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The Small Business Blueprint for 2024: Planning and Budgeting Your Marketing

You know you need a game-changing marketing strategy for 2024, but you have no idea where to start. Let’s be real, when it comes to running a small business, every penny counts, but not every move gives you the results you want. That is why having a diverse and intentional plan for the year is so important to your marketing efforts. So, let's chat about how to get the most bang for your buck and absolutely crush your marketing next year.

Dream Big, Start Small

Where do you see your brand a year from now? Got that picture in mind? Good! Now, backtrack from there. Setting those big, shiny goals is exciting, but remember, every giant leap starts with a small step. Get a piece of paper or pull up a document and outline the mini-goals that'll get you to that grand vision. Start with a brain dump of all your ideas and thoughts on growing your business and marketing strategies that will get you there. Create a roadmap for yourself that you can follow all year long with a timeline and tactics assigned to each step.

The Money Talk

Let's tackle the elephant in the room: budgeting. First, take a look at what you spent this year. What gave you a killer ROI? What didn’t? Use that information to guide where your dollars go next year. Customers will tell you exactly what they like and want with their response to your marketing strategies. So focus on what works and build your budget around that information. And pro tip: always set aside a “just in case” fund for those unexpected marketing opportunities (or hurdles) that pop up.

Dive into Digital

The digital world is kind of like a party that never stops, and trust us, you want to be on that guest list. Whether it's social media ads, email marketing, or revamping your website, allocate a good chunk of your budget here. The audience reach and engagement levels are still extremely affordable and powerful!

Staying on Trend

As we’re on the brink of a brand-new year, let’s chat about trends. What’s going to be the next big thing in your industry? Sharing your thoughts not only paints you as the go-to expert but also gets your audience excited for what's coming. If there are any cool new products or services in the pipeline, now’s the time to drop those teasers! Work this into your digital marketing plan!

Old School Still Rocks

While taking advantage of the digital scene, don’t forget the power of traditional marketing. Flyers, local news coverage, or hosting a community event can work wonders, especially if you cater to a local audience. Mix and match to find your perfect combination of old and new marketing efforts.

Engage, Engage, Engage

Let's talk about loyalty for a minute. Keeping a customer is more cost-effective than attracting a new one. So, invest in keeping those conversations going. Maybe it's a monthly newsletter, a loyalty program, or interactive social media posts. When people feel connected, they stick around. Reach out to your customers and make sure they know you are available to help them with their needs in the new year. And while you're at it, have you said "Thank You" lately? It’s surprising how far those two words can go. A heartfelt shoutout to your loyal customers or spotlighting any loyalty programs you have in place can make your customers feel like VIPs.

Educate & Elevate

Consider setting aside some of your budget for educating not just your team but your audience as well. Host a workshop, attend a webinar, or even grab an online course. When you learn, you grow—and when you share that knowledge, your brand shines brighter and becomes more memorable. Education also keeps you up to date and allows you to position your company as an expert in your field.

Test the Waters

Dedicate a portion of your budget to experiments. Maybe it's a new social media platform, a different advertising method, or an innovative collaboration. Not all will hit the mark, but the ones that do will provide an amazing return on your investment.

Just Be Yourself

Today's audience loves brands that keep it real. Consider campaigns that pull back the curtain, show the behind-the-scenes, or even share your successes and hiccups. It builds trust, and guess what? It doesn’t always require a big budget.

While big brands might have deeper pockets, small businesses have heart, agility, and a personal touch. With smart planning, creativity, and some tenacity, your marketing for the next year is set not just to resonate but also reverberate. Here’s to making waves in the new year!


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