Social media marketing has shown itself to be a true leader in the past year. While once believed to be nothing more than a blip when compared to traditional marketing techniques, social media networks have made it easier than ever for businesses to market their brand image.
Whether you’re a business stricken by the effects of a global crisis or a new company looking for ways to share your brand identity, you might be worried about how to properly implement a social media marketing strategy. More specifically, you might think—due to traditional marketing tactics—that you might not have the budget needed to effectively create and manage a social media campaign.
However, here’s where the benefit of social media becomes crystal clear: You can run a social media marketing campaign on a strict budget. Due to their free-to-use nature, social media apps can be readily transformed from a company customer representative platform to an outbound marketing strategy. Here are a handful of ways your company can create and run its own social media marketing program on a tight budget.
1. Learn before you implement
Don’t jump straight into the deep end. Even if you think you know how social media apps work, take the time to learn about how it can be used for marketing purposes, from identifying key performance indicators to setting available costs for on-app marketing campaigns. You’ll find places to avoid and areas to best invest your money this way.
2. Identify priorities
Budgetary constraints can make it difficult for your company to identify where it wants to place its focus—you only have so much money to place in each segmented pile. You’ll have to set some aside to determine where your company’s most money will be best spent depending on the type of campaign or program you want to run for your business. This can include setting aside money for digital media creation software, social media content management systems, or how much you want to allocate monthly for paid advertising.
3. Choose your channels wisely
While you might want to throw your business into every social media channel, you might end up spreading yourself too thin. Rather, stick to just a few apps, ones where you can effectively market your brand and rely on the help of affiliate marketers or social media influencers to share your products and services.
4. Update old campaigns and content
You don’t always have to start anew. Have an old blog you want to share with the world? Update its language and content for modern trends and share it via a hyperlink through Twitter or Facebook. Want to discuss a project your company undertook a few years back to give yourself personal coverage? Make a short video showing what your company did and upload it to YouTube or Instagram. Recycling content, when done right, can help you make the most of what you already have.
5. Get creative
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a profitable social media campaign, no matter what anyone tells you. Learn more about your market insights and metrics to determine where you can best post content, whether by platform or by the time of day you decide to post. You don’t always have to rely on paid advertising to make waves.
6. Utilize affordable and free design tools
There are a lot of free and affordable visual assets available through the internet—Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator don’t have to be a must. Consider digging around the web to find free-to-use software that allows you to easily edit photos, create presentations, and more. A simple app can make it easy for you to share statistics, infographics, brand images, and brand identity with little effort, all while not having to burden the cost of a monthly subscription.
7. Make the most of stock photos
While there are paid stock photo sites out there that offer thousands to millions of photos that are pay-to-use, there are free stock photo websites that offer high-resolution photos at no price at all. Included under the creative commons public domain, you can use free stock photos without having to either pay the provider or credit the origination of said photo.
Great options include PixaBay and StockSnap.io. Don’t always trust Google, either. Not only might you end up with photos that are low-resolution, leading to poor, grainy marketing images, but you might end up copying and pasting an image that is not covered under public domain law, which could cause your profile to get struck, or, at worse, lead to your company having a lawsuit filed against it.
8. Make use of your network
Reach out to your customers on a regular basis. Have they made a purchase? Ask them to sign up for email notices or to follow you on social media. Send them updates of highlighted social media posts and content on a bi-weekly basis, or simply produce social media content that is intended to be shared, whether it is wholesome, informative, or funny. These people know your business well. You should be making the most of social media to spread the message of your brand with other people.
9. Evergreen content works wonders
Sometimes companies will put all of their focus into creating and distributing content that is meant to meet the trends of the times—content that is relative to social media trending phrases, hashtags, and moments. While this content might cause a one-day spike in audience engagement, it won’t have a lasting effect.
That’s why your company should spend more of its time focusing on evergreen content: content that is made to stand the test of time. Your best bet when creating content is to both do your research and write on a topic not covered very often. Why the latter? Because your content will end up sitting in a part of the market that is usually overlooked but deserves attention. Find your company’s niche and write about it. You are sure to find your audience, and they’re bound to share your content with others within their community.
You can almost do it alone
Running a successful social media campaign doesn’t need to require a twenty-person, in-office team and three managers. With a little research and care, you can effectively share the message of your company with others around the world.
About the author
Nick is a digital strategist with over twelve years’ experience in planning and executing marketing plans for B2C/B2B brands. Currently, he’s the Marketing Manager for Refersion, the advanced affiliate marketing platform that helps brands manage, track, and grow their affiliate network.