Monday, 12 January 2015 16:00

Online Marketing on a Tight Budget - How to Prioritize Your Marketing Efforts

Marketing your business on a tight budget.

If you’re a small business or a new company starting out, chances are you have a pretty limited budget for marketing your brand, products, and services. Yet, the fact that you’ve at least thought about doing marketing to promote your business, means you understand the importance and value of using marketing services and tools to help boost your company - so congratulations on taking that first key step!

Now that you understand the need to market your company, it’s time to decide how to spend your money in the most efficient and strategic way to increase your odds of attracting new leads and clients. In today’s complex Internet marketing world, there are hundreds of different ways to promote your company and solutions, thousands of tools to help you do it yourself, and thousands of marketing agencies to help you along the way.

Yet, the question of where to start and how to allocate your money still remains. To help you, we’ll share with you what our marketing strategy team shares with our existing clients when faced with this question.

Things to consider before following our tips:

Before we jump into exactly what services you should consider, it’s important to note that not every business will need the same services as every business is different, has different goals, different target markets, budgets, etc. Thus, the following list of services is not meant to help every company, but only those who’d benefit from marketing their products or services to a target audience that can be defined through online marketing services with a wide range of people.

Top 5 marketing services to consider when promoting your business online:

Note: Items are listed in order of importance, with number one being the most important. Depending on your exact marketing budget, you may or may not have enough money to invest in all five services listed. When that is the case, we suggest that you invest in the most important ones first.

  1. A Business Website
  2. Online Advertising
  3. Social Media Presence
  4. E-mail Marketing
  5. Content Marketing, Blogs, and SEO

Related post: How to take your business online - 5 must have digital tools

1. A Business Website

The central piece to any online marketing strategy is your company’s website, which serves as a hub of information related to your brand, products, and services. Your web site is your company’s front door on the Internet, and one of your most valuable sales and marketing tools to attract new clients while keeping existing clients engaged.

The lack of a business website would make it almost impossible to expand your digital marketing activities, as you wouldn’t have a central place online to direct online visitors to. You may think that having stand-alone landing pages or social media pages is enough, but the reality is that in today’s modern world having a business website is not only necessary but also expected by your potential customers.

Related post: Business website, mobile app or both? How to choose the right solution

2. Online Advertising

Once you’ve built your business website, your goal is to drive online traffic (people) to it. Sending online visitors to your website is like inviting real people to walk into your store to check out what you’re offering. If they don’t step in, they can’t really know what your company is all about, and how you could help them solve their problems or pain points.

The short-term strategy to drive traffic to your website is to create an online advertising campaign in one or more platforms. This is the fastest way to get people to find you, get to know you and get acquainted with what you’ve got to offer.

Online advertising campaigns may be created through various platforms, but the most popular ones are Google ADs, Facebook ADs, Yahoo/Bing ADs, and graphical banner ADs.

In the mid to long-term, your strategy should focus on optimizing your website (SEO - which involves various online marketing services) to help you rank higher on Google so that your prospective clients can find your business in natural web search results. This will help increase your company’s brand perception, overall competitive ranking, and help you decrease the amount of money you need to spend on advertising to promote your website.

Related post: Got a website, now what? How to generate leads online to make money

3. Social Media Presence

Once you’ve set up your website, and created an advertising campaign it’s time to devote more time and money into your social media presence. You may or may not have already set up your social media pages for your company, but in either case, you probably haven’t spent the time to professionally manage it in order to engage your target audience.

Although it’s certainly recommended that you set up your social media profiles as soon as possible, it’s not always the most important step to take. Yes, you should certainly claim your Google+, Twitter and Facebook URL and username so that no one else takes it, but in order to have an effective social media campaign, you must devote a lot of time to it (or hire a professional company or strategist to help you).

Unfortunately, long gone are the days where lots of Facebook Likes (followers) on your business page would actually translate into more people seeing your latest post. In the recent past, approximately 12-18% of your followers would actually get to see your company’s post on their news feed, but today only 6-8% (maybe even less) get to see them. Why has this changed so drastically? The answer is simple, Facebook wants you to pay in order to show your posts to your target audience and doesn’t want to promote your company or brand for free.

By placing social media marketing as the third item on your marketing services priorities list, I’m specifically referring to allocating part of your marketing budget to invest in hiring a professional to manage your company’s social media profiles - including the use also paid posts to promote your content. You may also create Facebook ADs to go along with it, which would be part of online advertising as mentioned above.

Related post: Three Tips For Social Media Value

4.E-mail Marketing

Once you’ve got your website, online AD campaigns and social media strategy up and running it’s time to devote your marketing efforts to e-mail Marketing.

E-mail marketing is still today’s most valuable online marketing tool because it is the most effective and cost-effective method to generate leads and clients for the money invested on it. In many industries, E-mail marketing offers the lowest cost per lead, and cost per acquisition. This is so because E-mail marketing is relatively easy to set up, has a super low cost per user interaction (email sent) and can be automated to keep prospective clients in the loop.

A professional e-mail marketing campaign could take weeks of planning, design, and development, but a simple E-mail blast could be setup in just a few hours using one of the many web-based tools that exist today. Contact the Bloominari team to learn how E-mail marketing can help you increase your sales and grow your business.

Related Post: How To Drastically Increase Revenue With Just A Couple Of Emails

5. Content Marketing, Blogs, and SEO

The next step in helping to promote your business and brand online is to become an authoritative figure in your industry. To do so, you must create original and valuable content that demonstrates to the world that you’re an expert in your field.

Content Marketing refers to the development of content such as articles, blog posts, press releases, white papers, tips and guides, and many other mediums which showcase you and your company as the “expert” of your professional field. Writing and creating such content helps your business to not only “say what you offer”, but rather to “show what you’re offering”.

There’s a big difference between saying you can do X, Y, and Z, and actually showing a detail step-by-step guide which explains how your company actually does X, Y and Z. By showing that you’re an expert (via a blog or e-mail campaign), rather than just saying you are one (through your regular website) you’ll be better able to convince a potential client that you have the skills and expertise required to actually perform and complete the promises your products/services offer.

Thousands of articles have probably been written to discuss SEO and content marketing, but for now, the key message is for you to just start thinking about what topics and expert advice you could share with your target audience - in the same way our company is doing so through this blog.

Part 2:

How to prioritize your limited marketing budget

Have any comments or suggestions, we’d love to read them. Please contribute your ideas and comments below. 

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Jaime Nacach

Marketing Strategist

I love helping small businesses with their digital marketing and business strategy. I'm a young man with a passion in entrepreneurship and international experience in business development, marketing, sales, and web/graphic design. 

Find me on: Team Page | LinkedIn | Google+Personal Website

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