As a digital marketing agency, budget is a word we’re very familiar with. We realize that large marketing campaigns like billboards, direct mail and TV/Radio simply aren’t as effective or affordable for small to medium sized businesses as they are for large corporations with endless marketing budgets.
This is where digital marketing can make a big difference, and your budget goes a lot further than it could with traditional marketing methods. By focusing your efforts online, you can reach a lot of people without the sting to your wallet.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Have you ever browsed a website, clicked off and then noticed an ad from that website seems to be following you around the web as you visit other sites? That’s remarketing at work. Google Remarketing is a tool that targets only people who have visited your website. After a visitor leaves, your ad will continue to follow them as they browse the web. Unlike Google AdWords, where your ad may only be shown once in search results alongside 10 other competitors, your remarketing ad is shown multiple times, often with higher placement and frequency.
Bonus: because remarketing has a higher focus on impressions (times your ad is shown) your media spend is often much lower than AdWords, where clicks and competition can be very high depending on your industry. If Google Remarketing doesn’t sound right for you, there are also many other alternative remarketing methods to try.
2. Email marketing (my personal favorite)
Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is not dead. Far from it infact, with an average ROI of 4300%. Yes, you read that right, 4300%. Email marketing is practically free (our clients have free access to our email marketing software) and remains my absolute favorite marketing method of all time. You can build your email list by adding a sign up form on your website, or having customers fill out a sign up form in your place of business.
Once you’ve collected the email addresses of potential and current customers, you can take advantage of all email marketing has to offer. Keep in touch regularly to keep your business top of mind (this is key in being the business your customers choose when ready to buy) and offer up helpful tips and information to your email subscribers to hold their interest. Remember, you are competing with all of the other emails in their inbox, so make sure your email is one they’ll want to read. Keep a balance between promotional offers and helpful information and follow these email tips to ensure your campaigns are effective.
3. Blog, blog, blog!
Blogging helps improve your website’s ranking in search engines (like Google) because blogging on a regular basis shows Google that you are consistently adding fresh new content to your site. Fresh new content on a regular basis = a current, updated, and informative website in Google’s eyes. Did you know that companies with business blogs also get 97% more links to their websites? Another key factor in boosting your SEO rankings.
In my opinion, having a blog is essential and can instantly set you apart from the competition. The reasons to start one are endless. If you’re having trouble coming up with content for your email campaigns and social media updates, think about how spending 1-2 hours per week writing just one new post could help lighten your load. By writing one post, you now have a piece of content to share with your email newsletter subscribers and social media followers, and you’ve also given your website a free SEO boost.
4. Enhance the reach of your campaigns with social media
First things first, understand that a social media profile does not replace a website. While this may save you some money in the short term, it’s never safe to put all of your eggs into one basket when it comes to marketing. When used correctly, social media is a great way to communicate with your customers and draw in new leads while supporting your other marketing campaigns.
Here are some social media best practices:
– Know what you want to get out of social media and what type of response is important to you as a business owner before you start.
– Set goals for yourself and make a plan.
– Don’t use social media solely to self-promote. Instead, focus on sharing interesting and helpful information. It’s okay to post about sales and promote every once in awhile, but your audience will eventually tune out if that’s all you post.
– Use it to enhance the reach of other marketing campaigns. Share your blog posts to your social media pages, promote your email newsletter and even include current promotions on your profile and cover photos.
– Choose the right social platforms for YOU. Pick 2-3 that you feel comfortable managing and that make sense for your business and don’t take on more than you can handle regularly updating.
5. Get creative!
Marketing online is a great way to get new eyes on your business and generate buzz, but it still shouldn’t be your only strategy. Look to your local community and get creative with how you reach those around you. Are there any local events you could participate in or sponsor? Could you host a seminar or informative event at your place of business? Getting involved is a great way to introduce your business to those around you and generate word of mouth marketing.
While it’s important to know how you can stretch your marketing budget further, it’s equally important to know where it’s wise to spend a little extra money. My recommendation: a quality mobile (and user) friendly website. If your website provides visitors with a poor experience (slow to load, difficult to use on mobile devices, not professional looking) that’s a lost potential customer. While a professional website may seem like a lot now, the update will pay for itself soon enough. Research shows that 30% of mobile shoppers abandon a transaction if the experience is not optimized for mobile, so this is definitely worth paying attention to!
No matter which marketing methods you choose, always strive to provide value. Whether it’s face to face time with a customer, resolving a customer complaint, sharing a blog post, sending an email marketing campaign or posting updates on social media, make sure that every message you put out is one that will help your ideal customer or educate them. Stand out from the crowd by showing off your expertise and putting your customers first – this is a surefire way to ensure your marketing dollars get stretched even further.