How to Launch a Creative Marketing Campaign on a Budget

With creative marketing, your budget shouldn't limit your campaign. Imagination is just as possible without a million dollar budget - evening the playing field a bit for small businesses.

Often a unique, grassroots marketing strategy can garner far more attention than the traditional, cookie-cutter marketing campaigns of a larger company. Here are a few creative advertising ideas to give your strategy a boost.

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Creative designer working over his drafting board on a new campaign storyboard

1. Play to Your Strengths

Every organization has a differentiator. If you’ve done your due diligence with buyer personas, then you already know what your audience wants.

How does your product or service uniquely solve a problem or a perceived problem? Maybe you have the shortest implementation timeline in your industry. Perhaps you use recycled materials, and your competitors don’t, or you are a local company that gives back a percentage of profits to the community.

Keep an open mind and a sharp eye when you look for differentiators. They take different forms and resonate in different ways, but all are a springboard to accelerate your message.

2. Stop Selling & Start Helping

Once you’ve identified what sets you apart, do some research. What are your competitors saying about themselves? How well is it working or not working?

Your mission is to identify ways to set yourself apart from the noise of others in your market and find where you can help. The best creative marketing campaigns are the ones that don’t appear to be selling anything. They craft a memorable theme, weave it around the problem they are trying to solve, and subtly work in differentiators.

Don’t be afraid to be think outside your creative box. Find new and innovative ways to focus your marketing efforts on helping and solving problems. The awareness, engagement and sales leads will flow from the creative marketing force once you’ve built a loyal audience.

3. Create Headlines that Inspire

It just takes one viral headline to skyrocket a brand or individual into pop culture fame. What components of your creative marketing message could you spin into a digitally catchy headline?

Marketing doesn’t always have to be buttoned up and dignified. Poke a little fun at yourself. Play on a current event or trend. The creative marketing campaign ideas that go down in history are born from the unlikeliest of sources.

In our always-connected society, we compete for a fraction of the consumer's attention. We have only a second or two to grab a reader and draw them in. Scour the internet and your social media feeds to see what’s resonating with digital audiences and then brainstorm ways to craft your own viral campaign.

Better yet, just hit Google Trends for the hot buttons.

Female creative artist holding 20 paint brushes of all sizes in front of her face

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4. Use the Buddy System

Have you identified the social influencers in your space? They're the ones with massive subscriber lists, well-oiled blog machines, and perfectly curated social media platforms.

It pays for small businesses to get the attention of at least one of these marketing masterminds. Identify someone with a similar tone or message that aligns with yours. Complimentary relationships (a dance studio and a dancewear designer, for example) make great marketing buddies.

If a respected influencer takes notice of your brand and offers a mention or re-post of your content, the snowball effect can be incredible. Don’t be afraid to humbly and genuinely ride a few coattails of brands you admire. It just provides an opportunity for exposure. Someday, you can return the favor to another small business or entrepreneur.

Over to you

As you think of other unique ways to  market your products or services creatively, don’t let yourself get discouraged by a lack of funds. With all the blogs, social platforms, and video tools available today, you can easily put yourself in front of the right audience with little or no budget required.

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Eric Melillo

Eric Melillo

Eric Melillo is the Founder & CEO of COFORGE | A Growth Agency | HubSpot Silver Partner | Helping SMBs Grow Better using Inbound & HubSpot. Eric is also a lover of family, friends, and life. He enjoys good health, Tae Kwon-Do and discovering the most influential marketing trends.