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market your business on a budget, Podcast recap

How to market your business on a budget

“I am building my own business in the B2B space. I’ve built most of my product myself, and I’m almost ready to launch. I’d love to bring on a marketer, but I don’t have the budget right now. Hopefully soon. What’s your advice for getting news of my new tool out into the world? We have a basic website and social media, but nothing else.”

This was a question asked by a listener of the Anonymous Marketer podcast, which tackles various questions from the B2B marketing community. As a guest on the podcast, I had the pleasure of answering it! You can watch or listen to the episode here.

Truthfully, there are a million different ways to market your business. We all know that there are so many shiny objects out there fighting for your budget. But how do you know what’s going to work? How do you create effective marketing for a business on a budget?

Marketing strategy task #1: Identify the right audience

If you’re trying to market your business on a budget, being strategic is absolutely critical to avoid spreading your limited resources too thin. Take a step back for a minute and get crystal clear on your target audience: who is the audience for your product, and what is your value proposition to that audience? You may already have some portion of it, but do you have a detailed profile of who you’re going after?

In the B2B space, you need to understand the types of companies that will be clients for your product, as well as who within that company you are selling to. What is their role, what is their demographic? What do they care about? What are the problems that keep them up at night? When you have those answers, it becomes much easier to make marketing decisions more strategically.

Marketing strategy task #2: Nail down your value proposition

Your value proposition is the problem you solve best for your target customers and how you do that for them—it’s not necessarily tied to the problem that your product solves. We had a client we worked with a few years ago who installs fences. Instead of talking about the quality and types of materials, their value proposition ended up focusing on the way they deliver that service—they show up on time, all of their workers are employees, they wear uniforms, they’re driving logo-wrapped vehicles, they’re polite, etc. This is the unique value they brought to the table relative to their competitors.

Once you know who your target audience is, I would encourage you to think about these questions with your own product or service:

  • What problem do you solve for your ideal customer?
  • How do you solve that problem in a unique way that nobody else in your industry does?

Once you figure out these two things, you will have strategic guidelines for making many other marketing decisions.

Check out our free download of strategy questions to work out your target audience and value proposition.

Now you’re ready to move into tactics.

Marketing tactic #1: Focus on your website

If you have limited resources, consider putting most of them into the website and getting your SEO going—it takes a lot of time to build up but can pay dividends for a long time. Don’t settle for a subpar website just to cut some costs in the beginning. My main theory about marketing is to focus on your website first, then build your email contact list, and then layer in things like social media and paid advertising on top of that.

What makes a good website?

  • A good website should be scalable and adaptable to the evolving needs of a business
  • WordPress stands out for SEO optimization and flexibility in design and features
  • Long-term vision and SEO basics should guide website development
  • Security and maintenance are crucial; regular updates and monitoring are essential
  • Choosing a reliable hosting and maintenance partner helps prevent issues like outdated content and security breaches

Learn more about the essential components of a small business website.

When it comes to writing good website copy, you may be familiar with the StoryBrand methodology for writing websites. It’s a great way to think through the problem you solve, the solution you bring to the table, and how you help the hero of the story (your target customer) transform. StoryBrand also helps you get outside of thinking of the details and features of the product and think more about the audience and the problems you solve for them.

Yes, SEO is worth it for small businesses!

Even as a small business, you can win at SEO, and it is worth your while to pursue. SEO is a long-term strategy. Once you get to that point where you’re getting organic traffic, you suddenly take control of your sales funnel because people are coming to you. Compare this to pay-per-click ads, where as soon you stop paying for them, they stop generating leads for you. Be patient, but have an SEO strategy from the beginning.

Marketing tactic #2: Build your email list

Building an email list means that, unlike a social media audience, you own and control your contact with leads and customers. I always recommend focusing on that, even if you’re building up a social media following.

Many founders start their email lists with a spreadsheet of email addresses—people who have been interested in their product in the past, mentors, or anybody from their contact list. The next step is gathering email addresses of potential clients through content marketing, like our free download of strategy questions. You can fill out a form on our website, give us your email, and we will give you this piece of content. Now, we’re building our list. Anything that provides value to your audience (enough to make them give you their email address) can work.

Marketing tactic #3: Set up a Google Business profile

An often-overlooked piece of low-hanging fruit is the Google Business Profile. It’s free—the ultimate way to market your business on a budget! All you need to do is set it up and claim it. Having a Google Business Profile gives you another chance to feature in search results, making it easier for potential customers to find you when they search for relevant products or services in your area. It can also improve your credibility and trustworthiness since users can see authentic reviews and ratings from previous customers.

Marketing tactic #4: Be choosy about your social media use

The social media platforms you choose to use to market your business depend on who your audience is. If you’re trying to market your business on a budget, you’re probably all over the socials because you can get going for free. But not all social platforms are equal for all businesses.

For example, we started working with a client last year, and they were killing it on TikTok, but getting 0 leads from the platform. As we defined their audience, we found that the demographic they were targeting with their service wasn’t using TikTok. You need to be strategic about where your target audience goes for information, and that’s where you need to have a presence. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you better be on Yelp; if you’re a medical provider, you better be on Healthgrades.

For a B2B audience, LinkedIn is where the business conversations are happening. If you do have some budget to invest in social media management, hire somebody who can create posts for your principals or your leadership team. Personal profiles are power!

Is your LinkedIn presence lacking?

Do you find yourself avoiding LinkedIn due to frustration or uncertainty?
You could be missing out on valuable opportunities.
Get 30 days of LinkedIn content ideas for service-based businesses!

Facebook is great for sharing links and interacting in groups. There’s so much going on in groups that it can be productive for businesses to spend time there.

If you don’t have a service that lends itself to a lot of visuals, Instagram probably isn’t the best platform for you.

Key questions to consider:

What are the appropriate platforms for your industry?

Where does your target audience go for information?

Marketing tactic #5: Invest in content marketing

When you know that problem that you solve for people, you can create endless content around it. It’s worth investing in working with a good writer who knows how to work with you. Your writer should be able to write outlines, research, come up with topics for you, and write in your brand’s voice. Once you have a good relationship with a writer, he or she is going save you so much time and generate far better results than you would be able to generate yourself.

Get a marketing mentor in your corner

If hiring a marketing agency is out of reach for you right now and going through the strategies above sounds a bit intimidating, take advantage of our expertise to learn how to DIY your marketing in a way that makes sense for your business. With Marketing Mentorship, we’ll teach you how to work our magic—at a fraction of the cost of hiring us to do it for you. It’s the ultimate way to market your business on a budget.

Schedule your free 30-minute introductory call with me to find out if Marketing Mentorship is right for you.

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