Generating sales leads for your business goes hand-in-hand with brand outreach and having a strong marketing strategy. Many subject matter experts (SMEs) understandably struggle with their marketing budget, as their spending is prioritized for other departments. However, it’s still possible to maximize your marketing potential and utilize your in-house marketing team as much as possible. Doing this can minimize the frequency with which your business looks to outside agencies to fill the gaps.
When looking at different ways to generate more leads, it’s important to examine internal and external possibilities. If you don’t have a large marketing budget, one of the easiest ways to increase the flow of leads is to examine your existing client base. Additionally, with social media being so prominent in today’s society, businesses should be using online networking platforms to their advantage, as it’s essentially free advertising to a wide audience that spreads internationally.
Effective marketing isn’t always about how much you spend on your marketing, but how powerful and impactful your efforts are on your target audience. It will undoubtedly be more challenging to execute effective marketing with a tight budget, or without a marketing budget at all, but having a strong marketing strategy can definitely help. Below, we’ll look at some effective ways of carrying out effective marketing on a tight budget. It’s important to look at all of the available options, including internal and external marketing, to maximize your pool of potential clients.
Create Great Content. It’s imperative that your business produces high-quality, informative content that will keep your audience engaged with your brand. Whether this is in the form of blog posts and social media engagement, or the physical content that you display on your website and proposals, these words will give people a first impression of what your business is all about. As part of our fast-paced market economy, consumers are constantly faced with hundreds of thousands of articles, images, and videos; so, make yourself memorable. People don’t buy into brands, but they buy into people, so making your marketing material as relatable and personal as possible can help you score higher leads, without investing in fancy, high-end software.
Use your existing clients to your advantage. The power of customer loyalty and business gained from ‘word of mouth’ is irreplaceable. Customers that use, enjoy, and appreciate your products or services will naturally tell their friends and family about your company, which will, in turn, increase your brand outreach and sales. Word of mouth referrals work so well because they’re genuine and happen organically, as clients use and enjoy your business’ products and services. A referral scheme is a way to use this to your business’ advantage to further increase your outreach and the number of referrals that your company gets. More and more businesses are setting up referral and affiliate schemes, as an incentive to drive more traffic toward their websites, by using their existing client basis. For example, clients who have a large pool of connections can sign up as a ‘brand affiliate’ and receive some commission from sales they influenced.
Contacting “dead leads.” If someone wasn’t interested in your brand a few years ago, it doesn’t always mean they’re still not interested in buying your products or services now. This is more so the case for B2B companies, as different businesses will jump between suppliers and service providers, depending on their annual agenda. Humbly approaching your past leads and speaking to them about ways that your business has improved and possibly offering them an initial discount might be the incentive they need to switch to your business.
Focus your social outreach. Using social media is a great way of promoting your business to your target audience, without spending much money from your marketing budget. Whether it’s sharing blog posts that you’ve written on your website, talking about business news, or just commenting on other peoples’ posts to increase your general activity, being active on social media is going to help your brand. However, if your marketing budget is tight, chances are, your marketing team is already juggling one too many tasks. So, when it comes to a social strategy, it’s best to focus your efforts on one social media platform and do it well. Pick the social media network that your business is doing best at, depending on your business’ sector and master that one.
Don’t neglect networking. We all hear about the value of networking, it’s a marketing tactic that’s been around for years and it works. Businesses traditionally approached networking by attending events and conferences (which is still an effective way of building up your pool of connections), but along with digital marketing came digital networking. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with entrepreneurs in your industry and people who are interested in your products and services. Don’t just connect with people and then close your tab. Message your connections, engage with other people's’ connections, comment and like on posts that appear on your feed, and share your business’ blog posts and ideas.
Improving your business’ marketing efforts on a tight budget is possible, so long as you establish an effective marketing strategy that will allow you to generate leads based on your existing resources. Depending on your company’s sector, you might choose to focus more on some of the points above, compared to others; nonetheless, it’s important to explore as many options as possible, as they all serve different purposes.
Natasa Christofidou is experienced in professional content writing, with a particular interest in business marketing and client communications. With experience branching from article contributions for business blogs, to being published in national news publications such as The Sunday Times, Natasa is currently leading the content marketing of the UK's most trusted telephone answering company, alldayPA.