So, how can you make the most of a limited budget when it comes to marketing - which digital strategies will offer the most bang for your buck?
Publish Good Quality Content
One of the most effective things you can do to market your business online is to use the existing resource of your website and regularly publish high quality content. The benefits of content have been discussed, debated and written about often. It is unlikley that anyone involved in marketing would dispute its effectiveness in terms of search and keyword optimisation, market positioning, and building trust and loyalty with your clients.
Writing content can be very cost effective if you can do it in house and can be published in the form of website page content, blogs, Q&A's, news items, downloads and more. If you lack the skills or resources to manage content creation in house, consider outsourcing this element of your marketing if the other option is not doing it! Outsourcing need not be hugely expensive, especially if you take into consideration the time lost from key staff when doing it in house.
Video is a powerful marketing tool. Visual information is processed by our brains 60,000 times faster than it can process text. There is a wealth of video creation software available online which enables the creation of high quality videos without the high production costs to go with them. Video is a great way of providing a large amount of information in a way which is easily digestible without resorting to too much text. Watching videos is one of the most popular online activities and, according to research by Nielsen Norman Group, on average, only 28% of website text will get read. By contrast, 65% of website users will watch 75% of an online video.
Don't forget about email marketing. In terms of its ability to provide personalised information to a large, targeted audience, email is hard to beat. Email marketing campaigns are extremely cost effective (even free) and offer one of the best ROI of any marketing medium. Email campaigns can be automated to a large extent so that they continue to work on your behalf - useful for onboarding clients as well as keeping them informed and nurturing your client relationships. Email is also a very effective way of letting your subscribers know about new offers, product launches and for raising awareness.
If you are on a budget, consider outsourcing the initial set-up of your automated campaigns to an agency to save time. This may be more cost effective that trying to learn to use an unfamiliar platform. Once set up, they can pretty much run themselves with minimal ongoing skills required.
Posting on social media is quick, simple and free (unless you are posting sponsored content). Most of us already possess the skills we need for social media marketing as we use social channels in a personal capacity all the time. It is something which can even be done on the move from your smart phone if required. As a medium to keep in touch with and nurture your client base, social media is a great tool. It can also be used to good effect to reach potential customers outside of your own followers by advertising on the platform. Free/inexpensive scheduling tools can be used to make regular posting on Social media even simpler to undertake.
Sometimes, spending money on outside help can be the most efficient way forward. Depending on your skill set, blogging, writing well optimised email or website copy and posting on social media may well take you a long way out of your comfort zone. Perhaps you lack inspiration in terms of what to write about or don't have the time to learn to use the various tools which are out there to help you. Either way, outsourcing to professionals can be a better way of achieving the result you want without taking time out of managing the core aspects of your business. The cost of outsourcing can be offset against the potential cost of lost opportunities when key staff are deployed outside of their main roles.
Most businesses will happily draft in outside help to create a website for them for instance. Taking this same approach to the maintenance and ongoing management of your website can also be a good idea, especially if you are short of time and perhaps lack certain skills.
To get an idea of where your website could be working harder and identifiy which areas could be improved in terms of your marketing - get in touch with us for a free, initial website health check and recommendations.