Whether you’re just getting your small business launched or you’re looking for ways to be more cost-effective with your budget, this list of four ways to save money in 2013 will be beneficial to you!
1. Skip the Conference Junket Unless You’re a Speaker.
Conferences are undoubtedly a great place to network and meet potential partners and clients/customers. However, they are also very costly to attend (without even factoring in airfare, hotel fees and ground transportation). Unless you’re a speaker, I would highly suggest skipping conferences in 2013 as on way to save money.
In the past attending a conference might have been the only way to network with high profile people in your industry, but today that is not the case. Thanks to LinkedIn, Twitter, blogging and a host of other social communities and channels you have many cheap or free opportunities to form relationships with partners and customers from the comfort of your office.
2. Don’t run TV or radio commercials.
TV and radio commercials offer a great way to reach a really large audience quickly, and surprisingly brand advertising aren’t that expensive. On the surface these kind of commercials seem like a great way to take your business to the next level; however, there are large downsides to consider.
First of all, many households today have the ability to fast forward right through commercials so there is no guarantee that anyone will actually see your commercial. The same thing is true with radio – many people listen to commercial free satellite radio these days. This is part of the reason why the cost for TV and radio commercials has come down significantly.
An alternative would be to advertise on Internet radio platforms like Pandora or Spotify where free users cannot skip commercials and ads. You could also move your TV advertising dollars to Hulu or YouTube to save money. Not only are these online ads going to cost less but it is much more cost-effective.
Instead of paying to reach a general number of households or listeners through TV and radio – where its not even guaranteed that those people will be paying attention – through online platforms like Pandora and Hulu you’re able to pay per click or pay per actual view and save money.
3. Invest in Building Your Facebook Community.
A large, targeted and highly engaged Facebook community can really boost your brand awareness and sales. The fastest way to build up your community is by using Facebook ads where the campaign type is to get more people to “like” your page. These ads run on a CPM basis (cost per thousand views) which makes them really inexpensive. If your ad is targeted at the right people your cost per new like could be as low as 10 cents!
Be sure to do research on your target audience before setting up the ads to save money. When putting your first campaign together don’t go with the default settings – tailor your ad reach to be targeted by demographic, geographic location and interest. Also be sure to include a strong call to action in the ad. For example, a health spa might say something like “LIKE us today for health tips from our expert staff of nutritionists!”
Once you’ve built up your Facebook community you can begin engaging them with high quality content that informs them about your industry, product, services or whatever else you deem appropriate. You can also link the community back to your blog, main website, online store or wherever else that will help you increase sales!
Facebook advertising can be really inexpensive compared to Google AdWords or similar online advertising platforms – but the targeting capabilities are more advanced!
4. Use Templates for (Almost) Everything.
Stop reinventing the wheel every time you send a new email promotion, create a new landing page, design content to share on Facebook and Pinterest and write a new eBook. Instead, start using templates for everything except for your company logo design!
Hire a great designer/developer to help you create templates for your marketing campaigns that can be easily updated. This will not only help you save money (you don’t have to pay a designer/developer for each new campaign) but also time because editing a template is much faster than starting from scratch.
Sure, you will want to a/b test your new templates and make small changes for optimization purposes, but this is also much easier and smarter to do than starting at the beginning each week/month/quarter.
What other ways would you suggest to save money and generating a better ROI in 2013? Leave a comment below!