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Innovative Marketing for Businesses on a Budget

Coral Drake | March 28, 2024 |

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Innovative Marketing for Businesses on a Budget

Are you running a business on a budget? No problem. With innovative marketing strategies, you can see a huge return on your investment while spending much less than you might expect. 

Here’s how to identify your unique selling proposition and integrate it into social media, Google local listings, email marketing, and tailored events to propel your business forward. 

Understanding Your Unique Selling Proposition

Your unique selling proposition (USP) sets apart your business in a competitive market and lets customers know why they should choose you. It's that distinct feature, service, approach, etc. that you should be focusing on in every aspect of your branding and marketing. 

A boutique that exclusively offers eco-friendly, sustainable fashion might have the USP "EcoChic Boutique: Where style meets sustainability. Every piece in our collection is crafted from 100% recycled materials. Feel good about how you look—and what you buy." 

Tapping into a growing consumer concern with sustainability sets this boutique apart from traditional fashion retailers while establishing a persona with which its customers want to identify. 

Struggling to nail down your USP? What would you say to a potential investor or customer in an elevator pitch? You probably feel that your business is special in lots of ways, but the pressure to nail down something definitive can help you identify that unique value that has the power to draw a target audience. 

The USP is the foundation for all your marketing endeavors. Using it strategically with innovative marketing techniques can offer a superb return on investment, even with a conservative budget.

Innovative Marketing On a Budget

Build an Effective Google Local Profile and Social Media Strategy

Establishing a strong online presence doesn’t have to break the bank. Social media and Google local listings (via Google My Business) only require the time it takes to build effective campaigns. 

Google local listings ensure your business is accurately represented in Google Maps and local search results so customers can find you and quickly check reviews of your brand. It exists regardless of whether you claim it or not, so engaging with your Google local profile really isn’t optional for any business that operates in a specific location, no matter the size. 

With social media, you have more options. New platforms are always coming out, and old ones are in constant flux. What worked on Twitter might not resonate on X (Twitter’s new, single character name). Entirely new strategies are demanded for emerging platforms like TikTok. 

It’s best to diversify if possible, but you don’t want to overwhelm your social obligations and fail to do any well. Ideally, you’ll choose two or three platforms that you believe resonate with your target audience and engage with them thoroughly and consistently on those channels. 

In many ways, you’ll want to treat your Google local profile and social media similarly. Regularly update your listing with accurate information, great photos, and engaging content. Respond promptly to reviews, whether positive or negative, with professionalism to demonstrate your commitment to customer service. 

How to Build a Social Media and Google Local Strategy

  • Behind-the-Scenes Content: Whether it’s Instagram stories showing the creation of a new product or a Google local post updating customers on a new store design, giving your audience a peek behind the curtain builds trust.
  • Team Highlights: Introduce team members or celebrate work anniversaries with short videos and posts. Staff-as-expert posts are a great way to show off the expertise in your company. 
  • User-Generated Content (UGC) and Reviews: UGC is more impactful than ever before. A whopping 93% of customers find it helpful in their purchasing decisions. As an added bonus, you can often get it for nearly free. Hold a contest or offer an incentive for videos of customers using your product, eating at your restaurant, or being pleased with your services. You may be amazed by the reactions to this kind of content on social media. 
  • Engage in Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Fill your feed on social media and Google with local keywords to improve your visibility in local searches.

Participate in Competitions and Community Partnerships

Competitions are a golden opportunity for small businesses to amplify their brand presence locally and online. Competitions incentivize participation by making it fun for your target audience to engage with your brand. There are so many ways to use competitions to cater to different interests and maximize reach.

Host recurring events like trivia nights at your venue to encourage regulars, foster a sense of community, and consistently attract a regular influx of business. Online, the scope for competitions widens immensely. Simple raffles that require participants to submit their emails or social media handles are a great way to build your social and email marketing campaigns and keep customers engaged even when they’re not physically present at your business. 

Contests centered around user-generated content can ignite creativity among your audience and offer you a wealth of UGC. Create competitions for compelling content like the most innovative use of your product, the best photographs of your restaurant’s food, etc. 

Ensure your competitions are well-advertised through local SEO practices, mentioned in email newsletters, and highlighted across all social media platforms. 

Leverage Local Fairs and Collaborative Pop-Up Events

A table or exhibition space at local shows or pop-ups is a cost-effective way to get your brand in front of a wider audience. Direct customer engagement and feedback are great for gathering valuable data about your offerings. Look for last-minute exhibitor rates to avoid high sign-up fees. 

Forming alliances with complementary, non-competing businesses can broaden your reach without overspending. For instance, a maker of ceramics (including coffee cups) could partner with a local coffee shop for a joint pop-up show; sharing costs, broadening the audience and reach, and offering more to the consumer than either business could have done alone. 

The key to maximizing this kind of opportunity depends on preparation and promotion. Prepare marketing materials like business cards and flyers before the event and distribute them anywhere you can to promote the event.

Utilize your email marketing and social platforms to build suspense with followers and subscribers and encourage them to share the event with their friends as well. 

Innovative Marketing can Build a Business Even on a Budget

Approaching marketing can be intimidating when you’re limited to a modest budget. After all, you might be up against huge spend from your national competitors. However, businesses with budgets of all sizes have advantages they never had. 

By understanding your unique selling proposition and integrating it into thorough, consistent social media, Google local listings, and targeted marketing, you can rapidly increase your reach—even on a budget.