Let’s face it – every dollar counts when you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur. We know – we’re in the same boat. And investments need to pay off in real and immediate marketing ROI (Return on Investment).
But could a marketing strategy be executed with as little as $100? We think so. That’s why we came up with these five ideas that walk you through how a mere $100 (or perhaps even less) can help you create a robust marketing plan to help you grow your business.
1. Research, research, research
Invest time in identifying not only your target market and ideal buyer types, but by researching your competition to see what is working for them. You know, R&D (rip off and duplicate! That’s not to suggest you should ever plagiarize your competitors, but there is nothing wrong with using marketing techniques they are having success with. This will help you identify opportunities to grow while minimizing the cost of trial and error. Plus, you’ll be better able to focus on creating a better message to attract and engage likely buyers. If you would like more about The New Logic of R&D, check out this article by Bill Taylor at the Harvard Business Review.
2. Business cards
Cost: From $10-50, depending on quantity
You may be thinking, “well duh”, but start asking small business owners for their business card and you will be surprised at how many either do not have them or do not carry them on their person. Despite being small, a business card does big work for your business. They’re a highly personalized form of marketing that you can hand to your prospects and customers … and they offer multiple promotion opportunities, such as:
- Make a favorable first impression – An attractive, eye-catching business card with all the relevant contact information can capture attention and enhance credibility by creating a sense of professionalism and legitimacy for your business.
- Take them with you – They can go wherever you go, making them an essential mobile marketing tool. Keep a stack of business cards with you at all times.
- Establish your brand – And make your company more easily identifiable. By including your company’s logo and advertising slogan on your card, for instance, you help to reinforce your brand with everyone who views your card.
3. Responsive web design
Did you know that 79% of consumers go online to shop around for prices? The Internet accessed via desktop, tablet, or mobile is often the starting point.
So, do you have a website? You should! And you’ll want to make sure the information on there is easy to find and easy to see, regardless of how the customer is viewing your site. The faster you can engage, intrigue, and convert your audience members, the better.
To ensure that your website can automatically detect what type of device they are using, make sure your website is responsive. To see what your site looks like on different devices, use a free site like Responsive Design Checker to check how it’s working. If you need some work, consider sites like Duda to help.
4. Social Strategy
Cost: $40-70 per month
Want an easy way to put your brand or services in front of thousands of members of your target audience each month? Of course you do! A spend of just $40 in sponsored posts on Facebook or other social platforms of your choosing can potentially produce hundreds of new followers on social networks… as well as increased web traffic, brand awareness, and *hopefully* bottom line profits that can be traced back to initial engagement on social media.
Social platforms are very popular with consumers and actually make advertising pretty easy – doing a big favor for small businesses. You can set a limit on the amount spent to sponsor a post or page, plus use built-in tools to drill down into demographics to put these ads/posts directly on the feeds of individuals who meet your ideal buyer type criteria.
5. Make friends with local businesses
If you’re working in a community, this should be easy! Establishing informal partnerships with other businesses can be extremely beneficial, in particular for entrepreneurs, startups, and small-business owners who have yet to build out large contact databases for:
- Cross-promotion services
- Referral programs
- Word of mouth
Sharing contacts and working with other business owners whose target markets overlap with yours could help you build brand awareness – and grow your organization – much quicker than you would be able to do on your own.