For marketers who are a part of profitable organizations, budget minimization may be the least of their worries, but for most marketers preparing for an economic downturn, budget cuts may already be in the works. The reality is that with uncertainty comes a more strategic approach to spending. Executive teams seek different free opportunities to be more efficient, but are they truly effective?
Most marketers understand the importance of a strong social media presence, but what else is there? Marketing to the masses can seem impossible, but that may be the first problem. Depending on your go-to-market strategy or product, you may not need to market to a broad audience, just your Ideal customer profile (ICP). This article will discuss how to make the most out of your freemium marketing to receive premium results.
Marketers with minimum support from other departments typically don’t start off Q1 with a large marketing budget. For most organizations preparing for an economic downturn, teams have begun to dwindle or throttle back on marketing activities, so Being creative seems to be one of the major staple points of most marketers and why they join the profession. Well, now is the time to put this to use. Coping with a lack of resources or a limited budget is where your bright ideas come into play.
Your product plays a pivotal role in your next steps. If you’re creating a marketing plan for a B2B company and serve as a solution to a magnitude of problems, you may want to use an educational route to connect pain to your product or write relatable content. As B2C, It may serve you well to use social media platforms and narrow down your target audience using Instagram Shop, Facebook or Twitter. Trade shows & live in person events can even help with putting a face to your product.
Building Your Marketing Plan Without Money
Here are a few marketing tactics to set your marketing plan up for success, give you a huge ROI and set up your no-budget marketing plan for success.
At the core of marketing is your ideal customer profile, those who are truly the best fit for purchasing your products and or services. Your ICP isn’t influenced or persuaded by opinions of the General public or by feelings, but is built on actual data. Through extensive research, you and your team should have enough information and facts to determine who these potential customers are. Your research should start by creating a customer profile including their demographics, their personality, motivations, goals & purchasing process which will narrow down who you would ideally like to target. Conducting a focus group or creating a survey for people to take will also help expedite this process.
Once you have finished your ICP discovery, present it to team members of the organizations to ensure that all members have bought in. It’s important for people who work with your customer data to understand where they should be focusing their efforts and resources. Now, this doesn’t mean you are essentially writing off all other potential customers and limiting yourself short in the MQL category, but it’s ensuring alignment and giving your team an understanding of where your spend is focused & the audience they need to go after.
You may be thinking, “What happened to the traditional ways of marketing?” “Are followers & likes really all that important?” Just so we are clear, perception and awareness are two different things. Perception is how people feel about your product or service, how they perceive it and how likely they are to refer this to their friends and family. Ultimately your comments, reviews and likes on post. Awareness is how many people know about your brand or product so this metric includes follows, retweets and repost.
To answer this question in totality, your social media presence is very important for brand awareness & perception. When a potential customer wants to know more about your product or service, they will take to social media platforms for more information and credibility first. So be sure that your platforms are up to date and constantly monitored.
Content is critical for every type of business that wishes to have a great web presence. This requires brands to understand their audience, and craft their message in a way that appeals to them.
These days, content takes on many forms, including blog articles, guides, interviews, social media posts, videos, podcasts to name a few. Quality content that is designed to educate, inform, or entertain is more likely to be shared by your audience.
But what if your brand is a thought leader, and used to educate people before making a purchase decision? Copywriting aims not only to increase brand awareness but to persuade a group to take particular action. If your team has a strong writer or a marketer in charge of tone & messaging, show them the early ropes.
Networking events have been around since the dawn of time. Putting a face to a brand and creating human interaction with those interested in your brand goes a long way for brand awareness and perception. A first impression is an important impression so why not make sure it’s strong and memorable. Connect with community forums and facebook groups to engage audience members who may also be interested in what you have to offer.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a set of practices that companies use to strategically manage interactions with customers and leads. Using a CRM system, you get data to analyze interactions throughout the customer lifecycle.
Your CRM database is vital to the success of your marketing efforts. Your ability to segment and target your audience with messaging that resonates will be key for your Go-To Market team. As head of marketing, you dictate segmentation of the database as well. So if you decide to split your database by demographics, you need to do your research and determine which day has the most successful open & click rate, how often your team with follow up with these leads and when to give your database a break (i.e. holidays, exhaustion) Nurturing your database with relevant content, will keep them engaged until a purchase decision is made.
These marketing tactics are completely free, they will just cost you the time it takes toward your marketing efforts.
Writing and publishing blog articles is an effective low-cost marketing effort for businesses, no matter what industry or size. Create valuable content to attract new customers, and position yourself as a thought leader.
Creating a social media campaign can be an effective low-cost marketing tactic. It is a powerful channel to engage with new potential customers and loyal customers.
E-books and Whitepapers
With e-books, a business can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry. E-books and whitepapers are “gated”, which helps generate online leads – this means users are required to fill out a form with their contact information like an email and phone number.
The landscape of video has begun to evolve and in this new age of Tik-Tok and Instagram shopping, the new generation has taken us to new heights.
Email is a cost-effective marketing tactic for organizations with a low marketing budget. Through segmentation, emails can be effective because they are highly personalized and automated through a platform. It’s a great way to reach current consumers
Creating a partnership with other businesses can be a great way to amplify your following and reach new audiences. It is an effective marketing tactic that does not cost a thing, other than time to write an outreach email.
Similar to marketing partnerships, guest posts are a great way to expand your audience through another organization’s online following. It’s important to choose websites that are relevant to your target audience and to provide valuable and high-quality content that will appeal to your audience.
Infographics can be a great way to present complex information in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand image. They can be used in blog articles or guides as a way to make content more shareable online.
Webinars are a way to increase thought leadership with no marketing budget. It can be expressed in plenty of ways shapes and forms, but webinars are a strong if not, the strongest lead generating tool most marketing teams have. It’s highly recommended and advised that your webinar have a speaker who is highly regarded in the industry, but if this isn’t a possibility content is key.
Employees are an extension of your brand, and can make the best brand ambassadors. Turning employees into brand ambassadors is an under-leveraged marketing tactic that fits into a marketing plan with no budget. Employee brand ambassadors passionately promote your brand online to external stakeholders on behalf of the company.
Podcasts have skyrocketed in popularity as a result of the pandemic. Podcasts are a great no-budget marketing tactic to build trust, and deliver content in a different medium. Podcasts are highly shareable, build community online, and build relationships.
Hosting a contest or giveaway on social media can be a great way to increase engagement and reach on social media platforms. This can be an excellent low-cost marketing tactic used to increase engagement and reach on social media.
Customers enjoy and relish the possibility to be involved with their favorite brands on social platforms for promotional recognition, so why not give them the option to be? User hash-tags and re-posting your brand pages in social posts go a long way in word of mouth marketing. Taking advantage of free efforts presented by happy customers/clients.
Networking events have been around since the dawn of time. Human interaction goes a long way for brand awareness. A first impression is important for brand perception so why not make sure it’s strong and memorable. Connect with community forums and facebook groups to engage audience members who may also be interested in what you have to offer.
Giving back helps organizations build a positive reputation and create a sense of goodwill towards a brand. By supporting a charitable cause or community organization, businesses can show that they are socially responsible and care about more than just their bottom line.
There are so many marketing tactics that can fit within a marketing plan with low or no-budget. It’s simply finding which tactics best work to reach your audience.
Planful can help you build a zero-budget marketing plan to give you the best marketing ROI.
Plannuh was acquired by Planful in late 2022, and is now Planful.com