You probably know the saying: It costs money to make money. And with 50 percent of new businesses failing within five years — and 70 percent failing within 10 — marketing is more important than ever. Marketing is what fuels business growth, and it’s one of the most important things to consider in a business plan. Without a solid marketing strategy in place, you’ll find that you’ll be spending a lot of time and money on trying to grow your business with little to show for it.
As a new business owner, it would be great to see high-impact results immediately. Without millions of dollars from venture capitalists, though, gaining results can be a long road. However, while there is no magic formula to marketing, there are some easy, high-impact tactics you can use:
1. Consider the true costs of marketing.
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs don’t consider the return on investment when establishing their marketing budget, so they underestimate what they should spend on marketing. On top of that, business leaders quickly forget to keep in mind the lifetime value of a customer when it comes to creating a marketing budget. How many more times is that potential customer going to do business with you, and what’s that worth to your company?
As a new entrepreneur, you should always expect to initially pay more for marketing while you’re testing new strategies to discover the lowest acquisition cost or most efficient strategy. Once you’ve homed in on the most successful strategies, you can then try to decrease your cost per new customer acquisition.
2. Use Facebook ads to target your ideal customer.
You can effectively boost your Facebook posts with as little as $10 per day, or you can easily launch and test an ad campaign with a few more clicks. You should also set up remarketing on Facebook and only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad. This provides more exposure for your brand across the web at a very low cost compared to alternatives. With the number of monthly global social media users expected to expand to 3.02 billion by 2021, this is one of the easiest things you can do to reach a huge audience in a short amount of time.
3. Claim your listings on Yext — especially if you have multiple locations.
Yext is a platform that is tied to several business listing websites, and it will allow you to control how your business appears online across most platforms. It also increases the likelihood that your business will show up in search results when someone is searching for local businesses on Google.
4. Leverage social media groups.
For example, create a Facebook group to provide your target audience with valuable blog posts and other articles you’ve written without looking too salesy. This will position you as a thought leader in your industry and a trusted source for advice. In fact, one study discovered that businesses with blogs bring in 126 percent more leads than those without. It’s also a great idea to partner with online influencers in your industry and encourage your employees to share company content across their social networks. For B2B companies, it’s also smart to leverage LinkedIn as often as possible.
5. Advertise strategically online.
If the cost per click of Google Ads is too expensive, try Bing Ads. It’s usually much cheaper, and there’s not as much competition. In fact, the average CPC is less than $8 on Bing Ads versus over $20 for Google Ads. There’s also less search volume, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to run ads around search terms that don’t have a lot of volume.
6. Hire an external marketing team.
A modern marketing team typically consists of a variety of professionals with different specializations. If you were to hire a team in-house, you’d at least need a content marketer, a social media marketer, and an email marketer — and you would be looking at spending tens of thousands of dollars a month. Overhead alone for a lead generation-focused marketing team can be over $13,000 a month.
For a much lower cost (not to mention fewer hiring headaches), you can simply hire a marketing agency that employs all of these specialists. Just be sure to properly vet a marketing agency by asking for examples of its work and success stories of businesses similar to yours.
In today’s competitive startup community, all entrepreneurs seek to make the most of their limited marketing budgets. While you might not have a lot of time and money to spend on an expensive marketing campaign, these tactics can give you the peace of mind you need to grow a successful business.