Inbound marketing can be done on a budget, but a caveat is needed. Doing something on a budget doesn’t mean doing it halfheartedly.
Too often, businesses hear “inbound marketing” or “social media” and assign an already-overworked employee to put up Twitter and Facebook accounts which then end up neglected, giving the impression of a company that isn’t on top of things and can’t be bothered to communicate with customers.
However, even a business with a small budget can use inbound marketing effectively to generate leads and retain customers.
So, what exactly is inbound marketing, and why is it so important? Inbound marketing is marketing in which the customer or potential customer comes to the business or organization rather than the other way around.
In other words, it invites customers in via blog, e-newsletters and social media along with other methods as opposed to using such outbound marketing methods as direct mail, cold calling and television or newspaper advertisements. The good news is that inbound marketing is usually less expensive than outbound. What are some tips for a business on a budget?
Most companies above a certain size will have at least one or two employees who are savvy about social media and the internet. Rather than outsourcing marketing or hiring someone new to handle it, a company may be able to identify someone from within and add this to the job description. This does mean that the person or team will need relief from other duties to allow sufficient time to develop and implement a marketing plan.
Content is the way forward for inbound marketing, and this means making sure that the information delivered to customers is engaging and relevant. Freelancers or contract workers are cheaper than full time employees because businesses do not pay for benefits and overhead; however, just as businesses should not skimp when allotting resources in-house, it is important to look for freelancers who balance reasonable prices with delivery of good content. Buying poor content at rock-bottom prices will cost a business in the long run.
Develop a Focused Strategy
Big companies with huge budgets can afford multiple methods of inbound marketing, but a business on a budget should focus on just two or three types of inbound marketing and do those well. The demographics of the customer should be the guide as to the best choices. For example, Twitter might be a good medium for communicating with twenty-something’s but an e-newsletter might be more effective with the retired set.
Consider Marketing Automation
Software tools, some of them fairly inexpensive, can assist with some of the most repetitive tasks associated with marketing such as lead generation and management, organization of customer data, mailing lists and more. These can be particularly helpful for small businesses that lack outside consultants or a full marketing team to take care of these aspects.
Inbound marketing can be done on a budget, but nothing in life is free including good advertising. With a modest investment of time and money, however, this type of marketing can pay great dividends.
How innovative have you been with Inbound Marketing and how has this affected your budgetary considerations ? Comments are welcome…
Steve Minks has over 25 years of IT & Digital expertise with a background in Property Development, Telecoms and as an accredited Health & Fitness professional. Now empowering businesses through improved Digital Marketing strategy designed for those seeking to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. Outside of work, Steve enjoys writing on a range of subjects, exercise and visiting historical places.