How to pay for your next marketing campaign
All businesses need to carry out marketing in some shape or form. There are many ways to market your business, with some more expensive than others.
When businesses are looking to save money and reduce spending, for many the first thing to be cut is their marketing budget.
This is not always the best route to take.
Without proper marketing, your business can suffer in the long term due to lack of growth, brand awareness and sales.
Types of Funding for Marketing
There are many ways to pay for your next marketing campaign. We've listed our top 5 below:
- Business savings
- Personal investment
- Crowdfund the money
- Borrow from family and friends
- Take out a business loan
Business savings - If you've been saving for a rainy day, this could be a good time to dip into those funds. It can be worth consulting with your accountant about the impact on your cash flow before making a decision.
Personal investment - Do you have money in the bank that you could invest in your company? If so, why not use some of it to fund your next marketing campaign?
Take out a business loan - Loans are a great way to finance marketing campaigns. You'll need to prove that you've got a solid plan and that repayment won't place additional strain on your existing finances.
Crowdfund the money - Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular way to raise money for new projects and campaigns. It's also a great way to market yourself and build awareness among your target audience at the same time!
Borrow from family and friends - Didn't think this was possible? Think again! If you have supportive loved ones who believe in your business, don't be afraid to ask them for help. Just make sure they understand that they won't be able to see their money again until after your business has grown enough to pay them back.
Loans For Marketing
Most companies will opt to secure external finance to boost their marketing budget. Most businesses will apply for a traditional bank loan or apply with an alternative lender.
Companies that choose to take out an unsecured business loan can benefit from the extra cash that they need as soon as they need it.
They don't have to wait until they've made enough sales or use their cash reserves. However, business loans can be difficult to get if your company has been trading for less than 36 months as this makes it harder to prove financial stability.
For new start businesses that struggle to get a loan, crowdfunding can be a good option depending on the nature of your business. Crowdfunding is popular for start-up businesses who have not yet got much traction and need capital for growth.
There are also other avenues for securing finance such as government grants and angel investment funds.
Low Cost Marketing Strategies
We have rounded up some tips on how you can keep costs down for your next marketing campaign:
- Use what you have.
If necessary, use what you have in-house and do not spend any money on outside help. For example, if you have a graphic designer within the company, use them instead of hiring someone from an external agency.
- Use existing relationships.
Speak with suppliers and vendors that already supply a service or product to you and ask if they would be willing to advertise for you for free or at a reduced rate. For example, if you have a print supplier, ask if they would be happy to print your marketing literature or signage as part of their current deal.
- Consider a special offer or discount.
Showcase new products through promotions and discounts, this will also help generate sales which in turn will pay for your marketing campaign.
- Ask for help!
If there is anyone in your community that would like to help out (maybe they are studying marketing or are just interested in helping out), take them up on their offer and use their services at no cost to you.
- Optimize your online presence
- Update your social media profiles by adding contact information, keywords, and links.
- Repurpose content that's been successful in the past.
- Add a newsletter signup to your blog posts.
- Send a monthly e-newsletter
- Use Facebook and Twitter ads to target specific audiences
- Manage your own PPC campaigns with Google AdWords
- Create a video for YouTube
- Host a webinar, you can offer free content and even connect with potential customers who might be willing to pay
Free Marketing Tactics
It's tempting to think you can't do any marketing until you have a huge budget. But that's just not true! There are several options available to you that won't cost you anything.
Yes, we're talking about social media. You might think it's all about posting pictures of your lunch, but social media is a powerful tool for spreading the word about your business. When you post something, it can get shared and liked by hundreds of people, who are then exposed to your brand or product. But this only works if you have an established community of followers.
So how do you get those followers? It starts with the setup process: make sure to fill out every section of your profile, and don't forget to include a link to your website and other social accounts.
Next up is targeting the right audience: you want people who will be interested in what you have to offer. Engage with people who follow brands similar to yours in order to interact with potential customers and build your following.
Finally, once you've got yourself a follower base, start posting! The more engaging and shareable your content is, the more likely it is that others will see it and be introduced to your business.
Build a Community
You can build a community by following people and liking their posts. As your community grows, they will naturally share your posts with more and more people, who in turn will like your posts and follow you. So now when you post something new, it gets shared with new people who weren't following you before.
And remember, be genuine! Answer questions thoughtfully and in layman's terms. If someone can't understand what you're trying to say, they won't engage with you - and if they don't engage with you, they won't follow you!
When you guest blog on another reputable site, it builds awareness of your brand and allows new customers to find out more about what you do. And because they're already interested in the subject matter of the site where they read your post, they're likely to visit your website and hopefully become a customer.
Check blogs within your industry to look for guest posting opportunities. Try contacting a blog's owner directly and offering to write a post. You can also search sites like Hubspot to see if anyone has started a blog that would love to have guest posts.