What if my marketing budget is $0 or close to none?

What if my marketing budget is $0 or close to none?

Every business, one time or another, will make some type of comment that they don't spend anything on marketing. They hear horror stories about people spending so much on marketing without any kind of results or that their marketing budgets seem out of control, and there's no way to tell if it helps to grow the business or not. Well, if someone is going to start a business and not have any meaningful marketing budget, then they are going to have a very long journey toward sustainable growth. 

Think of marketing as something that is directly tied to sales. It's meant to bring awareness and potential customers to a business and eventually convert it into a sale. With the dawn of digital marketing, this has been easier to track with the right types of tools that help to show if a certain amount of money is spent, it will lead to a certain amount of money made. These come in different formulas, such as the cost per acquisition (CPA) and average order values (AOV) of those acquisitions. 

If no money is spent, it's based purely on organic growth, which can play out differently for different businesses. For example, you may think to yourself you're opening up a restaurant in a busy neighborhood or a big city, and the foot traffic will be enough for people to come in and start earning sales, but in reality, even those locations still need to market, promote and let the neighborhood know that the restaurant is open. Otherwise, it will take more time. 

Consider this situation. See if a marketing budget upfront on a monthly basis will be lower than your operational overhead, such as salaries and rent, and then decide if you can wait the additional months to a year to pay those costs in a physical location versus putting funds into marketing to boost traffic and sales. 

The same goes if the business is an online-only business. You want to be flush with customers because, as everyone in the digital marketing industry knows, it's all about consistency and momentum. So if you find yourself only selling a few items on your eCommerce shop or only a couple of people a month signing up for your online yoga or coaching course, it could stay that way indefinitely. 

I still have little to no budget; what can I do? 

Well, if you're still set on not spending or investing funds into your own business to help grow it, then you can handle some of the items on your own. You'll still need to put a few funds into building a website and working on the content. 

That means you'll need to write the website content, articles, updated blogs, and so forth so that people will be able to find you via web searches. This can be quite time-consuming, especially if you've never written articles before in the past. They need to be written in a way that focuses on keywords and structure. There's also something known as Meta Data that you'll need to research and ensure that your website has enough meta keywords and the right meta description. Remember that regardless of this type of marketing, it will still take months to gain meaningful traction. 

Then you can work on growing your social media presence, but you'll find yourself more on social media than probably running the business's operations. Growing followers organically not only takes a lot of time but also takes a lot of effort as well. You need to be continually interacting with your community and researching and engaging with other communities related to your industry. This means continually collaborating and finding ways to build partnerships, all with the mindset of growing followers, likes, or subscriptions. It is possible, and with the right amount of effort, you'll start to gain that traction around the same time your content marketing strategy starts to work. 

Yet then you'll have to start handling the business and sales aspect and growing your company. That doesn't mean content marketing and social media marketing stop. In fact, as your sales and operations grow, you'll need to also work on expanding your marketing channels on your own. 

Do a cost-benefit analysis

Truly check to see if there's no budget available. Also, make sure to check if your hourly rate is worth the time you're spending building out that content and trying to grow your social media village at the same time. There are plenty of resources and tools out there that will give your social media channels the right kick, as well as have a marketing budget to have all your channels grow. 

Without any type of funds put into marketing, it may not be the best time to operate the business, or maybe it's more important to scale it down, free up some marketing funds, and expand everything as sales expansion continues. 

When you find those additional funds, a great cost-effective way to grow your social media channels is through the use of SMM panels. You'll be able to set your budgets accordingly and see quick results in your social media channel growth. This will not only help you feel comfortable spending money on marketing but will help accelerate your social media presence. Look at our SMM panel to see your options and estimated cost per use. 

Alan W.

The Social Media Growth Author

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