Marketing 101: The tools to grow your business without blowing your budget

Are you excited about the new business you’ve recently launched but aren’t seeing the type of growth you’d like? Unfortunately, many first-time entrepreneurs sink the majority of their money into their start-up and leave very little, if any, room in the budget for marketing. 

This means that in order for your business to succeed, you will either need to be a marketing genius, hire help, or you can find affordable tools to help increase your sales conversion. Luckily you don’t need to be a guru or pay an extra salary: we are going to tell you about some affordable, helpful tools that you will find useful on a budget. 

Keep reading for more information and find some tools without blowing your budget!

Keeping contact with current and potential customers

One of the easiest ways to keep in contact with customers is to obtain their email. To do this, you could use an entry pop-up (but let’s be honest, most people hate those) or an exit pop-up.

The difference between these two is relatively simple: the former is shown to a visitor when they ‘arrive’ at your site and the latter is a less obtrusive way to gather information or call the person to action. With this said, both are great ways to obtain your potential customers’ names. 

Once you’ve figured out how you will gather information, you will need a plan to use it. Typically, your plan will include emailing customers with newsletters, weekly or bi-weekly sales, and promo codes. These will serve as a way to continue to generate interest in your business. 

There are a number of services that can help make this process extremely easy or even fully-automated. If you happen to use Gmail for your business, you can perform a mail merge from your Excel documents to Google Sheets in order to make mass emails an easier task. 

Aside from merging your Excel email lists to Google Sheets, you may also opt for services that allow for personalized greetings and messages.

Create helpful SEO-friendly content

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which in a nutshell, allows your website to rank when people are searching for keywords that relate to your business. You can do this by using SEO keywords throughout your blog. 

While SEO is important, it shouldn’t be the only goal of your blog. Your ultimate goal should be to create helpful and engaging content that users want to read which will make them more likely to convert. This content will be easy to read, geared toward your primary audience, and should include a few images. 

Allow readers some insight into how your business operates, introduce your team, talk about your products – whatever it is you choose, be sure that people will want to read it!

Feature beautiful photography

Smartphone cameras have come a long way in the past few years which is great for small business owners. You can easily snap acceptable photos of your products with your phone and have them uploaded in minutes. 

Even if your photos are well-composed, you will probably need a small amount of editing. The problem with doing it yourself is that this process takes time and know-how. Sending you photos off to a retouching service will also take time – very often, the time you don’t have!

Retouch flow production is an affordable option that returns your images to you within the same working day. This means that your photos are retouched quickly by professionals, sent back to you, and are able to be posted to your site within a few hours. This can help keep your website current, up-to-date, and always looking fresh for new and repeat customers alike. 

Post to Instagram like it’s your job

Instagram is a wonderful platform that can help you reach thousands of people that would otherwise never know about your company. The key to Instagram success doesn’t necessarily have to do with how many times per day your account posts; it has to do with consistency. In fact, one or two Instagram posts per day are plenty enough for most businesses. 

If you have been posting several photos per day, choose to keep doing so. If you post on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:00 pm, continue posting on those days and at those times. Ideally, you are choosing to post on the days and times that the majority of your users are active. 

Aside from the consistency, your photos need to showcase your products and look fantastic. Always do a little retouching or editing before posting, even if it is just to bring out the colors of your picture. Once you have the perfect photo to share, consider your caption and your hashtags. 

You need to find hashtags that are relevant to your business but not so popular that your post is buried immediately. Additionally, you want to use several hashtags, but don’t overdo it; having too many hashtags seems spammy and most people won’t read through them anyway. 

This description of how often to post to Instagram probably sounds like a chore. This is understandable, especially if you are the sole employee of your business. Look into Instagram automation tools within your budget if this is the case. These services will allow you to upload several posts at a time and set the dates in which you’d like them to be seen. 

Find what works for you

Obviously, there is a lot of information about marketing a small business and it may seem overwhelming. That’s okay. Take it one day at a time, and once you have one plan implemented, begin working on the next plan and tools can help you, even on a budget. 

Additionally, if you find that a marketing tip isn’t working for your business after you’ve tried it and given it time to succeed, don’t be afraid to change tactics. Marketing is an ever-evolving industry, so what works for you now, may not work in the future; or it may not work for another person at all.