Looking at ways to be on top form on a shoestring budget

Times are tough for everyone, but your business still needs to be seen and heard. However tight your budget is, you must have a social media presence. It has been proven time and again how the clever use of social media and email marketing receives brilliant ROI and conversion rates.

  • The most important thing to know is who your target market is.
  • Then look to your options of social media marketing channels, where this market plays.
  • Don’t think that because you have a small budget you shouldn’t bother with the intricacies. Even more reason to be meticulous with your social media strategy ensuring you perfectly represent your voice, values and image to reach your goals and objectives.

The more you post, the bigger your footprint. But make sure it’s quality over quantity, and do fun stuff such as giveaways and competitions as this drives growth and ignites engagement. Social media is a massively powerful tool; so use it wisely.

Successful social media campaigns on small budgets

Boleyn is Back – Tower of London

  • Marketers at the Tower of London harnessed two of the most useful tools of the trade, aside from money, in their Boleyn is Back campaign – social media and a good story.
  • The latter came in the form of Anne Boleyn, undoubtedly the most famous former resident of the London landmark.
  • To engage modern audiences, they re-enacted the queen’s final day in the capital with the help of an actress and social media.
  • She took selfies and tweeted, just like any other person in 21st-century London would, as she went about her day, all published with the hashtag #BoleynisBack.
  • Several other brands bolstered the campaign, with Transport for London tweeting about her trip on the Tube: “More comfortable than the royal horse-drawn carriage”.
  • With few material assets to be produced, the reliance on imagination, and the power of the hashtag, the Tower of London made little outlay for the campaign yet gained significant attention from users and the media.

#GOBACKPACK – Jack Wolfskin

  • One way to keep costs down in marketing is to take advantage of user-generated content.
  • This is a tried and tested model that has had varying degrees of success, as it all depends on the elegance of how that content is harnessed.
  • One brand that got it spot-on was Jack Wolfskin. The only outlay for the company was to get a whole load of #GOBACKPACK flags made, which it gave away to customers with their purchases.
  • They were then encouraged to feature the flag in a video of their own creation in order to claim back the price of the kit they’d bought.
  • What resulted was a vast gallery of more than 1,500 promotional videos shot by the people who know Jack Wolfskin’s products the best.
  • The campaign was such a success that the outdoor clothing brand has built another competition on its foundations, in which winners get to stay at the GOBACKPACK Camp on an uninhabited island in Scandinavia.


Tips for creating videos that don’t cost a fortune


1. Make use of free design tools

People are busy  – they don’t always have time to read and see it as a task. But they do have time to take a glimpse at visual graphics. You know how a picture tells a thousand words; well, the same applies. You don’t need to have Photoshop experts and a video production team (but it would be nice). You can easily find programmes that offer images, animated stickers, infographics, templates, memes, flyers and presentations. Obviously just add your own branding.

2. Don’t spend a fortune on images

Stock photos are the way to go to accompany your social media posts. Don’t take photos off Google as this will incur massive fines for copyright theft. Make sure your images are good quality and align with your brand. Licenced stock photos are free to use once you have bought them. However, there are free stock photos available – great news! Look at these sites StockSnap, PixaBay, Unsplash, Splitshire and Pexels. You might have to add a colour filter, logo, text, sticker or a caption.

Even better, take your own photographs! Today’s smart phones have great quality cameras. Again, make sure that any images you share are great quality, and that if they are of people, you always have their express permission to share online.

3. Creating videos is crucial

Online video content is a massive hit, and clients are often influenced by a brand’s social media presence this way. If you don’t have a videographer, no problem, you can just use your smartphone for free to go live on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn. Keep your videos short (30 seconds or less) or create a rolling GIF.

4. Consider paid advertising as a good investment

First things first: you must have fabulous content, inspiring design, excellent branding, and an engaging community. Sharpen your marketing and make sure you know your target market and where they look. If you can, pay for advertising on just one of these popular channels, knowing your content will be seen. Ask the questions: Where do my clients communicate, at what times, and why is this or that channel so popular?

5. Make use of the best user-generated content

User-generated content creates trust, is free and engaging. In other words, it’s awesome! Use videos, podcasts, a review, a tagged post or a social media post. It’s authentic, someone else has experienced it and is telling their truth. Identify influencers who can experience and talk about your brand. This is a great solution as it’s about your clients and not you selling your wares.

6. Meet the micro influencers

Celebrities are expensive and not always that effective. Enter the micro influencers: popular, sincere and incredibly cost-effective. Obviously make sure there are no false photographs and claims – honesty is the best policy.

7. Re-use your content

Why not? Your content is great, and you have invested time researching and creating your blog, brochure, fact sheet or video. Repost content that your influencers have shared, rewrite great blogs with the latest stats, and change posts or tweets into infographics.

8. Learning a little about SEO is essential

SEO is how businesses hurtle to the top of search engine pages – and this could be your time to rise and shine.

9. Engage with your community

Gain a better understanding of how your audience thinks, feels and behaves. Take the time to respond to individual comments and queries, and engage one-on-one with your followers. It’s really all about initiating a two-way conversation.

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