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Cintia Miranda Cintia Miranda
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Website: pulsemarketingagency.com

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Creative ways to stretch your marketing budget

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The U.S. economy is getting better I can tell. After four dry years, business is finally picking up, and small business owners are able to invest in marketing once again. That is not to say that as a country we're fully rolling - but there is light at the end of this long recession tunnel.

The best thing about tough economic times is that we are forced to learn how to become more frugal and use our dollars more wisely. This is also true when it comes to marketing your business. 2012 marketing budgets are not at 2007 levels yet, but they have been steadily increasing.

There are many creative ways to effectively stretch your marketing budget in order to gain more exposure. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1) Create evergreen ads Instead of creating several radically different versions of your ad for various specials or products, find a way to create an effective campaign that can be used in multiple outlets with only minor revisions. This way you'll save on design costs while building brand awareness.

2) Recycle your ads There are many ways to use your advertising creative for other marketing collateral such as a sales flier with more detailed information about your services/products, a direct mailer, an email campaign, and so on.

3) Create evergreen content Write articles that can be distributed to many different outlets, such as industry magazines and journals. If the content is good, you'll be surprised to find out how many publications will run your article within the first six months. Be certain to use the published articles in your sales package they make your brand look terrific!

4) Take advantage of discounts Many media companies offer a 5 to 10 percent discount if you pay for your advertising campaign upfront. Take the savings and apply the funds to another marketing activity.

5) Stick with the winning team If a marketing activity is showing results, stick with it. Reserve a small portion of your funds to try new programs, but don't mess with perfection!

In order to be able to measure your marketing efforts reasonably, we suggest that you stick with a program for at least 3-4 months. Don't place an ad for a month and expect results; that is not enough time to determine if the program is working or not, and you would be better off saving those funds.

In essence, no business is engaged in every marketing activity available to them. Choose the activities that make sense to your business and budget, and follow a consistent plan. Chances are you will see results that will not only pay for the marketing campaign, but will bring in more revenue that is the beauty of effective marketing!

Cntia Miranda is the president of Pulse Marketing Agency. Learn more about her work at www.pulsemarketingagency.com.

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