5 ways to create an affordable marketing plan that delivers real ROI





In a rapidly evolving world, creating affordable marketing plans is increasingly dependent on your ability to use the latest consumer trends, to generate a profitable return on your investment.

  • Outline your target market
  • Use affordable influencers
  • Create in-house video marketing
  • Plan meticulously and budget
  • Use six-month plans to keep evolving

If you can develop the flexibility to adapt your marketing plan quickly to match consumer dynamics – then your business will become adept at creating affordable but effective campaigns.

Outline your target market

Getting to know your market is essential to effective consumer and client targeting. Affordable ways to gain insight include analysing your current data and creating competitor case studies.

Once you have developed a better understanding of the demographic you should be targeting, you can define a marketing plan with more precision and potentially save money:

  • Eliminate ineffective strategies
  • Make fewer mistakes
  • Enhance ROI via targeted ads and content

As your budget grows, consider looking into more complex ways to analyse data, such as artificial intelligence (AI). Consumer data marketing platform, Blueshift, found that AI increased customer engagement by 310-720% and revenue by over 300% compared to campaigns that used conventional methods.

Similarly, AI mobile push notifications performed twice as well as email campaigns that used the same technology.

Use affordable influencers

Using the latest consumer data to sharpen your marketing strategy is crucial – something highlighted by recent changes in social media platforms, particularly Facebook.

According to data published in 2018, Facebook’s organic search results are declining in their impact. This coincides with an increase in the number of people using the site. Statista report that Facebook now has over two billion active monthly users and 1.74 billion mobile users.

At the same time, paid social media is becoming increasingly important on the platform, and the need to spend on paid advertising on a channel like Facebook is a concern if you have a small marketing budget.

However, the changing dynamics of social media algorithms also illustrates the importance of influencers to marketers in 2018 and beyond. Crucially, selecting the right influencers can make a dramatic difference when it comes to marketing costs.

Typical fees from established influencers

The world’s highest-paid influencers reportedly charge over USD 250,000 for an Instagram post, while more standard costs tend to fall between USD 500-2,000.

  • Instagram: USD 1,000 per 100,000 followers
  • Snapchat: From USD 500 per 24-hour campaign
  • YouTube: USD 2,000 per 100,000 followers

However, if you apply some creative flair and think outside of the box, your influencer campaigns can deliver excellent results on a lower budget.

Someone with ‘Insta-fame’ and high rates isn’t the only solution. In fact, many startups and SMEs run into financial difficulty because they burn-up their marketing budgets by focusing on high-end influencers. Typically, this is done at the expense of creating authentic businesses that truly engage with their tribes.

Affordable influencer tips:

  • Consider authentic smaller influencers
  • Do you have a potential influencer in-house?
  • Can you employ an influencer to do other tasks?
  • Tech-savvy student influencers are increasingly popular
  • Become skilled at talent scouting in the influencer world

Remember, you can start small with influencers and monitor your results.

Create in-house video marketing

The emergence of new social media marketing channels, such as Instagram TV (IGTV), is also something to give consideration. One of your biggest marketing questions is how to create affordable and highly engaging video content.

And this is where in-house content creation can offer real hope for those with limited budgets. As revealed during IGTV’s 2018 launch, the platform is designed to enable Instagram users to watch long-form content for up to 60 minutes.

Fortunately, video content creation can be achieved with technology as simple as a good quality mobile phone.

And if you have excellent creativity (or someone in your team does), then creating content for platforms such as IGTV can offer a unique way to gain market traction without a big budget.

  • IGTV content
  • Snapchat
  • Classic Instagram posts
  • Ebooks
  • Youtube videos
  • Podcasts
  • Facebook posts/articles

Plan meticulously and stick to your budget

Most startups and SMEs will benefit from the combination of free and paid marketing. Naturally, the exact mechanics and options available will be largely dependent on your budget.

The first step is to define your marketing budget, and then try and create a holistic approach that is in-line with the capital available. The key here is to plan meticulously and create a spreadsheet and plan of action.

If your plan is undefined and lacking integrity, then the chances are you will make more errors, over-spend, and potentially chase profits by making poor decisions. But if you know exactly what you are doing (and when to do it) then you will implement each strategy and task with maximum efficiency.

Use six-month plans to keep evolving

Typically, creating a six-month marketing strategy is a good period of time to run a campaign and gain sufficient insight. However, in today’s online environment, you can also carefully consider running micro-campaigns over much shorter periods, to test their potential.

During the next decade, marketing trends are likely to constantly evolve as new online platforms and technology shape how companies can influence people most effectively. Creating affordable marketing plans is likely to be increasingly dependent on using the latest trends to deliver a good ROI and fuel business growth.


Steve Mayne | Managing Partner – CREATIVE ZONE

Steve Mayne is a founding Managing Partner of CREATIVE ZONE – Dubai’s largest company formation firm, established in 2010. He brings more than 26 years of experience in sales, business consultancy, corporate leadership, and entrepreneurship to his many commercial and community endeavors. 

He has also worked with a number of global organisations specialising in logistics and process engineering. With his expertise in workspace solutions and company formation consultancy, he has played an integral role in providing support and advice to many startups and incubation centres.


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