Small businesses face unique challenges when it comes to advertising. Unlike big corporations, you're not likely to have large advertising budgets to experiment with, but you still need to elevate your message above the competition. This means you don't have the money to waste on ineffective ad campaigns and need to allocate your efforts to methods with a history of getting results and maximizing ad spend.
Here are some marketing budget tips for maximizing ad spend while getting optimal results.
Identify Your Target Audience
Identifying your target audience can be challenging at first but well worth it in the end. HubSpot reports that ad placement and audience targeting are the top ways that advertisers drive more demand.
Build your target audience by:
- Evaluating reviews and available data to understand your industry's customer behaviors, interests, favorite platforms, etc. Then build a general description of the collective customers to narrow down one or more buyer personas.
- Diving deep into your ideal consumers' demographics, including detail such as age, income, occupation, etc.
- Getting familiar with your ideal customer's needs and problems and how your product can resolve those issues better than the competition.
- Knowing where to find them so you can focus your advertising efforts on reaching them where they are.
You can also find valuable information on your ideal customer by evaluating your best customers and the competition.
Stay on Message
All your advertising efforts have to stay on message to maximize ad spend. This ensures that your customers have the same experience with your brand at every touchpoint so they can count on knowing what to expect from you without any inconsistencies impacting them negatively.
The two primary reasons for 'staying on message' are to:
Include a version of your brand story
Simply put, stories are more memorable than facts and figures. Our neural activity increases 5x when listening to a story, and stories increase the likelihood a consumer will make a purchase. Fifty-five percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product in the future if they love the brand story. In contrast, 15% will buy the product immediately.
Consistency is key when it comes to consumers. Consistent presentation of your brand increases revenue by 33%, and 87% of customers think brands should work harder at delivering a consistent experience.
Diversify and Experiment
Another important strategy to consider is integrating marketing campaigns and experimenting with which ones work best for your brand and consumers. This means combining your efforts in multiple marketing channels like TV advertising, OTT, social media and other digital marketing means. Neglecting to utilize more than one channel could result in falling behind and missing a large portion of your target audience.
Eighty-seven percent of retailers agree that an omnichannel marketing strategy is critical or very important to their success. Yet, only 14% of organizations say they are currently running coordinated marketing campaigns across all channels. You don't want to be a part of the '14%' who miss out on the opportunity.
Develop a Marketing Plan
Start with SMART goals — which means your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely — to get the best results.
Studies show that 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. Consumers value brand authenticity and can be negatively impacted if they believe your brand isn't being true to itself, its consumers, and supporting the same authenticity in others.
Ensure You're Easy to Contact
Make sure your website/social media contact info is prominently displayed. Nowadays, customers take communication with brands very seriously when making purchasing decisions. Consumers must know where and how to reach you at any given time.
Customers have high expectations and expect you to be accessible 24/7 - and trust brands more when they are. They also report that 90% of consumers rate an "immediate" response as important when they have a question.
Partner with a Cause
Another trending strategy is to partner with a cause. Aligning your core values with a charity brings more value and purpose to your brand and positively shifts how consumers see you. Cause marketing, in particular, is becoming a vital component among consumers who want more businesses to contribute to the community and act more socially responsible.
When consumers think a brand has a strong purpose, they are 4.1 times more likely to trust the company. High-purpose brands will double their market value more than four times faster than low-purpose brands and will create much higher levels of total shareholder returns.
Focus on Digital
Digital campaigns effectively target your audience and can be cost-effective, especially when you want to change messages or get a message out quickly. Digital marketing reaches people where they spend most of their time. It also makes it easier for small businesses to compete with bigger ones and can be more effective in targeting your consumers with the extensive amount of data available.
Seek Free Publicity
Reach out to media outlets that cover your industry and encourage them to contact you for interviews or ask-an-expert segments. Consumers want to know more about your brand and what you have to offer, so a great idea to work with outlets willing to get your message out to consumers. It's a win-win for both parties; it's free publicity for you and expert insight for them.
Manage Online Profiles
Social media engagement is increasingly important as people start connecting and building relationships with brands through popular platforms.
Studies show that vertical videos with descriptions of over 300 characters can raise engagement rates from 0.18% to 0.39% on Facebook. Instagram is the second-highest used platform with 84% engagement, and ad engagements on Twitter increased by 27% year-over-year for Q3 2020.
We suggest setting up a free business profile on Google My Business to manage your online presence.
Partner With a Team of Media Experts
It’s no surprise that marketing your business is a fulltime job. Working with a media partner to maximize ad spend makes a big difference in the execution of your marketing strategy. It can be challenging to get results when you have budget constraints, but not impossible when you have expert advice and advertising budget tips from a partner who has a history of successfully working through these challenges.