Education

Low-cost social media marketing ideas when you have a tight budget

3 Mar 2022

Nowadays, Social Media isn’t so much a choice to promote your business as it is a necessity, and if you’re an SME, you can put together a very cost-effective campaign quickly and effectively. Social media platforms are uniquely positioned and structured for novices to market their brand and promote their message from day one. Facebook (Meta), LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat can deliver results and get your business exposure that would have proved impossible to achieve in the past using more conventional methods, like placing ads in local newspapers. You don’t require unique skills or deep pockets to create a comprehensive social media strategy. Imagination, flair and persistence can rapidly reap the rewards. So, let’s consider some of the leading social media platforms and identify five initiatives you can promote across the spectrum with minimum effort.

Vintage camera social media contrast

1: Content is king; write a blog and distribute it.

You don’t have to be a wordsmith or prolific blogger to make the best use of blogs to promote your business on social media. If you post a blog on your website, it’s effortless to copy all (or part) of that blog and distribute it to your followers and customers via social media.

If you consistently post your ideas and thoughts on your website’s blog section, keep it light, engaging and not too technical. You know your business and industry, so why not share details about your business evolution and new developments, say what’s happening in your industry, and offer some opinions? You could post a snippet, image and or a link to said blog on your platforms.

If you come across as passionate about your business and an enthusiast for your industry, you’ll help elevate your brand’s agency.

Depending on your business, you could send the blog to leading publishers. Don’t be reluctant; many industry publications are desperate for fresh content, particularly if it has insight and can provoke a healthy debate. If you can become a referenceable and respected figure in your industry, you can get significant exposure for practically zero cost.

2: Narrow down your target audience to choose the most effective platforms

It’s vital to identify the demographics of your customers because, most likely, they’ll prefer specific platforms depending on their age. Despite evidence that Facebook has experienced a collapse in use over recent years, it’s still an incredible channel for older generations who may be late social media adopters. If, for example, you run a gym, salon or restaurant, Facebook can still be relevant.

LinkedIn and Twitter could be better choices if your business is professional. Instagram and Snapchat typically appeal to younger audiences.

It’s up to you to generate the right balance. Fortunately, since all social platforms provide audience data (analytics) you can analyse the metrics, to judge which platforms deliver the best response, clicks and potential sales to coordinate future use.

3: Consider your budget and apply it carefully

You can run your social media activity and campaigns on a tight budget if you’re a small business. Depending on your success and budget, you could employ a part-time social media expert, use a scheduling platform such as Buffer or outsource the responsibility entirely to small agencies that specialise in the medium.

The key is to match your spending to performance. If you can prove that organic (free) social media activity leads to increased interest and sales, you’ve given yourself the ideal base to consider finding a small budget. Alternatively, you may decide you’re getting an excellent response for close to zero spending.

4: Think about teaming up with influencers, Instagrammers, or vloggers

Influencer marketing is a trending method that businesses use to spread the word about their brand or product. Some influencers have vast and loyal followings. Depending on your budget, you could employ influencers to recommend your product or service.

It would be best to do some research first. Check out the number of followers, likes and comments you have and the overall engagement rate of each platform. You could also look to your competitors for ideas or build out an ideal customer ‘persona’ or ‘SWOT’ analysis.

5: Use video content to build interest and loyalty

You don’t have to employ the services of a professional to get high-end production; the power of an up-to-date smartphone with over 10 megapixels shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated. You can buy a small tripod to ensure no shake in your recordings and get creative to promote your work and business yourself.

Imagine you’re a gym owner showing the correct form for an exercise, a chef illustrating your latest dish on your revamped menu, or a salon offering a speeded-up time-lapse video of your latest hairstyle and colouring technique.

Let’s say you’re a heating engineer or plumber. You could develop a series of videos showing the public how to perform the simplest tasks: adjust the pressure in your boiler, replace a washer or unblock a sink. You can place video content across various platforms, including TikTok.

Despite that service being primarily optimised for short videos, you can make it work for you with some creativity. And don’t forget that YouTube is, in fact, social media and comes with a free to use industry recognised video editing suite, ‘YouTube Studio.’

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6: Get interactive with your clients

There are many ways you can directly engage with your clients by getting interactive.

Stream an “ask me anything” session, though, only if you’re sure you’ll get the numbers to make it worthwhile and credible.

Create a referral or loyalty programme (Affiliate Marketing) for clients to bring new customers on board.

Hold a competition or contest, reveal the winner at a particular time and live-stream the choice or awarding of the prize.

Host a session or panel displaying your expertise; a bench press class as a gym owner, how to cook pasta correctly (the Italian way), or how to correctly use a pair of hair straighteners.

Which funding options are suitable to invest in social media campaigns?

In summary, it’s easy to overlook the incredible power social media can have on your sales and brand. You’re not placing an advert in a local paper and hoping for the best; you can get proactive and build your base from a standing start in no time if you apply some consistent effort and flair.

Split the words down; you get social by using media. In the history and evolution of business, we’ve never had such powerful and often free tools at our disposal.

If you learn the basics and skills quickly, you might consider building on your early success by paying for content and activity. Several funding options could be suitable.

Working capital, overdrafts or an advance from a merchant payment service provider are all options worth consideration. At Funding Options, our team of highly specialised business funding experts stand ready to help you narrow down your choices.

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