What You Need To Know To Work Digital Marketing Into A Small Budget
Google Business Page
This is one of the first things you should do when your business goes online and you’re starting to look at digital marketing. You can claim your Google Business Page absolutely free, and it allows you to show up at the top right in most Google search results relating to your company. It’s an easy way to give people directions to your location, showcase customer reviews and give potential customers your contact information without them having to dig.
Free and a little challenging to install, but totally worth it. Analytics will give you a full-view of what’s going on with your website on a monthly (or daily or hourly) basis. It can tell you how many visitors you’ve had, how long they’ve stayed, what pages they’ve visited and in some cases where they are and even what device they’re using. If you’re a bit more Google savvy, you can even set up goals to keep track of form completions, purchases, and more.
Social media can be huge for small business marketing, even with a small budget. Find helpful, interesting, interactive content to share, share as much original content as you can, use images and videos, and whatever you do, only use social networks that make sense for your audience. Twitter doesn’t make sense for an Auto Body shop any more than Pinterest does for an Accountant. Find out where your potential customers are spending their time and focus on those platforms. To get more attention on your original content, figure out who your target audience is and apply a small budget to boost posts every week. We recommend spending a minimum of $5 on each boosted post. And remember, as with all marketing, it will take time to see results.
If you’re lucky enough to have an employee who has time to create great content for you – one who happens to be extremely knowledgeable about your product, your business, and has solid copywriting experience – you can consider this an inexpensive line item. That being said, creating content can take copywriters anywhere between 3 and 10 hours to create one piece (depending on the subject matter, research, length, etc.), so if your employees don’t have time, this is not an item you’re going to want to skimp on. Hire a freelance copywriter and give them some direction. They can write content that you can use on social media, your blog, your website, your emails, and even your ads.
MailChimp is pretty easy to use, and they offer a “free forever” plan for 2,000 contacts and 12,000 emails per month. They’re the company we use, and we would recommend them. They also offer affordable plans once you’re over those amounts. Use email marketing to get your original content, promotions, announcements and news out to your customers and brand ambassadors at least once a month. Just make sure you follow CAN-SPAM laws and practice permission marketing – basically, if someone hasn’t given you explicit permission to do send them information, you shouldn’t.
To get started with good, basic SEO, the key is knowing what your customers are searching for when they want to find a company like yours. Use important keywords and keyword phrases in logical places (be careful not to use them in too many places – this can negatively affect your rankings). Basically, make sure titles, descriptions, and relevant keywords are on all pages, images are named with relevant keywords (rather than image01.jpg), alt tags used, etc. Use WordPress? Get some help from the freemium Yoast SEO plugin. Want a little more guidance? Moz offers a free beginners guide.
…is an amazing tool. Use it to inform and delight your customers. Give them a reason to come back again. Collect insights, share helpful information on your products and your industry, and let your customers be heard. The more engaging and useful the information, the more traffic you’ll receive, the more customers you’ll collect and retain. This is another piece of the digital marketing puzzle you won’t want to skimp on. How much of your budget should you allot? It depends on what you want your website to do.