As startups, perhaps you are eager to expand your business and reach out to a much wider audience to build your brand and gain leads. But oftentimes, the lack of financial resources will hold you back in utilizing marketing campaigns for business growth. Most startups would not want to risk investing in a marketing program which has no assurance of ROI. But wouldn’t it be riskier not to have any plans of progress for your business at all? Apparently, you cannot survive in any industry unless you take a financial risk to boost your marketing campaign. Marketing is the heart of any business and there are marketing programs you can practice which does not require a large amount of money and yet can effectively increase your revenue. Here are some affordable marketing practices you can utilize for your business growth. Be Your Own Savvy Social Media Manager A social media manager plays a big role in marketing and you cannot just pick anyone to manage your social media. This is why most businesses consider outsourcing their social media marketing campaigns. However, for startups, it can be impractical to hire a social media manager to do your social campaigns. According to Indeed, social media manager’s average monthly salary is at $3000. This amount can actually be used to other marketing programs if you manage your own social media channels. If you are active on social media and you have some experience in social media marketing, it may be a good idea to be your own social media manager. You don’t need a complicated social media campaign to start with. You can start from the basic — set up a page or channel, regularly post updates and build interactions with your followers. There are several social media marketing tools that you can use to help you manage your channels. Tools like Canva, Hootsuite and Social Clout allows you to create images, schedule post and analyze metrics of your social media accounts respectively. Use Your Team As A Brand Ambassador You don’t need t hire separate brand ambassadors for your business. You own team can be your brand ambassador if you know how to empower and encourage them. Start with your marketing team. Empower your marketing to be great and they can give you great results. There are basically three steps to empower to team; Learn to say no and allow your people to solve problems on their own. Encourage discussion and ask questions to clarify things. Be updated on their progress. Do not just limit them to do tasks within their job description. Allow them to participate in sharing ideas and give them rewards for doing so. A lot of successful brands are not new to this kind of campaign. Starbucks is known for creating partners’ (employees) programs that will make them empowered. In fact, they got their own social media channels which feature partners from all over the world. Using social media, you can encourage your employees to be the brand ambassador for your business. When you show them that you care about their professional growth, they will devote themselves to promoting your business. Reuse And Repurpose Previous Contents According to PayScale, content writers have an average salary of $16 per hour and you can cut off the cost of outsourcing content writers if you know how to reuse and repurpose previous contents. More than that, repurposing content can breathe a new life to ineffective and unpopular content you already have. It can cut down time and effort you spend in making new contents but can still bring you the results you want. So how do your repurpose unpopular content? There are three main problems why content gets ineffective. It may be boring, too short or has little to no engagement. You can resolve these problems be repurposing them to make it fresh. Content does not necessarily have to be in text form. You can create infographics, social media images, videos, podcast and slideshows of your previous content to create a new perspective. You can also spot information gaps on short contents and elaborate more or you just need the right platform to promote these contents to get more engagement. Don’t just abandon ineffective contents and spend your time and money in creating new ones. You can still make this content useful and you just need to learn how to reuse and repurpose them the right way. Collaborate With Your Consumers It is about time that you rethink the role of the consumer in your business. They are not just customers but you can also amplify your marketing without spending too much through your loyal consumers. So how can make your customers help you improving your marketing efforts? You need to create something they can anticipate to. Krispy Kreme, for example, is joining the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day by creating a Green O’riginal Glazed Doughnut which will only be available for one day. This makes a sense of urgency and anticipation to its customers and consumers has been sharing this event to their own social media channels to invite their friends. You can also open a co-creation campaign where your consumers can participate in your marketing efforts to improve your service. DeWalt has been doing these for a while. They encourage customers and inventors to submit their inventions and ideas for new tools for the company and they give due credit to accepted ideas. Whenever possible, involve consumers to your campaigns as they can help a lot in improving your business marketing efforts. Structure Your Marketing Campaign Well Perhaps, the worst thing an entrepreneur can do that can cost a lot of money but with little to no return on investment is to jump in marketing campaign the whole business team can barely understand. Before you jump into any marketing strategy make sure you have laid down your plans well. Make sure your employees understand your objectives and their roles in promoting your business. This is fundamental to any kind of marketing and this will help you avoid unnecessary marketing expenses. Summary Marketing is fundamental to any business — but it could really be expensive. Unless you are a rich business tycoon, it isn’t practical to spend big bucks in marketing campaigns alone but it is also not a good idea to put your marketing programs on hold because of some financial constraints. So you need to figure out a way to utilize a mix of marketing programs that practical way. You don’t need to rush. As you get bigger and bigger, you can expand and get ambitious with your marketing strategies. For now, you just need to learn how to utilize effective marketing strategies which you can afford.