Over the past several years, branding your business without taking digital marketing into account seriously has been like not branding it at all. Not being present in all corners of the internet basically means you don’t exist. At the moment, digital marketing is still more affordable than most of the traditional ways of promotion, and its effectiveness is getting higher and higher. However, it’s far from free.
Good content, community management, paid advertisements, SEO, banners – all of these come with a price tag. If you feel a bit short on money to afford all these, here are a few tips on how to use the most of online marketing without hurting your budget badly.
Run a blog
One of the best ways to promote your product without actually paying for anything other than the hosting you’re already paying for is to start a blog on your website. If you’re knowledgeable enough, offering quality content about topics related to your business is a great strategy to draw attention.
Make sure that the content is relevant and up-to-date, with the salesman’s attitude reduced to the bare minimum. Attract people to your website with interesting material first, then simply let them know that you’re the same person that’s selling something on the website and conversions will come naturally. If you’re having trouble reaching people at first, promotion on social media and guest blogging are great and cheap ways to give it a little initial push.
As it was mentioned, digital marketing is never absolutely free, but if your budget is already tight then you don’t want to waste a penny on reaching people that are not going to be interested in your product. Social networks offer great opportunities when it comes to razor-sharp targeting, and using several factors when narrowing down the population you wish to reach can be a very helpful money-saving technique.
Furthermore, there are some Google tools and tricks that can come in handy: for example, Google Analytics’ Smart Goals can help you to show your ads more to people actually inclined to buy your product, and the same thing can be done with placing Google AdWords advertisements only on websites you manually choose.
Using the power of influencers for your online campaign usually comes with a price. Nevertheless, there are a few strategies you can employ to convince them to mention your brand for free – but first you’ll have to try to reach them subtly by mentioning them, commenting on their blog posts or offering valuable advice or help.
If you happen to draw their attention, bring your product up in conversation and see if they like it – if they are interested enough they might want to talk or write about it just for the sake of good content. Offering to compensate them by sending your product as a present is also always a good idea. Again, targeting is very important here: make sure to pick the influencers that can reach the audience your brand needs and that are seen as credible and respected in your field.
Build an email list
Email marketing might seem a bit out of date at the first glance, but the truth is it’s still very much alive and it offers a very strong ROI, still being 4 times more successful than social media in this respect. There are numerous methods you can use to get people’s emails, and one of the most effective tricks you can play is to show them a first part of the article or the first of the series of videos on the topic they’re interested in, and then offer to send them the rest for free via email if they choose to subscribe.
Once you have your email base, sending people interesting content from time to time in combination with clearly visible but subtle placement of call-to-action buttons can do very good things for your brand reputation as well as for your conversion rates. Again, narrowing down who you want to reach with which type of content and information is crucial – this is called segmenting. You shouldn’t send everything to everyone, but instead segment your email list based on people’s location, age, gender or economic criteria such as purchase frequency or average purchase value.
The main idea behind all these strategies is basically the same – target your audience and hit them with good content. Coming up with quality content is up to you, and when it comes to targeting, digital marketing offers you opportunities unknown to traditional advertising. You can save a lot of money by carefully choosing who will see your ads and your content in general, when they will see it, and through which channels, and you should use this fact to your advantage.