How to Market on a Shoestring Budget

A tight budget won’t knock your association out of the publicity game. Learn how to pick media channels that provide the most bang for your limited buck.

By Michael Kaplun, Senior Strategist, The Fratelli Group

**Full column published on ASAEcenter.org**

The big event is just a few short months away. Your organization and members are eager to begin promoting it and receiving substantial publicity. From advertisements to social media to news coverage, there is no shortage of communication channels out there to tell your story. What you’re lacking, however, are resources — namely, you’re on a limited budget.

A tight spending amount does not have to be a barrier to a successful campaign. When you plan right and stay focused, you can set your association up for success on a shoestring or sky’s-the-limit budget.

Set the budget early. It may be difficult, but you have to crunch the numbers and set your budget upfront. Do you have a few hundred dollars or hundreds of thousands? Knowing your realistic budget from the get-go keeps expectations in check and allows you to focus on activities you can afford.

Envision the finish line at the start. After you know what you can spend, ask yourself, what is our goal? What will success look like when you cross the finish line? Make it specific and achievable so you stay disciplined on what your organization needs to accomplish with the budget you have. Is it driving attendance at the conference? Are you looking to increase membership and
engagement? Thinking about the end goal at the start will help your team create a plan that’s built for producing a positive outcome.

Identify — and remember — your target audience. You know your budget and you know your goal. Now, who do you need to reach? Your audience drives everything, from how you frame your message to the tactics you use. Identify your key audiences at the start and then focus on budget-friendly tactics to reach them. …

Develop your game plan. Now you have a budget, goal, and target audience. It’s time to pick the communications channels that will reach your audience based on the dollars available. …

Read Michael’s full post here.