Digital marketing is a difficult game to play. On the one hand, you know that a huge investment in marketing is likely to land you a slew of new customers that’ll pay back that investment with a large return.
On the other hand, you have other plates to keep spinning, and it can be difficult to justify directing meager resources towards marketing. As such, this guide is all about how to invest small to get big returns in the digital marketing space – saving money but still kicking on and securing more customers online.
Let’s begin with your website. It’s here that you’re able to curate all of your content, your pages, your sitemap, and your calls to action to suit your marketing needs. And one of the biggest changes that you can make to your website that costs no extra fee is to boost its SEO ranking, ensuring that more consumers searching for your products or services find your website via Google. SEO can be boosted by:
- Creating a blog and using keywords that Google will spot and link to web users searching for those same words
- Add high-quality content, like videos and pictures, which is favored by Google’s algorithm
- Make sure your website is linking to other high-quality websites, which shows Google you’re a firm and a website to trust
- Likewise, curate backlinks to your website from other reputable websites, which will show you’re trusted around the web
If you’re a beginner at SEO, it’s worth investing in a short crash course to help you understand the benefits of this approach. It’ll help you generate organic traffic that doesn’t cost a penny.
2. Social Media
Social media came along at just the right time for small businesses or those with a small digital marketing budget. Instead of having to take up arms against the big guns in your industry, you can instead quietly plug your business on social media to those followers and their friends that you’re most interested in reaching. You’ll do this in two ways: with organic follows (those who find you online) and paid ones (those you target via the advertising mechanisms on social media).
Organic follows are difficult to amass and usually rely on you having wonderful social media pages that share great content. It’s far easier to gather these followers if you’re a sealife park – if you sell curtains, you’re unlikely to get much traction on social media. But if you are a certain business, a little spending, targeting people you think are likely to be renovating their home, could turn up a huge untapped number of customers for your brand.
Be aware that different social media platforms charge different prices and that the Instagram ads cost could be more effective for your brand than advertising on Facebook – especially if you’re targeting a younger audience.
On the topic of social media, there is a third way to get followers, and that’s by partnering with influencers. Again, this might not work for the curtains business: there are only so many ways to make curtains exciting for a young social media audience. However, suppose you’re in the cosmetics or apparel business. In that case, this is something that you absolutely must try: it can help you boost your reach exponentially if you partner with the right influencers.
Increasingly, firms are targeting medium-sized profiles for promotional purposes. The larger ones charge huge rates with diminishing returns, but those with a few thousand followers are more likely not to be trusted and admired by those on social media and will ask for less cash to promote your products. Some might even do it for a free sample alone. Just be careful here that you sign a contract in line with laws and regulations.
4. Banner Ads
There are some businesses for which banner ads are incredibly effective and others for which you’ll find you get very little traction at all. Often, you’ll know instinctively if this form of digital marketing is for you. But if you don’t, here’s an example of what works and what doesn’t:
- If you sell unique protein shakes and your banner ad is on a workout website, it’s going to get clicks, and it’ll certainly secure sales
- If you sell the same product, but your banner ad is on more general lifestyle blogs, you’re unlikely to get any interest
- And if you sell a product that people don’t tend to buy on a whim – like those aforementioned curtains – you’ll probably not fare well with banner ads
Remember that banner ad are seen as annoying by most web users, so if you engage in this form of advertising, you need to be sure that users will take an active interest in what’s being advertised. If they don’t, you’ll just be another annoying pop-up.
5. Video Marketing
Finally, this is one of the forms of marketing that continues to skyrocket in popularity as more and more web users turn to video content as their favored way of consuming information. YouTube is the perfect platform in this respect, as you can be found via multiple channels, and you’ll be able to promote your video, if you wish, to target certain users with certain viewing habits.
The issue with making a video that hits home with consumers is that you’ll need it to be high quality, and producing a high-quality video takes time and resources – and a hefty investment of cash. Still, if this video is something that’ll show off your brand for years to come, it may well be worth that initial investment.
Videos that show off something unique and exciting about a product or company work especially well. Think of those videos of robotic dogs that do the rounds on social media: millions if not billions of people are aware of the lab that produced them. That’s the power of a great marketing video: people share it far and wide, with huge promotional potential for your brand.
Digital marketing is a difficult priority to balance with the rest of your business objectives. But if you take account of the methods outlined here, you should be able to attract new customers to your brand without breaking the bank as we head towards 2022 and a year of new opportunities for your business.