South African businesses’ budgets have begun to shrink under the increasing pressure of the Ukraine war, load-shedding, increasing inflation rates and more. Research has shown that marketing department budgets, particularly communication and research costs, are some of the first to be reduced in the face of shrinking budgets as they can be cut quickly and without laying-off employees.
However, reassessing your marketing strategies and ensuring your brand is top of mind as consumer priorities shift should be a top priority as consumers become more price sensitive. Marketing remains the best way to effectively communicate your brand’s value offering despite tighter budgets.
Marketing strategies to grow your business on a budget
Here are our three tips to help you keep growing your brand during tough economic conditions:
Tip 1: Setting goals for your Brand
When Budgets are tight it becomes increasingly important to rethink your priorities and invest in the marketing strategies that will give you the highest ROI in the short run without sacrificing long-term value. This begins with realigning your branding goals ensuring a cohesive brand image, from this you can create new communication strategies ensuring that your brand perception remains consistent while accounting for the new financial environment.
Your goals should help you achieve 6 key objectives to improve brand strategy:
- Differentiating and positioning you brand through improving your brand personality and clearly communicating you unique selling point.
- Keeping your brand ahead of the competition through brand monitoring and market research.
- Optimising and updating your website to ensure a user-friendly experience, quality content, up-to-date information, and attractive design, etc.
- Making and embracing changes which help your brand evolve and increase your chances of successfully achieving your corporate objectives.
- Keeping in line with embracing change, ensuring that you are up to date with the industry trends and developments so as not to lose relevance.
- Consistency across all channels is the key to developing long last credibility and relationships with your audience.
Tip 2: Choosing the right marketing strategies
Once you have chosen you brand goals it is then important to align these goals with your brand strategies. This begins with analysing what it is that you are trying to achieve and how you can best achieve it.
Here are 6 effective budget-friendly marketing strategies that you can implement to achieve your strategic goals:
- Networking – networking allows you to increase brand awareness, meet potential clients and understand the intricacies of your target market as well as your operational market
- Maximising client referrals – your client’s word of mouth is the most powerful lead generation tool, and it significantly increases the likelihood of successful conversion.
- Using social media to create experiences for your audience – this allows you to engage and interact with your audience in a way that strengthens your relationship and creates exciting experiences at a lower cost.
- Creating quality content marketing strategies – content allows you to strengthen your branding whether you are positioning yourself as an authoritative figure, or a witty relatable brand – creating content to reinforce this is easy and affordable. Read more about how quality digital content influences lead generation.
- Influencers marketing – although larger influencers are becoming increasingly popular the power of micro-influencers should not be underestimated. They are more cost-efficient with evidence showing that audiences trust micro-influencers slightly more than world-famous influencers.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – which increases your long-term online visibility and ranking on search engines and increases your credibility and authority with online consumers
Why SEO is an integral part of your brand strategy
SEO is the most powerful inbound marketing tool, particularly when budgets are tight. Ensuring you can rank high on search engines secures you higher impressions without having to invest in paid ads. Investing time and effort to optimise your SEO is a fundamental part of not only increasing brand awareness but also makes it easier for you to target user intent and create a sustainable competitive advantage.
A good SEO strategy is an integral part of creating successful content online and its as easy as:
- Acquiring reputable backlinks by providing valuable content
- Optimising your keywords and content to create easy to find top-of-funnel content through organic search.
Tip 3: Considerations when planning your marketing budget
Finally, it’s time to look at you budget and see where you can optimise your spending. When setting out your budget here are 3 key matters to consider:
- The geographic market you operate in, and your competitors’ average marketing budgets should inform how much you spend on marketing on average. Your location and market position play a big role in how much marketing expenditure you need to incur to create brand awareness or keep your audience’s attention. Oversaturated markets, for example, would require a bigger budget as there is higher competition.
- Your target market also plays a role in how much budget needs to be allocated to marketing as a larger target market would require more marketing efforts than a niche market. It costs less to advertise to a highly specific group than large segments, and if you focus your efforts on marketing a specific segment which will then market for you, such as influencers and personal sellers, this also allows you to save some effort in terms of content creation and marketing. However, this also means you have less control of your brand image and positioning.
- Finally, you should look at your available budget and be intentionally strategic about your spending. Think about your goals and objectives before committing to spending and always consider whether there is a cheaper way to achieve your goals. Even when you have the budget ensure that you are spending your money in a way which will provide you with good returns.
At Ignite Media we understand the importance of strategically allocating budget spend to get the most out of your marketing budget. We’re a digital marketing agency in Cape Town helping brands thrive online with a range of services, including website design and development, seo services.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you make the most out of your budget.