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Your business marketing strategy increases your company’s exposure, customer base and revenue. In 2017, companies that determine their marketing budget based on revenue spent an average of 6.9 percent of their total budget on marketing according to The CMO Survey. That figure rose to 11.4 percent for companies with firm marketing budgets. Your company’s marketing budget for 2018 may vary from these averages, but whether you have big bucks or a shoestring marketing budget, you can use several top tips to maximize your marketing dollars.
Create a Detailed Marketing Plan
With a detailed marketing plan, you know exactly how and when you’ll use your marketing dollars. You won’t have to guess if you can afford to update your website or buy marketing videos, and you won’t run the same promotion two months in a row.
Right now, look at your calendar, and plan marketing campaigns for the year. Note local events and special holidays, and factor in website design fees, public relations costs and other expenses that support your promotions. With the right planning, your marketing strategies stretch your budget.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices
Nearly 99 million online buyers have made at least one purchase from their mobile device reports Statista. But many businesses don’t update their websites to support mobile users. Get your share of mobile business and improve your customers’ experiences when you optimize your website for mobile devices.
- Simply and include only essential information.
- Streamline your site layout and limit pages.
- Maintain brand integrity with the same colors, graphics and fonts across all platforms.
- Embrace white space.
- Remove pop-up windows.
Spend time optimizing your website for mobile devices and prepare to engage customers who want to browse and shop online.
Prioritize Public Relations
Maybe you can’t hire a large PR firm on your budget, but that’s okay. You can still prioritize public relations as you pitch your business to the public and improve brand recognition.
To become more visible, participate in local events, charitable organizations and networking opportunities. Then offer your services to print, radio and TV reporters as an industry expert. You’ll also want to train your staff to provide excellent customer service as you build your brand reliability and visibility. These tips improve your public relations and don’t cost anything.
Utilize Social Media
Forbes reports that 71 percent of consumers will recommend a business to friends if they have a good social media experience with that brand. Amp up your social media presence and take advantage of this affordable and effective marketing tool.
First, focus on the right platforms. Ninety percent of social media users spend time on Facebook, and Instagram engages 32 percent of social media users, so invest in these two outlets and reach a larger audience. Then provide quality content. Remember you want to engage your audience with useful information, not just sales pitches. Finally, respond quickly. Let your customers know that you’re listening whether they share a complaint or ask a question. You won’t spend a lot of money to utilize social media, but your efforts do multiply.
Engage Your Audience
People who visit your store or website know you sell stuff, but they also need to know that you care about them and can meet needs they have. Build brand trust and multiply your marketing efforts when you engage your audience.
In your retail location, welcome guests when they walk in the door, and help customers find solutions to their problems, even if your product or service isn’t’ the answer. On your social media pages, talk about current events, take polls or share fun facts. Let your audience know that you value them over the sale, and they will think of you first when they or someone they know needs the product you sell.
Check Progress and ROI Regularly
To ensure your business is turning a profit, you check your accounts regularly. Do the same checkups on your marketing strategy to ensure it’s working and to verify that you’re maximizing your money and time.
When checking your marketing progress and ROI, evaluate the traceable metrics of your social media campaigns, product videos and online ads. On print, radio and television ads, include a code or keyword customers can use when they contact you. Use this information to determine how many customers your ads reach and to tweak your marketing strategy. This data shows you which marketing strategies work and which you can cut.
Your marketing strategy improves your company’s profitability. Use these top tips to maximize your marketing budget for 2018.
PJ Taei, the President of Uscreen, has helped over 1,000 customers monetize finance videos online.