Thought Leadership on Revenue Growth Through Qualified Leads And Increased Closing Ratios presented by Kristin Vozzo at Verasolve.
No matter how big or small your company is, your marketing budget is a crucial resource for growing your business. Tight budgets need strategic and laser-focused marketing efforts to get the most bang for your (limited) buck. To get the maximum ROI out of your budget, try these three marketing tips:
1. Bulk up on thought leadership.
It doesn’t always take an ad to get the word out. Maximize your budget by making the news. Work with your marketing team to focus on pitching articles that showcase your expertise in local and trade publications.
Thought leadership can come in many forms, but the common thread throughout is to provide your audience (read: prospects) with useful solutions to their problems and to do it in an engaging way — a way that not only informs, but also entertains.
Diversify your efforts across multiple thought-leadership outlets to maximize reach; use local publications to become familiar to your local business community, and try leveraging industry publications to boost your credibility and be viewed as a leader in your field.
Finally, don’t overlook LinkedIn — push out long-form posts on a topic on which you can share unique opinions or points of view. Use these posts to start conversations and, ultimately, increase your visibility and generate new prospects.
2. Leverage centers of influence.
Talk to current customers, trusted advisors and business partners, and leverage those relationships to help you tailor your message. These people can become an extension of your sales team. Each time they recommend your services and make introductions to their own centers of influence, they provide you with additional leverage in the sales process.
Before you approach a center of influence, make sure you have materials to share with them that describe your value proposition and the services you offer. Do you have a website that looks credible and professional? Can you direct them to leadership content such as white papers, blogs or articles that illustrate your expertise?
Finally — and most importantly — make sure that the relationship is mutually beneficial to ensure it is long lasting. Invite your contacts to a workshop, seminar or networking function where they can make valuable new contacts themselves, or offer up your contacts to them in return.
3. Be strategic.
A limited marketing budget forces you to be more strategic and stretch your marketing dollars. You need a website and business cards, but outside of those two things, you don’t need to spend a lot of money — especially if there’s no guarantee on a return on your investment.
However, using low-cost, grass-roots tactics to reach a smaller, well qualified audience can often be more effective than spending those big bucks on advertising campaigns that reach a huge audience of unqualified prospects. Advertising in trade magazines can run you thousands of dollars, but contributing an article to those exact same magazines? Absolutely free. Many publications accept guest contributions and let you promote your business in your bio, so take advantage.
The best thing you can do to ensure a focused strategy is to clearly define your yearly marketing plan, which will provide you a roadmap that leads you to reaching your growth goals!