While startups with millions of dollars’ worth funding and mega valuations may get most of the attention, the other few are typically on much leaner budgets. For these startups, arriving at a cost-effective, efficient budget is essential for the company’s survival. In the present era of internet-led business, companies are trying to optimize the various benefits digital marketing has to offer. Without a doubt, digital efforts have not only proved to be faster and efficient but also convenient for both businesses as well as customers.
But truth be told, digital efforts cost money, and with competition rising multi-fold, the consulting fees charged by leading agencies and independent experts only seems to be increasing. How about those who are operating on a tight marketing budget, though?
Here’s a guide for such brands, businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs to yield maximum benefits while on a minimum digital marketing budget.
1. Develop a Blog
The easiest and one of the best ways to market without paying for anything other than the hosting is to turn to blogging. In fact, if you possess enough knowledge pertaining to your sector, churning high-quality content and offering insights into the industry through the means of blog on your website will count as one of the free marketing alternatives you have accessible to you. The key here is to ensure that the content is relevant, posted consistently, and interesting enough to attract people to your site and turn them into potential customers. If there’s trouble reaching out to people at first, limit your focus to smaller audiences, start guest blogging, and initiate promotions on social media.
2. Careful Targeting
Good content, paid advertisements, community management, banners, SEO, and everything involved in digital marketing comes with a price tag. No single tool of digital marketing is ever absolutely free. However, if the budget is already tight, then spending money on reaching audiences that are not interested in the offered product or service is a complete waste of money. In this case, utilizing the power of social networks that offer substantial opportunities in terms of razor-sharp targeting, or in other words, narrowing down the population, can be a wise money-saving option.
Furthermore, many Google tricks and tools can come in handy – for instance, Google Analytics’ Smart Goals can help in showing ads to relevant people who are in need of the product or service you have to offer.
3. Try your Hands at PPC
Paid search marketing is commonly dismissed by digital marketers because of the belief that it doesn’t serve much of a purpose for those on leaner budgets. But in the case of PPC, there are no budget restrictions. In fact, the cost for a click and expense for a campaign or an ad can always be analysed and controlled. Similar to social media advertising, it’s possible with PPC to spend either a lot or a limited amount of money in a short span. However, considering the fact that PPC has a solid learning curve, it is something that one must not directly jump in with.
4. Build an Email List
Email marketing might appear like an outdated alternative at first glance, but in reality, it is still very much active and does offer a strong ROI. Email marketing still remains one of the easiest ways to connect with your target audience. Start by building up your email list, send people interesting content at regular intervals, and make a subtle yet visible placement of call-to-action buttons that can prove to be beneficial for your brand’s reputation along with conversion rates. Not to forget, narrowing down whom you want to reach out to and what kind of information is important, should hold the top-most position in your market segmentation strategy. A lot of money can be saved by carefully choosing the people who should see your ads and overall content in general.
5. Consider Working with Influencers
Micro-influencers and macro-influencers have taken over the digital industry in the last few years. Influencers may either be big celebrities or prominent bloggers. Whatever they are, the power of their reach must be optimally leveraged. This is by far the most affordable method of digital marketing on a limited budget because it typically costs nothing more than time. However, the key is to find the right influencer, and then, the possibilities are endless since you’d be targeting their pool of audience. Influencer marketing also helps in boosting brand name and enhancing brand reputation. Make sure you pick the influencers who are credible and respected in their field.
Budget, a Burden?
Forming a digital marketing budget is not a simple task. Agree or not, there are barely any fixed costs when it comes to digital marketing. In such a scenario, it’s hard to estimate the expenses needed for digital initiatives. That being said, the digital marketing budget should never be formed on the basis of previous year’s expenses, since it will lack the flexibility required to manage it effectively. So, the key is to not adapt to the “increase the digital marketing budget” approach but rather “spend smart on digital marketing” approach.
Authored by Shiraz Khan, Founder Director Spicetree Design Agency