Marketing your business is one of the most important expenses you will incur as an entrepreneur. The reasoning is simple: if people don’t know who you are and what you offer, how can they purchase your goods or services?
Unfortunately, marketing is also the main area where cuts are made. Here are five ways you can cut your marketing costs without having a detrimental impact on your ability to reach your target market.
Audit Your Current Processes
You should audit your processes on a quarterly or annually basis. Take some time to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t in your current strategy. Determine what tasks must be accomplished and create a set of SOPs to help streamline the process and identify any gaps.
A process audit is especially effective if you’re currently using subscription services or tools. For example, you may find that your paid social media scheduling service is working wonders for your marketing efforts. Alternatively, the paid webinar platform service is not. Evaluating these components of your marketing strategy will help you make strategic cuts.
Outsource Your Efforts
It’s no secret that you have to spend money to make money. However, many entrepreneurs still hesitate to outsource their services.
There are two ways to look at outsourcing. The first is using contractors rather than employees to get things done. There’s a transitional period for all entrepreneurs during which they can’t manage everything alone, yet they’re not in the place mentally to hire an employee. Outsourcing help can get tasks done without diving into the employment debacle.
There’s also the consideration of opportunity cost. Why spend your time doing something you aren’t skilled at when you could be doing something to grow your business? For example, rather than just having Catdi Printing print marketing materials for you, look into their design services as well for a packaged, outsourced solution to a problem. You will definitely save more by hitting two birds with one stone.
Implement Automated Practices
Automation is changing the world, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship. You can automate tasks that are essential to keep your business running in the background, but not as valuable as other things you could be doing.
Like outsourcing, implementing automation gives you time to focus on other things. Using chatbots to answer frequently asked questions or having automated campaigns in your email marketing sales funnel can grow your business while you sleep.
Shift the Focus to Affiliate and Referral Marketing
One of the best, hands-off methods of marketing is referral and affiliate marketing. Rather than paying upfront to promote your goods and services, you put the onus on your previous customers and pay only for results.
This approach works well when tied to a social media strategy. Working with micro-influencers is a great way to test the waters of an affiliate program.
Focus Your Efforts
Rather than being mediocre at many things, focus your efforts and become really great at a few things. For example, while it’s wise to reserve your name on various social media channels, focus on one or two that will yield the best results.
The same applies to all areas of marketing. Rather than trying to juggle it all, work on making a few of your efforts top-notch. As you get into a routine and find your sweet spot for your best marketing efforts, you can gradually add to the mix.
Setting Goals and Objectives
Now that you have areas in which you can adjust your marketing expenses to cut costs, you need to set smart goals and objectives. A goal is an outline of what you hope to accomplish; an objective is how you’ll get there and measure your results.
Through your efforts, you may be surprised to find how much money you’re wasting. With the right strategy in place, you’ll be able to spend less money and get better results.