Marketing is often where small business owners fall short. While you might be an expert in your field, knowing how to capture the attention of your target customer is a new skill entirely. But as daunting as it may be, marketing is not an insurmountable challenge. When you are getting ready to relaunch after COVID-19 closures, preparation is the key to implementing a successful marketing plan. Let’s dive deeper into the subject, courtesy of Small Business Brain.
Your Marketing Budget
Your marketing budget is the amount of money you set aside to promote your business. You should have enough cash on hand to finance everything from branding and graphic design to charitable donations within your community. Before you set a number, you’ll want to take a close look at where you are financially. To get a grasp on your money situation, start by looking at your income statements. These statements, also called profit and loss (or P&L) statements, provide greater insight into how much you’re making, how much you’re spending, and where profits and losses are most prevalent. A P&L statement can give you a better understanding of where expenses need to be reduced, and point you in the right direction of revenue-boosting actions. You can download templates with pre-filled formulas that you can customize to your needs so all you have to do is plug in the numbers and review the data.
Marketing that makes sense
When it comes to marketing, sometimes, it takes a bit of trial and error to figure out what works best for your company. However, there are a few things that most businesses can rely on. If you’re looking for inexpensive yet effective marketing strategies, try these:
- Content marketing. Content marketing is a diverse form of digital marketing that involves crafting content (articles, blogs, social media ads, etc.) catered to your customers.
- Vehicle branding. You can’t drive a city block without seeing work trucks wrapped in their company logo. Although you may not think much of it, simply seeing a company’s brand is an impression, and driving your vehicle through the crowded streets guarantees dozens to hundreds of impressions every day.
- Signage. When your business is located in a busy brick-and-mortar location, signage is key. Whether you choose to install an expensive monument sign or simply hang banners is up to you. If you go with the latter, make sure to choose your material wisely. PsPrint notes that meshed vinyl is the best material for outdoor use. You can easily get away with canvas or even paper indoors.
- Marketing to existing clients. Your existing customer base is your most valuable asset. After all, these individuals are already familiar with your company — meaning you don’t have to spend money acquainting them with your products or services. If you’ve previously impressed them with great customer service, don’t be shy about sending an email invite to “exclusive” deals or discount days.
- Create a PR stunt. PR or public relations stunts are not new in the world of marketing. Even Elon Musk got in on the game when he launched a Tesla into outer space. While you won’t have this type of budget, you can create fun and attention-catching marketing ploys that will attract your target customer.
Marketing often comes down to playing the numbers game. First, you have to know how much money you have to dedicate to marketing. Then, you have to find ways to reach the customers who are most likely to provide a return on your investment. If you’re still struggling, know that many other business owners are in the same situation. With diligence and patience, you will soon figure out how to sell your business’s products and services to those who are ready to buy.