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Marketing To Education On A Tight Budget

Define the problem you are trying to solve
Understanding your specific goal will help you utilize the most strategic ways of marketing and save you time, energy, and money. Looking at your data and interviewing both employees and fans can help you decide what strategies you need to employ.

Align your whole team with the problem at hand
Make sure everyone on your team is on the same page when developing a problem, a solution, and a message at the beginning. This will help streamline the process of creating a marketing strategy. Our advice here is to align your leadership team and Board of Directors to a problem statement, keeping the brand relevant and top of mind. And, once everyone agrees on the problem at hand, set clear goals going forward to greatly reduce the risk of miscommunication and confusion later on in the process.

Get your fans involved
Activate your fan base by involving them in the key message and CTA. Whether that’s sharing content on social media, taking a survey, reviewing you online, or telling a friend about your organization, your fans are likely willing to help you out—especially if it makes them feel important, too. Helping you out will make them feel like they’re a part of something big, and help you get out your message more quickly and to a broader base of people. And if you have trouble getting people to participate, try doing a raffle or offering a prize for people who have helped you out, as an extra incentive to get involved.

Discover what you have and what you need
Take inventory of all your marketing assets and media. List out what you have at your disposal—including people’s time, opportunities, and connections, as well as marketing and advertising tools and assets. Then, when you’ve made a specific list of what you do have, create a marketing plan with everything you’d like to use.

Once you know what you have at hand and what you’ll need going forward, list out gaps to fill and new opportunities to pursue. After this is done, you’ll know exactly what you need and can make a strategic plan for the future.

Enlist help from partners
Using your fanbase and professional connections, enlist the help of pro bono creative and media partners to develop the campaign. If you’re doing good work, you’ll likely find someone who wants to help and be a part of it. So, once you’ve taken inventory and know what you need, don’t be afraid to crowdsource those needs!

Use digital
Digital and social media can open a lot of doors for low-budget marketing campaigns. Social media is a great (and free!) way to mobilize your fan base and get the word out about your organization from everyday people.

Digital ads can go a long way with a small budget, especially on Facebook. And on digital, you can specifically target the audience you want to reach online, so you’re only paying for the people who are most likely to be interested in your organization—not wasting your budget on people who aren’t interested. But before you jump right into digital and social, remember that content creation does take work, and it’s necessary to keep up with it in order for your efforts online to be successful.

Define key metrics and measure
When you define your problem and your goals, decide what metrics you need to keep track of in order to measure your progress. Then, create a system to measure those metrics regularly so you always know how much progress you’ve made, and so you can adjust and tweak parts of your marketing plan as you go.

Say thanks!
Marketing—especially on a budget—requires real work from real people. Make sure your team, partners, and advocates feel appreciated and like they’ve made a difference.

MMS Education can help you identify your competitive advantages, analyze your data, and conduct customer research to learn why and how customers value your product compared to those of your competitors. Call us today at 866-382-6116 or fill out this form to see how MMS Education can help you.

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