One of the biggest barriers to entry to inbound marketing is a lack of budget. So, what is a business to do? Not market at all? Just wait for business to flow in on its own? That is just going to lead to a bigger challenge, the my business is in ruins challenge. And we cant help you there! So, before it goes that far, lets find a way to make it work.
Stop Spending Money on Ineffective Marketing
Is there something youre doing now that used to work, but just isnt working as well now? Perhaps youre still spending money on television or billboard advertising. Or, maybe youre sending your sales team to several trade shows that just arent living up to your expectations. Used to be those brought in a decent amount of business, but perhaps now you are just throwing money away trying desperately to return to the days when that worked.
Its nothing to be ashamed of. Most of us have those skinny jeans in the back of the closet just in case one day they fit again. Ditch the ineffective marketing AND the some day jeans and live in the present.
Look! Youve found some money to invest in inbound marketing.
Oh, and if you arent spending ANY money on marketing or advertising, its time to rethink some things. Namely, how important is it to you that this business succeed. Very, you say? Thought so. Then its worth the investment.
Do Some of Your Marketing Yourself
Are you spending time making cold calls by phone or in person because thats what youve always done? Are you seeing a diminishing return on your efforts? How many hours a week could you instead spend writing blog posts or ebooks or networking on social media?
While this isnt cash you can spend on a marketing agency, it is time you can spend doing some of the marketing yourself saving what there is of your marketing budget for those things you arent equipped to do or dont enjoy doing.
Use Free Tools
Some of the best marketing tools out there have free versions that are plenty powerful for beginning marketers. Some of our favorites include:
Mail Chimp Email marketing
Buzz Sumo Competitor research and content inspiration
HootSuite Social media scheduling and monitoring
Buffer Easy, on-the-fly social media scheduling
Canva Create and edit images online, easily
WordPress Website and blogging platform
Feedly Easily find great content to share
Dont Demand Perfection
Want to start a blog, a podcast, or to create ebooks or videos for your business? All are within reach for most business owners, particularly if you have a talented employee or two. They may not be as polished as you would like, but it is so much better to be useful to your customers than to hold back while you wait for your some day when you can afford the best in production.
Spend the Budget You Do Have Wisely
Paid ads like Facebook Ads and Google AdWords can provide a quick boost, but as soon as you stop paying, the traffic will stop, too. And, unless people are going to call you as soon as they hit your site, if you dont have any way to capture leads when people visit your site, youre basically throwing your money away anyway.
Prepare to spend several thousand dollars on a full inbound marketing strategy. If you dont think youll be able to implement it all right away, ask your agency to help you prioritize to get the best return for your efforts. When you have the strategy in hand, you can begin to put elements into place that will start to boost your traffic, leads and sales, so that hopefully soon you can hire an experienced marketing agency to do it all for you!
How much does a full inbound strategy implementation cost? Well, many companies are surprised to find out that in most cases, you can expect to pay upwards of $3,000/month. The best agencies become your marketing department. When you think of it that way, it doesnt sound so expensive. Not to mention the fact that for many companies, not doing inbound marketing is just not an option anymore. So, whether you plan to try to do it yourself or bite the bullet and get some help, its time to invest in your business.