Is Digital Marketing Affordable for Small Businesses?by David Gersh, September 30, 2021
With the digital marketplace thriving and expanding every day, online marketing efforts are also growing. For small businesses and start-ups, this begs the question, “Can we afford this?”
A more important question might be, “Can we afford not to?” According to KPMG, 55% of consumers will research a product or brand online before buying. If your products and services aren’t visible to them in a search, your brand may get skipped for a local competitor.
Fortunately, while online advertising can be expensive, there are many ways to cut costs and encourage digital growth without breaking the bank. Outreach Digital Marketing serves small businesses across North America, offering a variety of services to meet your budget and schedule.
Still not sold on digital marketing? Here are some things to consider when weighing cost against benefit.
Finding the Right Consumers Helps You Save
A major benefit of SEO marketing is the analytics reporting you receive throughout your digital marketing campaign. Being digital means everything you do is recorded, and all the statistics relating to customer engagement, site visits, visit times, links clicked, and more are all reported to you daily, weekly, or monthly. This allows you to see how your campaign is doing, and which consumers are most interested.
Knowing your niche market helps you design a better foundation for advertising. Otherwise, you’re sending marketing e-mails, paid ads, and cold calls to the wrong leads. Sometimes less is more, especially when fewer follow-ups lead to a higher rate of ROI and a reduced level of time and money waste.
Digital Marketing Works Fast
There are long and short games in digital marketing, but for small local businesses, making a mobile and SEO-friendly website leads to quick results. In fact, Think with Google reports that more than 75% of internet users who search for a business on a mobile device visit that business within 24-hours. That’s a quick turnover.
Knowing your SEO tactics are working quickly solidifies the value of your investment. Of course, there are also continuous digital marketing avenues to invest in but seeing traffic and sales relating to these efforts early offers the boost needed to ascertain value over cost.
Using Free Digital Marketing Tools
Not all small business digital marketing efforts are expensive. Social media and local business listings provide a broad collection of platforms to advertise your business for free. Of course, there is pay per click and other paid initiatives available, but for small businesses seeking local attention, you can get your brand noticed with good old-fashioned customer engagement and word-of-mouth marketing. Some examples include:
Joining a Social Media Group
Facebook groups are a particularly good option to spread brand awareness and connect with consumers who might be interested in your services or products. Joining a social media group won’t create a successful SEO campaign alone, but it’s an affordable addition to your other digital marketing endeavors which won’t cost you a cent.
Listing on a Business Review Site
Consumers want to know what they’re getting into before buying from a brand or hiring a service. Free business review websites like Yelp, let your shoppers see what previous customers have thought of your business. According to Fresh Chalk, 92% of local Google searches result in a Yelp listing within the top 5 ranked results.
Posting a YouTube Video
Visual tools are huge in digital marketing. In fact, video outranks images, infographics, and blog posts as a content strategy. YouTube offers small businesses a chance at growing an online presence by posting free videos for your consumer audience. These videos not only encourage engagement but lead customers to your website with backlinks, meta tags and keywords.
Choosing Customization so You Only Pay for What You Need
Working with a digital marketing agency doesn’t have to be overpriced. There are many SEO specialists who will customize their marketing approach to fit your individual needs. This cuts costs of unnecessary advertising which doesn’t suit your business size or industry.
As you partner with your digital marketing team, you may choose to focus your efforts on:
- Social media ads
- Google AdWords
- Long-form content
- Mobile-friendly web design
Or any number of additional digital marketing solutions to improve SEO rank, visibility, and local engagement. The point is to focus on the specific components of digital marketing which you need, rather than choosing a one-size-fits-all approach to your advertising.
Building Relationships That Last
Successfully selling to a consumer isn’t enough to make a business successful in today’s climate. To create sustainable growth, small businesses need to invest in lasting relationships with consumers. Digital marketing provides the perfect platform for sales longevity, allowing for commenting, sharing, reviews, and more.
It’s easier than ever for consumers to interact and build relationships with the brands they love. Digital marketing humanizes your brand. You’re no longer a business down the road, you’re in their news feed every morning with a joke or meme, you’re popping into their inbox weekly with a new deal or promotion, you’re uploading videos of a day in your office on your YouTube channel.
There are countless ways to create a lasting dynamic with your customers, keeping yourself relevant in their minds every time they go looking for a product or service like yours. Working with a digital marketing and SEO expert can help ensure these connections are made and built to last.
Auditing Your Website for Improvement
Before you overspend on digital marketing you may not need, we often recommend an audit of your website and current marketing tactics. A professional SEO team will analyze your website, looking at things like:
- Load times
- Meta tags, titles, and descriptions
- Graphics quality
- Mobile-friendly browsing
- Current traffic levels
- Website content
- Contact information
Knowing where weak and strong points lie in your current digital marketing efforts and web presence helps you develop a stronger campaign going forward. This will also save you money on services you’re unsure if you even need yet.
Like all services in life, it’s best not to pick the first digital marketing firm that comes along. Like your business is unique, no two digital marketers are the same, and your business deserves the expertise and experience of someone with your best interest at heart.
One of the ways to ensure value over cost is to select digital marketing based on:
Reviews from other businesses like yours
It isn’t enough to read reviews on a digital marketing company because those reviews could be from large corporations or businesses in entirely different industries than yours. Look instead for local reviews, small business reviews, and reviews from companies that offer services or products like yours.
Does the agency have services you need? If not, are they willing to expand their services to fit you, rather than you trying to fir their prepackaged plan? Not sure which services you need? See if the marketing firm in question does assessments and site audits. They may be able to tell you which services will suit your company best.
Experience with small businesses
Not all marketing companies work with small businesses. In fact, many focus on mid-sized and large brands. Your small business deserves recognition too, and an expert to show you how to get the results you need. Selecting a marketing business with experience improving ROI for small businesses will better fit your needs.
Proven track record
What experience does the marketing firm you are considering have? Can they show you what they’ve done in the past and how data shows their services made a positive impact on previous clients? If a marketing company doesn’t market itself well enough to have successful examples, it may not be able to market you to your full potential either.
Fair service evaluation
Price is not the most important thing about a marketing service, but it certainly makes a difference in the types of services you can afford. Plan a budget and when you approach a marketing team, advise them upfront of how much you’re willing to spend on digital marketing. With a fair service evaluation, they should be able to meet your budget in many ways.
Is Digital Marketing Affordable for a Small Business?
In a word – yes. Digital marketing can be affordable for small businesses and is also an invaluable asset in many ways. With much of the world online, marketing yourself digitally opens doors to a range of customers you might miss otherwise.
Contact Outreach Digital Marketing Today
Outreach Digital Marketing tailors our services to meet you where you are as a small business. Whether you’ve just started, or you’re a longstanding pillar in your community, our small business SEO strategies will help you gain brand awareness and improve ROI without breaking the bank.
Interested in learning more about Outreach Digital Marketing for small businesses? Our team of experienced marketing experts is here to help. For a quote, questions, or other inquiries, contact Outreach Digital Marketing today. Call 805-624-6646 today.