Ah, so you’ve got halfway through the financial year and, without warning, your marketing budget has completely gone.
Don’t worry – this happens to even the biggest businesses and those with seemingly bullet-proof marketing plans. Overspending on marketing is a worryingly easy thing to do – particularly in the digital age where there are so many different platforms and channels on which to spend that precious money.
Thats probably of little consolation if this has happened to your business, though, which is why the following zero budget marketing tips may just help you out.
Always Have Some in Reserve
Imagine knowing that, no matter what happens, you’ll always have some marketing budget in reserve.
You can ensure this is the case by keeping a portion of cash in a separate account. And, while this might seem like a bit of a sledgehammer approach, if you’ve exhausted your main budget and still need to conduct a vitally important video marketing campaign, your reserve will be a knight in shining armour.
Get Out and About
New business doesn’t just have to come to you; why not go out and there and grab it yourself?
Running out of a marketing budget may be frustrating, but it might also force you to be more proactive with your lead generating efforts.
Head to local networking events, conferences and launches of competitor products. Make a name for yourself, build new connections and always keep a stack of business cards handy.
You don’t always need to market your business solely with campaigns; you’re just as good at it on your own.
Invest Time in Your Existing Customers
Another brilliant route to market is your existing customer base. They are, after all, some of your best salespeople!
If you don’t have a penny left to spend on marketing campaigns, invest the time instead in raising the service levels for existing customers to stratospheric levels.
Offer incentives for referring your business to friends that won’t need a cash injection from you but are of high value to the customer (a free month’s service, for example).
Throw Yourself into Social Media
Even if you don’t have money to spend on pay-per-click campaigns, social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram still represent very cost-effective ways to speak to your market.
Spend time researching the best hashtags to use in your industry and investigate groups on sites like LinkedIn that enable you to get in amongst conversations with potential customers.
Stick to a regular, strategic posting schedule, and your net will widen. Social media marketing takes time, but it might just be a route to market you haven’t fully explored yet.
Check Your Product or Service Against the Competition
Is your product or service as good as the competition? Or has it languished without you realising?
When you suddenly don’t have marketing campaigns to focus on, the stuff you’re marketing comes into sharp focus.
Take a look at your offering and compare it against that of the competition. Your findings might be a little unpalatable, but it’s better you discover and resolve any shortcomings now before the next marketing budget hits.
As I’ve hopefully proved today, all is certainly not lost if your marketing budget runs out halfway through the year.
The above tips aren’t guaranteed to generate new business, and they’ll take time to perfect, but get them right and that lack of budget will soon be a distant memory.
Mark Ellis is a freelance writer who specialises in copywriting, blogging and content marketing for businesses of all sizes. Mark’s considerable experience at director level and deep interest in personal and business success means he’s ready to comment on anything from freelance writing to workplace dynamics, technology and personal improvement.