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Crawl, Walk, Run: What Marcom Activities to Prioritize on a Shoestring Budget and as You Scale

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How can you reach your target market if you’re working with a modest marketing budget? Have no fear! You can prioritize your marcom efforts to get the most bang for your buck, and then scale as you’re able. Especially for budding to mid-sized businesses, trying stay afloat during uncertain waves of customer engagement can mean ebb and flow in marketing budget as well. Here are five ways in which you can prioritize and scale your marcom efforts.   

Priority #1: Start with your site
Your website is so important! It’s how customers get to know you and for many SMBs it’s the first place a customer goes to get information about your products or services. Any initial marcom spend should be invested in your site. This includes preparing your website marketing message, search engine optimization (SEO) and focusing on your website’s content. By having a clear marketing message with a prominent call to action (CTA), your website will start doing some heavy lifting. Also, focusing on SEO and content will make sure that you get found online.   

Priority #2: Build credibility with PR
Your next stop should be a public relations (PR) strategy that builds credibility. PR encompasses a wide range of tactics, and a skilled PR professional will be able to identify the best course for your business and stretch your budget. This may include social media posts on owned channels, press releases, pitching content to media outlets and industry publications, setting up interviews or even creating a thought leadership plan. There are many facets to PR and the idea is to get as much earned media as possible.

Priority #3: Expand your audience with social media ads
Once you’ve exhausted all appropriate PR avenues, you can expand with paid social media ads. The trick here will be to use refined target market parameters to ensure you’re reaching the right people at the right time. Social media advertising can be very affordable, and by selecting one to three platforms (no need to be on all social media outlets) you can build an even more robust campaign.

Priority #4: Dive deeper into value-added content
Your website will most likely have a bit of this type of value add, but now’s your chance to dive deeper into your content. Creating value-added content like videos, white papers, infographics and other sharable items provides not only value to your customer, but also to your other marcom efforts. All of these items can be pitched to media and shared on your owned channels.

Priority #5: Iterate, improve, explore
Congratulations! If you’re here you’ve scaled well and now it’s time to review. Circle back to the beginning and determine if any adjustments need to be made in strategy or budget allocation. Complete any needed improvements. Perhaps you’ll want to explore a new option such as influencer marketing. If your budget has made it to this point, it’s a good opportunity to test the waters with a small investment and see if you can find another marcom channel that works for your business.

Crawl, walk, run
It’s okay to start small and build your marcom efforts as you’re able. The important thing is to make the effort to address this portion of your business. Many SMBs may feel like marketing is an all or nothing venture, and that’s simply not true. By prioritizing your efforts and scaling as more budget becomes available, you’ll be able to develop a robust strategy and make the most of your marketing spend.