Big companies spend thousands, sometimes millions of pounds on marketing and advertising. But for most small and medium sized businesses, this is the realm of dreams and their marketing budget is much more modest. So how can you get the most marketing from a modest budget and know where to put your money for the best chance of a good return?
Get help organising your budget
Before you start marketing, you should take a look at how much you can afford to spend on it. Sit down with your team (or your accounting software if there is only you) and assess just how much you can spend per week/month on advertising. A good accountant is also useful if you want to get the most from your marketing budget as they can help you see if any of the spending can be tax deductible or if there is any financial assistance available for SME’s.
The idea of doing your own marketing may seem a little intimidating but there are some fantastic online marketing experts and many of them give away their tips for nothing. Do a lot of reading and look into companies similar to your own – what kind of marketing do they use? Can you be inspired by their ads or email campaigns to create your own? While you shouldn’t directly copy someone else, you can certainly use them for inspiration and a starting point.
Spend some money on your website
While your website might not seem to be a marketing tool, this isn’t the case. It is the place you send all of your online traffic and therefore is one giant advert for your company. Therefore, one of the top things to spend some of your marketing budget on it to get the website in top condition. Look at creative web designers who can make the website visually pleasing while directing visitors to where you want them to do – your products or services area.
Also consider using affordable Search Engine Optimisation services once the website is up and running. SEO is a bit of a minefield for the uninitiated but is absolutely crucial in getting traffic to your website. Look for people who will conduct an SEO check of your site, your social media presence and even your email and ad campaigns to see how they rank.
Don’t just jump into Google AdWords
Because Google is the biggest name in search engines, many people think that means their AdWords software is the best place to advertise – this might not always be the case. There is a lot to learn with AdWords so unless you can afford an expert to run your campaign or some serious training beforehand, it might not be the best option.
On the other hand, social media marketing can be a great way to dip your toe into the marketing world. You can set a limited budget on sites such as Facebook and their audience targeting is quite specific, allowing you to focus your money on people who are interested in your products or services.