To remain competitive today, even small businesses need to spend some time developing a digital marketing strategy. If you want to increase market share, you need to spend money to make money as the adage goes. However, you don’t have to break the bank to have a perfectly respectable and effective digital marketing strategy. Here we share our effective digital marketing strategies perfect for businesses with a small budget.
Budget for Paid Ads
Although the goal is to cut costs, you still need to invest some money in paid ads. This is the backbone of your digital marketing strategy, and with some purse-string tightening tactics, can be done quite frugally.
Use a Proven Formula to Ace Facebook Ads
Facebook is a go-to platform for companies looking to start a social advertising campaign. You can set a budget, and as long as you manage it properly, save money yet see success. The key to Facebook ads lies in how you approach your campaigns. Follow these steps to see the best outcomes from your investment:
- Use micro-targeting: Facebook allows you to access micro-targets that improve conversion rates. Be sure you not only select your targets carefully, but that the ads you run for each target use the right messaging to appeal to those targets.
- Branding: This is simple in theory. You want to keep consistent branding throughout your ad campaign.
- Use images: People are visual and experience your product better when you use impressive images that help enhance your message.
- Add social proof: Include user-generated content, reviews, testimonials, and industry-relevant credentials to establish your brand.
- Call to action (CTA): Be sure all ads have a clear CTA, so people know what to do next.
Don’t just run an ad, test it and improve it using A/B testing. Different images, CTAs, headings, colors, offers and more help you fine-tune your ads to increase ROI.
Leverage the Power of the Meta Pixel
Be sure you install the Facebook Meta Pixel on your website, so your ads appear in front of the right people. You can also monitor your results, so you know if your investment is worth it.
Include Instagram Ads
Instagram is an excellent channel to make meaningful connections with your audience. It is also very budget-friendly because you can repurpose posts as ads designed to attract top-of-the-funnel prospects. You can interact with followers to retarget middle or bottom of the funnel prospects and then round it off with mobile ads to remain front and center.
Leverage Search Ads
Paid search advertising is an excellent, cost-effective choice for small budgets. These are the links appearing above the organic search results. Because you appear at the top of the page, it provides a way to get more attention and gain traction for your SEO efforts. You can also choose pay-per-click (PPC) search ads so you only pay if someone clicks your ad.
This can get expensive and competitive depending on the keywords you target. If you’re diligent and keep track of your spending, you can get some good leads using this tactic. When paired with effective landing pages, you can increase your ROI with targeted pages designed to help meet your marketing goals such as:
- Reaching varied segments
- Increased brand awareness
- Increased sales
If you find the ads work, you can decide if the ROI makes it worth investing more in your ads.
Build Organic Traffic
This is always an underlying goal for any digital marketing strategy. Because organic traffic is “free”, it has the highest ROI. It is also the most elusive to perfect. SEO drives traffic to your site, but only when you understand how SEO works. It’s very competitive, with the big guys investing more time in experts who help them outrank small businesses such as yourself.
For you, this is more of a long-term strategy because it takes time to make your way up the rankings, but when combined with a paid search campaign, it becomes more effective. There are a few SEO basics every small business should include in their SEO efforts including:
Ubersuggest is an excellent free tool to find SEO errors that could cost you your rankability. It shows you both critical issues as well as additional things you can do to keep your site healthy.
You can also use Ubersuggest to improve your SEO strategy. The tool assists with research, looking at top-ranking competitors to find better keywords and long-tail keyword ideas. You’ll see how much demand and competition there is for the keywords you use. You can then look at their recommended alternatives to improve your chances of ranking.
Perk Up Your Content
Once you’ve got a handle on a better keyword strategy, you can then move on to improving your content. The same tool provides content ideas designed to improve your ranking. It shows the most trusted, highest-ranked blogs, allowing you to research content for your own site. Of course, your content needs a unique twist based on the ideas.
The goal is to create educational, informative content that shows you know what you’re talking about. Answer common questions, or address common pain points, using your industry knowledge to offer solutions based on your product or service. Just make sure you come off as helping, not selling.
Launch Email Drip Campaigns
Email is another very cost-effective marketing strategy. It can also see an impressive ROI at an astounding 4,200% and no, this is not a typo. It is one of the most effective options available because you’re speaking to people who have decided they want to hear from you. This requires a two-pronged approach to a) Build your subscriber list and b) Build effective email campaigns.
Building Your Email List
These tactics help build your email list:
- Create an informative, simple one-page monthly e-newsletter to collect subscribers
- Leverage content on your website to encourage people to sign-up and receive blog updates
- Build more in-depth content such as e-books, case studies or white papers and have people provide an email address so you can provide a link where they can download the information
- Ask new customers to subscribe for offers, newsletters, updates, etc.
You can also create a clickable email signature allowing people to visit your website, learn more about special offers, follow you on social, etc.
As you collect subscribers, segment them based on whether they are prospects or customers. You can also create smaller segments based on the type of content they requested so you don’t bombard them with unwanted information.
Keep track of their status to create even more segmentation such as those who haven’t made a purchase in a while, those who have abandoned shopping carts, those who haven’t clicked an email link, etc. This allows you to prepare more targeted information that keeps them engaged, while also helping generate more sales, move them further down the funnel, or bring them back into the loop.
Develop Your Drip Campaigns
Using your segments, develop drip campaigns that nurture subscribers. Drip campaigns help move leads down the funnel, get customers to buy new products, or keep customers loyal to your brand with ongoing communication.
Spend More Time On Social Media
Social media is another “free” channel that can increase web traffic, leads and sales. It takes less time and effort if you have a plan. When you spend more time on social media, you can reap the benefits from brand awareness to site traffic and from more prospects to sales.
Choose the Right Networks
Make it easier on yourself by choosing the social networks relevant to your audience. This reduces the time spent posting while improving the quality of followers interested in what you sell.
Test to See What Works
Try new things over time, such as how often or when you post, or the type of content you post. One post won’t tell you much, so try new things for a few weeks and see how it works. If it is unsuccessful or you see engagement drop, stop that tactic, and try something new. When you see more traction, fine-tune that approach, and continue to improve.
This is the biggest time saver. What existing content can you use for posts? Blog links are the easiest. But anything you do can be shared, from new products shot for your e-commerce site, to YouTube videos and from case studies to customer testimonials. Also share links to other blogs, articles, social posts, etc. to entertain, inform or trigger emotional responses from followers.
Ace the art of hashtags to draw attention to your brand while also leveraging the potential to find user-generated content.
Some other popular tactics include:
- Building relationships with other brands, especially for local businesses
- Sharing your brand information with relevant influencers to see if they’ll mention your products
- Engaging with other pages to draw attention to your brand
Build Your Authority
As you build your online presence, you can also start building your authority. Try these ideas to help you increase your industry expertise:
- Join relevant forums, social groups, and communities to share your expertise
- Guest post on industry or local blogs
- Contribute to HARO or other relevant online publications as an expert
- Start a podcast with other industry experts
- Run webinars
- Create press releases about your company, products, community efforts, etc.
Anywhere you can answer questions, profile your brand, or contribute expertise will help build authority.