Small businesses often have a tight budget for marketing. Digital marketing is often seen as the most affordable way to get your business in front of potential customers, but it can still cost money. You might not be able to afford all the bells and whistles of an elaborate digital marketing strategy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your business out there. With a small business budget, you need to find inexpensive ways to leverage digital marketing tactics that are effective and affordable. Read on for advice on how to implement three types of digital marketing on a small business budget:
If you want to build an audience and turn that audience into customers, you need to be blogging fairly consistently. Having a blog on your website is a critical part of any marketing plan. It’s not only a great way to engage with your audience and get new leads, but it’s also relatively inexpensive — because you’re doing it yourself. You don’t have to hire a professional to write your content for you, and there are plenty of free blog platforms to help you get started. Blogging doesn’t have to be time-consuming, but it does have to be regular and consistent. If you only write one blog post a year, it’s not going to have much of an impact, but if you write consistently, your blog will become a valuable asset to growing your business.
The power of blogging for me has been that the vast majority of traffic coming to my website may never see my front page. 76% of my traffic comes in through my articles. And 40% of that traffic comes through one specific post I made that has become the default featured answer on Google for the topic I wrote about. Having all this additional traffic means that I start ranking better for the other things that I really want to rank for. And all it cost me was the 30 minutes it takes me to write each one of those articles.
Facebook ads have become an incredibly popular and effective marketing method over the last few years. With the right strategy, you can use Facebook ads to get new leads and customers at a low cost. The only problem is that Facebook ads can be expensive. You don’t need to spend a lot to start seeing results, though. If you’re just starting out, you might want to try running ads to your website’s homepage instead of your product pages. This way, you can drive traffic to your website and collect email addresses from people who want more information about your company. This is a great way to generate leads at a low cost. When you’ve collected a few thousand email addresses, you can start running ads to your product pages. This way, you can get people who are interested in what you’re selling to click on your ads and make a purchase from you.
Facebook Ads are personally where I made the biggest impact on adding new clients to my business. By being mindful of where the customer is at in their journey toward buying what I sell, I was able to connect with them in such a way that they didn’t have to click that first ad at all. In fact, most of them didn’t come to me until they had seen my ad some 6 or 7 times. That’s the power of advertising on social platforms… it’s cheap enough to run over long periods of time.
Search engine ads (or Google Ads) are another form of online advertising. You can run text ads or display ads that show up in search engine results and on top of website pages. You can also target these ads to certain demographics or locations. Google Ads are a great way to expand your advertising budget and reach new potential customers. If you have a small budget but want to get your ads in front of a larger audience, Google Ads can help. You can also use Google Ads to test new ideas and see what works best for your business. You can change your ads frequently and find out which ones bring in the most traffic and leads.
In my case, Google Ads are what brings me traffic for the very specific things I do. Let’s say that I provide training for a very specific membership management system called Wild Apricot. There’s maybe 10 people in Australia looking for that every month. I am the only person who is advertising against that search term. So it’s costing me no more than around $10 per month to get 4–5 of those people to come to my website. And usually at least 2 of them book that training with me at around $500 each. That’s a good return on investment.
With YouTube and social media sites like Instagram and TikTok growing in popularity, it’s never been easier to create and publish videos. You can create how-to videos for your products, start a vlog about your business, or create videos for all sorts of other topics, like your employees or what goes on behind the scenes at your business. For a small business, video marketing can be a low-cost and effective way to reach out to a new audience. It’s also a great way to increase referrals and boost brand recognition. If you have the right equipment and software, creating a video can be relatively inexpensive. You can start a vlog on YouTube or TikTok for free, and you can use your computer or smartphone to record videos. If you have the cash, you can also invest in better video cameras or lighting to create higher-quality videos.
Using something like Canva to build out your videos — or even something more complex like Filmora, you can produce good-looking stuff that is interesting… as long as the topic of the video is interesting. Just make sure you know what it is that your customers care about and then create video content around that.
With a small business budget, it’s important to know where to focus your efforts and which digital marketing tactics you can afford. Choosing a few different techniques and focusing on them can help you get the most bang for your buck. When you’re just starting out, it can be a challenge to find ways to market your business for free. However, there are plenty of affordable digital marketing tactics you can use to get your business in front of customers, including blogging, Facebook ads, and video marketing.
Dante St James is the founder of Clickstarter, a Meta Certified Lead Trainer, a Community Trainer with Meta Australia, a digital advisor with Business Station, an accredited Digital Solutions advisor and presenter, and the editor at The Small Marketer. You can watch free 1-hour webinars and grow your digital skills at Dante’s YouTube Channel.
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