4 Ways to Stop Burning Money in Ads but Still Get More Customers?

  • The eternal trick of marketing hits especially hard for startups and small businesses. How can you promote your business effectively, despite a limited budget?

  • If you’re not careful, embracing advertising means little more than burning through your marketing budget without having much to show for. But that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, here are 4 ways you can stop burning your money in ads, and still increase your customer base.

1) Embrace Content Options

First things first: rather than spend money to push your message to an audience that simply might not care, draw in the users that matter to your content. That’s the philosophy behind content marketing, a concept that has built significant momentum in the past few years.

Global internet users are tired of outdated marketing tactics. They are installing ad blockers by the hundreds of millions, actively steering around the ads they encounter everywhere online. You may pay for that ad, but it never actually makes it in front of your audience.

Content marketing avoids that problem. If you can turn your website and online presence into a valuable resource for your audience, they will actively seek you out. Blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, and other content is effective in drawing your audience towards you.

2) Find the Free Alternatives

Not every marketing initiative you engage in actually impacts your budget. In fact, if you know where to look, you can actually promote your startup effectively while relying only on free tactics. Consider as examples:

  • Search engine optimization, achieved through a strategic design of your website. Your goal is to build the structure and content of your website specifically so that it appears near the top of search results for relevant keywords and phrases for your industry.

  • Organic social media marketing. Not to be confused with paid social media ads, the organic alternative means little more than building a business presence on a network relevant for your audience. Publish enough posts relevant to your audience, and your followers (and with it, brand exposure) will follow.

  • Email marketing. At some point in the sales funnel, you should seek to gather the contact information of interested members of your target audience. Now, you can nurture them through emails via one of multiple free tools available to increase their chance of customer conversion.

3) Limit Your Audience

Depending on your industry, relying exclusively on free and content-based marketing strategies may not be enough. In that case, you can still make sure that your advertising dollars are well spend. All you have to do is make sure the people who see your ads are actually relevant to your brand.

Especially digital marketing has evolved significantly in its targeting capabilities. For instance, Facebook allows you to limit the users exposed to your ads by geography, age, gender, education level, interests, recent purchasing behavior, and much more.

Your message will be more likely to resonate with a relevant audience. By limiting that audience, you ensure that the marketing net you cast is at once smaller, and less likely to allow anyone to fall through.

4) Engage in Thorough Testing

Finally, no marketing strategy can be reliably successful and cost-effective without continuous testing and adjustments. If you never compare your ads to anything else, you may simply never know whether you’re only burning through your budget or actually attracting customers.

A simple way to accomplish that feat is through A/B testing. Each ad you run should exist in at least two variations (A and B). The variations should be identical, with a single element changed (such as the image, the call to action, the headline, or the text itself). Depending on which outperforms the other, you can gain insights into what types of ads your audience actually wants to see.

Testing, of course, is meaningless without actual lessons learned. After a given period, evaluate your ads, and place your budget in the variation that outperformed the other. Now, you can feel more comfortable in how your ad dollars are spent – or engage in another A/B test to further hone the message.

Startup marketing on a limited budget is far from impossible. However, you do have to be strategic in order to make it work. The above tips can help you stop burning through your marketing dollars, while still maximizing your ability to attract new customers. To learn more about startup marketing, and growing your small business in general, contact us .

3 Steps to Website Success

You could go crazy trying to keep up with the “new and the now” but you don’t have to. Setting out on the path to success with your website is as easy as understanding the 3 Steps.

Download free e-book for web success

Stay Connected!

Get new blogs delivered straight to your inbox! 
Protected by Copyscape

Web Business Success Podcast

Fill in the form to receive new episodes direct in your inbox
Subscribe New Episodes

Stay Connected!

Get new blogs delivered straight to your inbox!