I surveyed my readers regarding their interests in marketing and business development a while ago. I received some really good questions and now I am addressing their interests in these blogs to provide my answers. The questions are all related to marketing and business development.
The next question I’ll address is …
Marketing on a low budget … what are my best options? How do I utilize my limited advertising dollars? Where do I start first?
While I’m sure there are many answers to that question, here is what I would recommend. I have 2 streams of ideas. Both will take a little work … this blog only deals with the first one the second one will come in another blog.
Start with Digital Advertising and Facebook in particular.
For marketing on a limited budget I would take a digital approach. Here are the fundamentals of digital and on-line marketing.
Have a web-site, make sure you are creating content on your web-site – like a blog, at least once a week. Ideally make your blog front and centre on your web-site (see these examples for illustration purposes (http://www.amyporterfield.com, http://goinfinitus.com).
Drive traffic to your blog. Use a pixel ( https://www.facebook.com/business/a/online-sales/conversion-tracking ) to track who has visited your web-site / blog. Capture those visitors’ e-mails along with all of your other prospects and customers. Reach out to the people on your list with content and offers. Manage and monitor the results.
Drive traffic to your blog via your customer e-mail list (if you don’t have one, start one).
Paid Social Media
Start with Facebook advertising because it is the most cost effective and one of the easiest to learn. Once you graduate from Facebook you can take on other paid mediums such as Twitter, Instagram, Google, etc…
Let’s assume you have a Facebook account and ideally a fan page. If you don’t have a fan page start one.
Clearly define your target market, age, sex, geography, interests, etc …
Get a Facebook pixel and have it installed on your web-site (your programmer can do it for you quickly and it should be a low cost exercise or if you are adventurous you can try to install it yourself), you should also get a Google pixel installed on your site too. Pixels track who has visited your web-site or a particular page (custom pixel) and are extremely helpful in helping you target your warm audiences (people that are along the continuum of knowing, liking and trusting you) , keeping your costs down and results up.
On your Facebook account go to ads manager and create custom audiences (https://www.facebook.com/business/help/341425252616329). Download your e-mail list of customers as one audience, download your e-mail list of Linked In contacts as another, if you have more than 1000 fans on your Facebook fan page you can create a custom list of your fans. Create a custom audience of visitors to your fan page (you can do this once you have installed the pixel). Create custom audiences of people who have visited your web-site (once the FB pixel is installed).
This is a really good start. This will give you an-on-line target audience of people/ prospects that already know you. Then create look a like audiences of each of the above. This will give you a group who have a similar profile to your target market.
Finally, before creating an ad, create a spreadsheet of your target market. Key headings to include, sex, age, geography, interests (this will get more detailed as you get deeper into FB advertising).
For illustration purposes. Let’s assume you are a retail ski shop … Think about what kind of Facebook pages they would visit? Whistler, Ski Magazine, Burton, etc… Later on as you get more experienced you can target audiences who like those Facebook pages and that meet your target market.
Create a Facebook Campaign
Create a blog, make sure you have a pixel on your web-site pages including your blog ( a slightly more helpful thing to do is to create a custom pixel for your blog – this will help you target even better).
Make sure your blog topic appeals to your target market. Within the blog offer a free giveaway. The giveaway should be something of value and related to your ad, blog, target market. It should be digital and downloadable. For example it could be an article called ‘Top 5 family friendly ski resorts to visit on a budget.”
Create a FB Ad
Send your blog to your e-mail audience, post it on social media – tag people and encourage them to share it – make sure it is share worthy, advertise the blog post on FB.
As your target audience reads your blog, some will click on your giveaway. They will go to a “landing page” (Here is one that I use, Lead Pages
Your landing page will be integrated with your mail service, MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc…
Your database will automatically be populated with new e-mail addresses through the integration you set up on your landing page with your e-mail service provider.
I know this sounds a bit complicated, once you get into it you will realize that it just takes a bit of time to get the hang of it.
What just happened?
You just did a digital test market that you can refine overtime. Congratulations!
You advertised a piece of valuable content (your blog) to your target market. You drive traffic to your web-site. When someone clicked on the ad it left a digital “bread crumb”. Your future ads will start to go to them – when you want them to. If they clicked on your offer that also left a digital bread crumb – another means of targeting. They likely provided their email address and you are able to establish relationship with them and increased your database / email list, ultimately some of them will become customers.
You want to nurture the relationship with the people on your e-mail list by having regular / frequent relations with them. Your emails should include 80% value added content and 20% sales messages / offers.
You now have more people to market to. You have data: how many people clicked on your ad, how many left their e-mail addresses, how satisfied you are with the results, what could you do differently to improve that. How is the activity effecting your sales.
The cycle continues, keep advertising on Facebook for as little as $5.00 per day, test your ads, blogs, value added offers and response rates. Keep fine-tuning. Make sure you are selling on-line and to your list and tracking your results.
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I work with companies on their marketing, lead generation and sales throughout their life cycle – from start ups, to expansions to exit strategies and the sale of the company. My clients are from the private sector and public sector including economic development and tourism based organizations. Let me know if you have any projects you need help getting started on.
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