealth of knowledge. Most marketing firms are happy to give advice to startups, even if it doesn’t turn into a massive, multi-channel campaign, so you don’t need a budget big enough to purchase the moon just to get started.
But how do you find the right marketing company for you, especially when you’re a small business just starting out? While budgeting, return on investment (ROI) and cost per acquisition (CPA) are all vital components of a successful marketing campaign, and all things with which a marketing expert can help, the single most important step comes right at the very first meeting: allowing them to get inside your head and really understand your business, as well as setting some solid end goals for what you want to accomplish.
First and foremost, you need to let them know who you are, by coming into that meeting with a firm understanding of how to communicate your brand’s unique tone and voice. After this, they can help you to determine all kinds of helpful information, such as which marketing channels will be right for you and your business. Social media might be a powerful tool, for example, but if you’re aiming for a B2B (Business to Business) market, it won’t be nearly as useful as in a B2C (Business to Consumer) setting.
Marketing on a Small Budget
The smart use of money can be the deciding factor of whether a business succeeds or fails. It’s a common concern, and for good reason: 82% of businesses fail within the first ten years due to cash flow, so a small business needs to invest and budget wisely. The question is therefore often asked: how do you run a marketing campaign on a shoestring budget?
The somewhat paradoxical answer is: you can’t run a successful marketing campaign on a shoestring budget. The crucial thing to keep in mind is that it’s not necessarily about how much money you have right now; rather, it’s about return on investment, in terms of cost per acquisition. If you invest a dollar that turns into ten dollars, then your budget has now increased. Invest ten dollars that turns into a hundred dollars…the budget increases yet again.
Budget is built upon percentages, so exponential growth should always be both the goal and the thing that determines your spend for the future. Don’t start off with a shoestring budget; instead, start with a smart marketing strategy and keep ROI at the front and centre.
Practical Tips for Small Businesses
When just starting out, a small business almost always has more time than cash. Until those things start to even up a little, you can best use that time by getting to know your customers. Where do they hang out, online and in real life? What demographic is most likely to engage with your product or service? Learning about your clientele will give you the ability to create specific messaging, as opposed to wasting your marketing budget on casting a wide net and just ‘hoping for the best’.
You have a number of different channels available to you, so test and measure a number of different avenues- various types of social media, competitions, glossy print advertising- and see which ones work for you. Obtain as much data as possible, so you can maximise your ROI for advertising and optimise your cost per acquisition.
Finally, it might sound obvious, but every company needs an online presence. Even if you don’t have a full-blown website dedicated to your business, something as simple as a Facebook page or an Instagram account can be vital in letting your customers know who you are and what you can do for them. 90% of small businesses in Australia have a Facebook account, while 24% of Australians regularly use Facebook to find out about brands.
Meanwhile, only 19% of small businesses have an Instagram account, but a massive 46% of Australians use Instagram regularly. Not all of these channels are going to be right for you, but you’ll never know unless you do the research.
The smarter way
SBM has helped to grow a variety of different businesses, from big-name brands to small, one-person startups. We’ve run the gamut when it comes to helping different-sized businesses reach their potential, whether through internet marketing, promotional videos, web development, SEO services or simply providing helpful, effective marketing advice.
Regardless of whether it’s a major long-term strategy or just some friendly advice, we do everything we can to understand our clients and their business. We’re experts at creating a roadmap to help businesses achieve a healthy return on investments.
Time and money may be the foundation, but SBM can give a business the push it needs to achieve exponential growth through smarter marketing. When your growth is exponential, so are your opportunities for taking your small business and turning it into something far greater.