3 more tips for stretching a marketing budget

Careful financial management is an important aspect of successfully operating a small business, especially when it comes to marketing efforts. Entrepreneurs must dedicate sufficient resources toward generating brand awareness without hurting their bottom lines. In an effort to save money, 29.3 percent of independent companies won’t increase their marketing budgets in 2013, according to AWeber. The software publisher also found that 68.1 percent of entrepreneurs plan on spending more on advertising this year.

Small business owners don’t have to increase spending to create effective marketing campaigns. Companies can adopt frugal strategies like using the same promotional items for multiple giveaways. ¬†Cost-cutting maneuvers give entrepreneurs the freedom to dedicate more resources to other ventures.

The following three strategies can help small business owners stretch their marketing budgets.

Don’t hire outside help
Some jobs are best left to expert professionals, but independent companies might be hurting themselves by seeking marketing assistance. For instance, ¬†Entrepreneur Magazine reports that enterprises can save thousands of dollars by hiring amateur photographers instead of professionals. Alternatively, many similar tasks can be completed in-house, meaning that owners don’t have to pay for any outside help.

Advertisements and graphics can be created with consumer-level software. Entrepreneurs can design templates for email and print advertisements and then generate custom graphics for new campaigns. The software can also be used for logo design, so that every company can place a recognizable emblem on marketing materials – including unique promotional products.

Partner with other businesses
Teamwork is an essential part of corporate success, and it doesn’t have to be limited to inter-office cooperation. Local companies can combine their marketing efforts to reach the optimal number of consumers, rather than competing for attention.

Multiple businesses can split their advertisements equally and share the costs. For instance, ads in local newspapers can feature three logos instead of one. The strategy can help establishments grow by sharing leads and customers within the group.

Entrepreneur recommends working with businesses that offer similar goods and services. Owners should work within their industries to avoid confusing their clients.

Find ways to combine efforts
Many advertisements are restricted to one medium, which can hamstring their effectiveness. Marketing messages reach more consumers when they can work through multiple channels. The multimedia approach allows small businesses to increase the frequency with which they reach out to consumers.

Small business owners can combine traditional resources with new platforms. For instance, Quick Response (QR) codes can be printed on promotional marketing products to direct consumers to digital content.

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