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How to work with a small marketing budget

Let’s make it clear – to make a big impact on a saturated market you must have a budget. But if your product has strong advantages or you are ready to have your thinking cap on I can have a few ways for you to raise your sales.

1. Get yourself a proper analytics run

The first step to lower the cost of real ads is to look at your numbers. Set a few time horizons (last month, last quarter and last year). Look for the strongest channels with consistent revenue and try to ditch those, which seems to stagger, but not definitely. Remember to test all the minor and major changes. This will give you a necessary intel for further optimization. 

2. Set measurable goal

This one is probably the most important. The small budget makes you reconsider all the priorities leading your business in the digital market. We all know that sale is the ultimate goal but what if you struggle to get them on satisfying cost level. 
Remember the golden triangle of ads: Budget – Time – Content. If you don’t have a budget you are left with time and content as a weapon. So how can your example goal look like? Get 10 000 people to know your business within 3 km within next month or set up a remarketing ad with a strict schedule based on your data. Pinpoint targeting and patience are the keys to get ahead with your competitors.

3. Start from the bottom

To turn users into customers they have to know… that you exist! Starting points are ads targeted to reach the more from your target audience they can. Then, if people are familiar with what you do, you can start to convert them into active users of your website. Next step is converting those users to customers, hopefully returning ones. 

So let’s make a plan! The first month – pure reach, next month – start to serve the previous active audience interesting content. Once they get engaged with your website start setting up remarketing ads. This way step by step you can diversify your budget to target your most important clients. Protip – the moment you get first sales set up a lookalike audience and start the circle all over again!

Having a limited budget doesn’t mean you can’t make your ad campaigns effective. Most of the time an advanced optimization can make the trick but for more difficult cases there is always a growth hacking marketing – a way of promotion based on close to 0$ spend on advertising mixed with looking for the best-converting channel via solid analytics data. Just look for example – Hotmail added a small line under your email telling it was sent via Hotmail service or Dropbox making waiting list to use the service and giving free space for a recommendation. Just as the saying goes – work smarter, not harder.