As a habitual spender bee, the day before payday is, sadly, one of scant spending.
Some of the marketing teams I've been on have had similar budget issues (although those weren't brought on by online shopping like mine).
While having a tight marketing budget can make the job harder, there's still plenty you can do.
Below, let's review the top tactics to implement when you're marketing without a budget.
Marketing Without a Budget
- Improve content marketing.
- Produce your own podcast.
- Offer a free trial period.
- Arrange collaborative giveaways.
- Encourage user-generated content.
- Dominate your social media presence.
- Increase community engagement.
- Plan a webinar.
- Review your online directory listings.
- Enhance your SEO strategy.
1. Improve content marketing.
Content marketing is one of the top ways to market your brand when your team is on a tight budget.
For example, you can start a blog. Blogs are a great way to reach your audience and build organic traffic to your site. Plus, you can use this space to answer customer questions and attract leads.
If you run out of content ideas, don't forget that you can repurpose old content. You don't have to reinvent the wheel with every post. You can create an infographic or video to attract new audiences on different platforms, like YouTube.
Additionally, you can strengthen content partnerships by guest blogging on other sites and accepting guest submissions on your blog. This is an excellent way to expand your audience for free.
Vana Korrapati, a digital marketing strategist, says, "Identify your target audience and their pain points. Write blogs that address their pain points with at least one key takeaway. This helps you build a list of leads that could turn into sales. Content marketing is a powerful tool and if you don't have the time, you can hire content marketing consultants or agencies at low prices."
To help you get started, marketing software like HubSpot's Marketing Hub can make this a seamless process.
2. Produce your own podcast.
Another cost-effective way to reach your audience is through podcasting. Plus, if you implement this strategy, you'll diversify your content marketing plan.
When you're first getting started, you can repurpose old blog content into a podcast topic. Then, you can promote it through your owned media channels.
Korrapati adds, "Having your own podcast will get you loyal followers and, ultimately, a lot of champions for your product. Not to mention the personal and brand reputation."
3. Offer a free trial period.
While this might seem like a corporate or financial decision, offering a free trial period is actually a great marketing tactic.
When you offer a free trial, you'll build trust with your customers and improve your brand reputation.
Korrapati says, "You should let the customer have one foot into your product to experience how amazing it is. You'll pamper them so much they'll never want to leave. Even if you lose a few people after the trial period, you'll get valuable feedback."
4. Arrange collaborative giveaways.
Whenever you can tap into someone else's audience to market your own, you should. Running a collaborative giveaway is a win-win situation.
These giveaways should be helpful and enticing to potential customers, while also making sense for your business strategically.
With a collaborative giveaway, you'll improve your brand reputation and reach an audience you might not have otherwise.
While you can expect some attrition immediately following the giveaway, you should still leave with more leads or followers than you had before.
5. Encourage user-generated content.
Have you ever wondered, "How can I get marketing content for free?" One way? User-generated content.
User-generated content is usually a part of a crowdsourcing campaign when a company asks users to submit ideas or content they can republish.
For example, Lay's has done a "Do Us a Flavor" campaign for years, where their audience can submit new chip flavor ideas. Or perhaps you want users to submit photos of themselves using your product and a hashtag on Instagram.
Either way, this can improve your online presence and reputation for free and help your team make product and marketing decisions.
6. Dominate your social media presence.
Social media has continued to be a prevalent marketing tactic for any company. In fact, it's one of the main ways that Gen Z learns about new products.
Plus, it's free to get started and build your own online community.
To truly dominate the social media world, you can use your posts, live video, or stories to talk about your company culture, encourage user-generated content, interact with your audience, and build your brand.
To get started, consider using social media software like HubSpot's Social Media Management Tools.
7. Increase community engagement.
When it's possible, being involved in your local community can help you build your brand among local audiences and increase your online presence. You can sponsor community events or host an event for your community.
Being engaged with your community can be a cost-effective way to increase your brand awareness and overall audience.
8. Plan a webinar.
Inbound marketing is all about using helpful and holistic tactics to solve your audience's problems and attract leads to your company.
One way to do this is through webinars. Kristen Baker, a marketing manager at HubSpot, says, "Webinars provide businesses with a way to host a digital, interactive event for members of their target audience and customers, no matter their location. They can be used to boost conversions, improve brand awareness, increase revenue, and establish yourself as an expert in your field."
Additionally, you can use webinars to gather leads and build your email list. Ultimately, hosting a webinar and conducting email marketing drip campaigns afterward should be cost-effective. You can use free email marketing software like HubSpot's to get started.
9. Review your online directory listings.
Having an online presence is one of the main goals of any marketing department. One way to help you do this is through online directory listings.
Online directories like Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook provide your company information (name, address, phone, website) for consumers when they're searching online.
That's why you need to be listed on as many directories as possible. Usually, updating these listings is free to do and you can provide more information about your company to optimize your listing.
10. Enhance your SEO strategy.
SEO can be a daunting task, but in actuality, it's one of the most cost-effective ways to increase traffic to your site and improve your organic reach.
These tactics should help you build brand authority, increase brand awareness, and improve traffic on your site.
To get started, consider using a marketing software that has SEO tools, like HubSpot's SEO marketing software.
Ultimately, marketing doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. You can use several tactics with a tighter budget. In fact, most of the strategies above only require the staff it takes to produce the content.
Originally published May 13, 2020 5:00:00 AM, updated June 10 2021