There is a big problem with many high-impact marketing solutions out there: you need to be on the Fortune 500 (or at least, the Inc. 5000) to afford them.
For example, a 30-second TV spot on the Super Bowl broadcast comes with a staggering $5.25 million price tag. Even a billboard ad can range from $5,000 a month in smaller markets, to more than $15,000 a month in cities like Boston, Chicago and New York. Sure, small businesses need to spend money to make money. But shelling out thousands — let alone millions — of dollars to generate visibility and brand awareness is not just an obstacle. It is a non-starter.
The good news, however, is there are some proven high-impact marketing solutions for frugal business owners who need to ensure that every dollar works as hard as they do. Here are some of the best — and most affordable — options and opportunities:
Mobile advertising such as vehicle wraps offer the lowest cost per thousand impression (CPM) of any form of indoor or outdoor advertising. For a fraction of the cost of a conventional ad campaign, your small business can generate massive brand awareness and look like a large enterprise.
Referral Partnerships with Local Businesses
There is strength in numbers, which means you can boost your marketing muscle — but on a shoestring budget — by entering into referral partnerships with local businesses. For example, if you sell business signage like LED message centers, banners, office lobby signs, trade show displays and so on, then you can partner with a local property management firm. In exchange for recommending your solutions to their tenants, you can in turn offer their tenants special discounts. Everyone wins.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising like Google AdWords can be a highly effective way to get found on search engines. Just keep in mind that you need to understand how PPC works in order to reap the rewards. Otherwise, you could end up spending hundreds, or even thousand of dollars a day on “clicks” that don’t translate into customers.
Search Engine Optimization
Another extremely effective way to connect with prospective customers is through search engine optimization (SEO), which is an approach that utilizes on-site and off-site content to boost your “findability” for important keywords. As with PPC, make sure you know what you’re doing here or else your journey on the SEO landscape could be regrettable instead of rewarding. It’s worth working with a reputable SEO firm who will handle the details — and there are many to handle!
The Bottom Line
If you’re a disciplined spender and saver in your personal life, then it’s wise to translate this trait into your business life — not by denying your business what it needs to survive, but by ensuring that you make every dollar work as hard as you do. Applying any or all of the above marketing solutions will help make that happen, and ideally put your business on a long-term path to sustained success!