People often think of expensive campaigns and strategies when they think of digital marketing. Well, it might surprise you that there are ways to do digital marketing on a small budget. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and innovation.
Not all businesses have massive marketing budgets like Coca-Cola or McDonald’s. Most businesses are small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with limited budgets for marketing and advertising.
So, how can these businesses compete against the big boys?
Simple – by being smarter and more efficient with their marketing strategies. But before we go ahead and discuss the tactics, let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes that small businesses make that sabotage their digital marketing efforts.
How SMEs Sabotage Their Digital Marketing Efforts
Small businesses often make the mistake of thinking that digital marketing is all about having a large budget. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
Digital marketing is about being strategic and efficient with your marketing efforts. It’s not about how much money you spend, but how you spend it.
Here are some common mistakes that small businesses make that sabotage their digital marketing efforts:
Not Building a Long-Term Vision
Small businesses often make the mistake of seeing marketing as a one-time investment. They create a campaign, spend a lot of money on it, and then they wait for the results.
This is the wrong approach.
Marketing should be seen as an ongoing investment. Each campaign should be part of a larger long-term vision. This will help you get the most out of your limited budget. If it helps, think of your marketing campaigns as a foundation or framework. You will continue to build on it over time.
When you build a strong marketing foundation, the budget becomes less relevant. You can generate results regardless of how much money you spend. But if you see marketing as a one-off investment, you will probably build a cheap and flimsy foundation that will crumble under the weight of a more intensive marketing campaign down the line.
That’s why we strongly recommend cultivating the right mindset and seeing the importance of creating a strong and scalable foundation that grows with you over time. We encourage businesses to build a strategy that is effective now and will be just as effective when their budget increases to six or even seven figures.
Failing to Plan and Measure
Rome was not built in a day. Neither are successful marketing campaigns.
One of the most common mistakes small businesses make is failing to plan their marketing efforts. They think they can just wing it and hope for the best. But without a plan, it’s very difficult to measure your results and see what’s working and what’s not.
Every marketing campaign should have a goal. What do you want to achieve? More sales? More leads? More web traffic? Once you have a goal in mind, you can start planning your strategy.
I worked with a client during my early career as a digital marketer. It was a textile export company. The client was adamant about getting results in one month. I tried to explain that it doesn’t work like that, but they were not ready to listen. So, I created a plan and set some goals.
I started working on the campaign, and after one month, I checked the results. The results were not great, but I expected that. I showed the results to the client, and they were very upset. They started yelling at me and telling me that I was a failure. I tried to explain that we had only been working on the campaign for one month and that it takes time to see results. But they were not ready to listen. They fired me and hired another agency.
The new agency promised them the world and said they would get results in one month. Of course, they didn’t, and the client was even more upset.
This is a classic example of why you need to plan and measure your marketing efforts. Without a plan, you will be unable to set realistic goals or measure your results. And without measurable results, you will not be able to improve your campaigns.
Looking for Quick Fixes
Small businesses often fall into the trap of looking for quick fixes. They want to see results immediately, so they invest heavily in paid advertising.
This is the wrong approach.
Now, I’m not saying you should never invest in paid advertising. Paid advertising can be a great way to get quick results. But you should not rely on it as your only marketing strategy.
Investing all of your marketing budgets in paid advertising is a risky strategy. What happens if your campaigns don’t work? You will have wasted a lot of money with nothing to show for it.
A better approach is to focus on building a strong marketing foundation first. This can be done through SEO, content marketing, and social media. Once you have a solid foundation, you can start experimenting with paid advertising.
6 Tips for Digital Marketing on a Small Budget
1. Focus On Creating High-Value Content
Despite all the changes and evolutions in the digital marketing landscape, one thing has remained the same – content is still king. And it won’t be wrong to say that quality content is the new king.
Even the latest Google’s helpful content update is all about rewarding high-quality content that is helpful to users. So, to succeed with your digital marketing efforts, you need to focus on creating high-value content.
I have seen small businesses rushing to publish as much content as possible. They think they need to publish 100 blog posts in a year to succeed. But that’s not true.
It’s not about the quantity of content you publish, but the quality. You should focus on creating helpful and informative content that will add value to your readers.
By high-value content, I don’t just mean blog posts. You can create other types of content like infographics, ebooks, and white papers. Here are a few characteristics of high-value content:
- It aims to provide an answer to a specific problem.
- It is evergreen, meaning it continues to provide value for months or even years.
- It is in-depth and extensive. Although there is no word count requirement, most high-value articles are usually several thousand words long.
- It is digestible. The content is easy to read and understand. Make sure it is not dense and full of large chunks of text.
- It includes visuals. People are more likely to consume visually appealing content.
Now, this may sound like a lot of work. And it is. But it will be worth it in the end. Creating high-value content will help you attract more visitors to your website, and it will also improve your chances of ranking higher in search engines.
2. Leverage Content Splintering
Small businesses with limited marketing budgets should focus on being resourceful. And one of the best ways to enhance your marketing is to practice content splintering.
Content splintering, often referred to as fragmentation, is the process of creating multiple pieces from a single “cornerstone” piece of content that can be leveraged across different platforms.
For example, let’s say you have written an in-depth blog post about a new product launch. You can splinter this content into multiple pieces like infographics, ebooks, and white papers that can be used to drive traffic and generate leads.
Content splintering is an effective way to get the most out of your content marketing efforts. Not only will it help you save time, but it will also allow you to reach a wider audience. This is why we talked about building a long-term vision in the beginning. If you create content with splintering in mind, creating multiple pieces from a single piece of content will be easy and can be done with little time or added cost.
3. Focus On One Social Media Platform At A Time
Most small businesses I have worked with want to be present on all social media platforms. And while there is nothing wrong with that, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be present on every social media platform to be successful.
The key is to focus on being present and active on one social media platform at a time. You should choose one platform that is highly dependent on your niche. It could be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other platform. I recommend this approach because it allows you to focus your efforts on a single platform and build a strong presence there since this platform is where your audience is.
Once you have a strong presence on one social media platform, it will be easier to build a presence on another platform.
Moreover, working on a limited budget, you can’t afford to spread your resources too thin. If you try to be present on every social media platform, you will end up doing a mediocre job on all of them. It’s better to focus your efforts on one platform and do a great job there.
4. Invest In Email Marketing
Businesses tend to invest more in paid advertising and social media marketing while neglecting email marketing. But email marketing should be a priority for small businesses, especially if you’re working on a limited marketing budget.
According to research by Campaign Monitor, the ROI of email marketing can be up to 4400%. That is $44 for every $1 spent.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. And the best part is, it’s relatively inexpensive. You can easily set up an email marketing campaign for a few dollars per month.
Building an email list from scratch may seem like a lot of work. But it will be worth it in the long run. You can use your email list to drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and make sales. If you aggressively pursue email marketing and opt-ins from your blog subscribers or social media followers, you will be able to scale up your marketing efforts in the future.
One important thing to remember is that you need to focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to have a smaller email list of engaged subscribers than a large email list of unengaged subscribers. Make sure to focus on adding values that your subscribers will actually want to read your emails.
5. Invest in Video
It is a common misconception among SMEs that video is too expensive and time-consuming to produce. This is no longer true, thanks to the advent of smartphone cameras and video editing apps. You can easily produce high-quality videos with minimal financial cost.
Videos are one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. They are also one of the most versatile content types. You can use videos from social media posts to blog articles and email marketing campaigns.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to produce high-budget, Hollywood-style videos. The key is to produce videos that are interesting and informative. You can rely on smartphones but you should invest a little in some video editing software too. This will help you produce better-looking videos.
Focus on creating small duration (preferably 30-45 seconds) videos that are helpful and informative. How-to videos, product demonstrations, and educational videos are all great ideas. Make sure to promote your videos across all your social media channels and email list. You can also embed them on your website or blog. Remember, if your videos are entertaining and add value to your viewers, they will be successful.
6. Partner With Micro-Influencers
Influencer marketing can be a powerful way to reach your target audience. Now, this doesn’t mean you should partner with the biggest celebrities in your industry. For small businesses, that’s not feasible. Instead, you should focus on partnering with micro-influencers.
A micro-influencer is defined as someone with a small but engaged following (usually between 1,000 and 10,000 followers). They tend to be respected experts in their niche. And because they have a smaller following, they are often more affordable to work with.
This way, you can still leverage the power of influencer marketing without breaking the bank. Reach out to micro-influencers in your industry and see if they’re interested in partnering with you. This could involve anything from sponsoring a post to collaborating on a video or podcast episode.
The key is finding influencers who are a good fit for your brand and who have an engaged following relevant to your target audience. If you can do that, you’ll be able to reach your target audience through influencer marketing effectively.
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As a small business, you may not have the budget to invest in all of these digital marketing strategies. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still grow your business with the help of SEO Vendor.
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