This is the most important tip! While you might be tempted to stop marketing to save yourself some money, this is the exact opposite of what you should do!
You still need customers, so you need to remind them you’re there. Maintaining a marketing presence will help you to build brand loyalty and keep you in mind with your existing customers, as well as helping you to attract new ones.
When times are tough you might also be able to find gaps in the market or new opportunities for your business to take advantage of.
Many successful businesses started during recessions, such as Microsoft, Disney, Apple, WhatsApp, Uber, Sipsmith gin and Airbnb.
And, generally, companies who increase their marketing spend even in tough times will see sales rise. For example, Pizza Hut did this in the 1990-91 recession and saw a 61% rise in sales. Whereas McDonald’s reduced their marketing spend and their sales dropped 28%.
Rather than seeing marketing as a cost you need to cut, try thinking of it as an investment. Investments, after all, are meant to inject cash to help your business grow.
And your investment doesn’t have to be expensive or even financial. Investing in small things that will help or investing time can make a difference too.
What’s working and what isn’t? Regularly reviewing your existing marketing is good practice anyway, so you know how effective your marketing activities are.
Look at your analytics – your social media insights, Google analytics and whatever other insights you can track. Do you also track where your sales and leads come from? If not, start tracking them now! Review your analytics and see if there are any trends. Which activities are bringing in more clients and leads?
Which activities aren’t so effective? These are the things to reduce or cull, saving you money in the process. Perhaps you have subscriptions for marketing tools you no longer use? If so, stop these.
Have their needs changed recently because of budget constraints or a changing market? As with your analytics, it’s always a good idea to regularly review what your clients need. That way you can tweak your products or services to fit what will most help them.
Start by asking your clients and your wider audience what they need. What problems are coming up for them? How can you help them solve these?
If money is an issue for them, can you create some lower cost options or bundle up items together for them? For example, if you provide one-to-one services, can you offer some group support or workshops at a lower price point? Are there some lower entry-level things you can help them with, such as taster sessions perhaps?
Whatever marketing you do, be consistent with it! This will help remind people that you exist and help you to build your brand.
Being consistent doesn’t necessarily mean showing up everyday or doing so much that it overwhelms you. It’s about doing things regularly and showing up so that people know you’re there. Decide what frequency works best for you and your audience and then stick to it. For example, posting on social media 3-4 times a week and doing so every week will be more effective that showing up daily for a few weeks and then disappearing for a few weeks!
It takes at least 7 interactions these days before people will buy from you, these days probably much more. So, if you’re thinking you’re doing too much, it’ll only be you who thinks that. Remember, you’re the only one that will see everything you publish online or on your social media!
If you’d like more tips for marketing on a budget, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me.