Every business, no matter how small their marketing budget is, can afford online marketing. It is one of the most effective, least expensive parts of a marketing plan.
Preparing to launch a new companies is an exciting and nerve-wracking prospect. There is so much to plan and so many questions to answer. If you are like many entrepreneurs with a budding company, you have very little capital to work with, so every dollar counts, especially with marketing. How do you create a marketing strategy that makes a big impact without costing you a fortune?
Thankfully, in this age of technology, there is an answer to this question. Every business, no matter how small their marketing budget is, can afford online marketing. It is one of the most effective, least expensive parts of a marketing plan.
• Website—Your website is the core of your online presence. All other forms of online marketing will point back to it. Your leads will use it to evaluate whether or not they are interested in doing business with you and your current clients will use it to stay up-to-date with what is going on in your company. If you have any sort of money to spend on marketing, spend it on your website. By having a marketing agency design a polished, on-brand website, you have a much better shot at making every other part of your marketing strategy—on and offline—a success.
• SEO/SEM—Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are two methods that search engines, like Google, use to find your site. SEO uses keywords and phrases on your site to find it organically, which means it will not cost you anything. SEM is similar to SEO, but it also includes paid advertising to get you on the front page of the search engine. SEM is usually quite cost-effective and a good way to guarantee that your site is being seen. If you are unsure how to optimize your site, a marketing agency can do that for you.
• Blog—Blogging is an incredible, free marketing tool. A blog gives you, as a business, the opportunity to set yourself apart as an expert in your industry. If you regularly post new blog entries, offering your target audience informative, engaging content, you will prove to them that you are passionate about what you do and care about them, both as a client and a human being.
• Social Media—Nowadays, social media is one of the most common ways to market. It is free to create and maintain the pages for your business. Sites like Facebook offer paid advertising, but those are not necessary if you are willing to be patient. Creating stellar content to share, like blog posts, and interacting frequently with your fans are the best way to gain a following and attract new customers to your business.
• Email newsletter—Email is still one of the main ways that people communicate online. Email newsletters offer a great addition to social media because they are delivered straight to your audience’s inbox. This gets your name and company in front of their eyes more frequently. You can include amusing or inspiring stories, your latest blog post, and a few tips and tricks just for your email followers. Be sure to offer a simple way for customers to sign up for yours on your website and your social media pages.
Online marketing will always be a large part of your marketing strategy, but it is just the start. As it brings you more and more business, you will be able to expand your plan to include traditional advertising, like print ads, brochures, commercials, billboards, and everything in-between.
Even if you do not feel like you have a large enough budget right now to consult with a marketing agency, it is still worth your time to reach out to ones in your area. They are used to working with businesses with smaller budgets and most will go out of their way to find an option that works for you. You might actually be surprised by how much they can do for you with the amount of money you have to work with.
Regardless of what size budget you have, there are several inexpensive digital options to get you started. Begin mapping out your strategy today!
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