Updated: Dec 9, 2019
‘If you build it, they will come’. This is something we’ve heard quoted often, offered as words of inspiration (thanks Kevin Costner). And yet, it’s a little misleading. You can have the best BEST product or service in the world and sometimes yes, it does get discovered without you needing to so much as lift a finger. Bam. Viral. Billie Eilish is a great example of this. At 14 Billie and her brother released a track intended only for Billies dance teacher on SoundCloud. There was no strategy, there was no budget, no intent to become a world-famous musician, but that’s exactly what happened. It’s the stories like this that make us believe that if you have something great, success is certain. It’s not.
Success is more likely, yes. But in reality, we can’t all be as lucky as Billie. And it would be a terrible business strategy to assume we will be. You need to have a marketing budget. But contrary to what you might believe, it doesn’t have to be huge. Here are our 5 top tips on how to make the most out of your marketing budget.
Use the free tools at your disposal
Nothing says budget friendly like social media. It costs nothing to have a Facebook page, an Instagram page, a YouTube channel. If you sign up with Mailchimp you don’t have to start paying for their service until you have over 2000 contacts in your database. Listings on Google are free as are TripAdvisor reviews. The only thing you really need to spend money on is a website. And that can be done at a very affordable rate too. At Crowned PR we offer website packages for under $1500. Websites are a worthwhile investment because they aid in lead generation, social proof and Google rankings. Do you ever see Facebook pages appear first when you type in a search query on Google? No. It’s always websites. 81% of all consumers perform some type of online search before making a purchase. Allocate some of your marketing budget to a website. It will provide a return.
What about content? How much is that going to cost me? We recommend hiring a great graphic design to set up the basics of your branding, logo, style guide (if you want to know WTF a style guide is you can check out THIS blog). The use that amazing foundations to do some DIY until you can afford more professional work. Seek out free tools. Use stock imagery. Use user generated content. Create your graphics on Canva. And don’t think you can only use content once. If a post/picture does well, post it again in 3-6 months’ time. Recycling is good. For the environment and your sanity. You do not need a DSLR to take incredible photos. If you have an iPhone, Samsung or Google Pixel phone made in the last few years you have the tools to create beautiful imagery. If your phone is older, think about investing in a new one or buy a compact camera for a few $100. Quality images are so important, especially on Instagram.
Set a budget
Actually sit down and set yourself a budget. Review your channel options. As a minimum we would suggest you having a Facebook page, Instagram page and a website. Your budget doesn’t have to all be for online use. Radio, newspaper and direct mail are still all viable options they just tend to be more expensive (don’t even get us started on the price of a TV ad).
Know your customer
You have to know your customer. Not just their general age or how much income they make or how well educated they are… but what they do for fun, what they care about, what they would watch on Netflix. Facebook Ads allows you to be so specific that the more you know about YOUR customer the more you can weed out the people who wouldn’t give your business a second glance.
Optimise and save
Your ad may have started off good (especially if you book in a consult with us). But if you continue to optimise your audience and targeting, it has the potential to be great. Optimisation is a huge part of getting the most value for money (and sticking within your budget). We aren’t just talking about optimising ads. Optimise your website. Make sure all your links work. That you’re tracking your customers. If they are filling their cart and then leaving set up an abandoned cart sequence to get them back. Optimise, optimise, optimise!
What is the lifetime value of your customer?
Invest in your biggest return. Not all customers are created equal. There are several types of customer. The one that will only ever buy from you when you have a sale. They are motivated by price. They are not loyal. Maybe they complain about your services and demand more. Don’t invest your time in them. It’s not worth it. Where you do want to invest your time and money is with the repeat customers and ESPECIALLY with your brand advocates. Your star customers. They engage with you online. Tell people how great you are. Buy from you regularly and are LOYAL AF. Focus your energy on trying to make your good customers brand advocates and keeping your brand advocates happy. They are your best advertisement and you can’t put a price on the value of return they offer.