There are several ways that you, as a small business owner, can cut down on costs. Digital marketing is a great place to start. You do not want to eliminate your advertising and marketing budget altogether, however, you need to be careful which marketing efforts you invest your time and money.
I’ve outlined four proven, cost-efficient, small business digital marketing strategies below to start. However, there are dozens more out there. It will truly depend on your business and target market as to which will prove most effective and worthwhile for you and your business.
Social Media Digital Marketing
Yes, I’m starting with the one that has taken over marketing as we all once knew it! This is by far the cheapest form of marketing. There are many social media platforms at your disposal such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogging, YouTube, Instagram, and don’t forget about LinkedIn which is still by far the best way to gain industry-specific contacts.
I’d like to add a word of caution, however. Social media should not be your only marketing presence. If you’ve never used it for anything besides actual social use find a class or a tutorial that can help you navigate the ins and outs of social media advertising. If you don’t, you could run the risk of doing more harm than good.
There is still a large portion of the population out there that like to get their information via snail mail. I personally am one of them and every time one of those Valpak mailers (direct mail coupons) comes in it’s the big joke in my house that I have mail (even though it’s addressed to Current Resident). But these types of mailers have their place as long as you have a target demographic and the area you mail to meets this demographic. The benefit to this type of mailer is you can do it as needed and when you have the funds to warrant it. It is a great idea during Grand Openings, other special events, or to give your business a little boost during lulls in business.
Digital Marketing with Pay-Per-Click Ads
Pay-per-click advertising can be wonderful. The hope is that the amount of business you get from your ad is directly proportional to the number of people who click on your ad. This can also be a great indicator that there are issues driving consumers away from your business. If you have a well-designed ad that draws people into whatever marketplace you are trying to get them to but it isn’t really netting you any business, you may need to take a deeper look at your business model.
Adjacent Market Advertising
When you are starting a small business you will soon discover the value of internet ads. The ones directly in the market you’d like to be in are typically very, very expensive. The people who sell these ads know the value so you must find a way to graduate into those market areas since you probably do not initially have a large advertising budget.
The trick is to find an adjacent market that will allow you to eventually break into your target market. For example, I hold my real estate license and there are constantly people trying to sell me internet advertising. They build you up by even pulling up your website and then they quote you a price in your desired market that is about five times your budget.
What I’ve learned is there is a lot of bleeding between markets. If I want to be advertised in my target city, and that price point is well outside of my budget, I will find a zip code or city just next to the city I’d like to be in. This still allows me to target those buyers and sellers near my desired market, that will eventually be their move upmarket.
Again, these are only a few of the options out there so it is important to do your research. See what’s out there and what’s worked for others in your industry.
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