Digital marketing on a small budget, can it be done?

Cost Time Analysis

Don’t have more than a $1000/month to put towards advertising? Not even $500? No problem.
Small businesses everywhere have their reasons for not having an advertising budget. Whether its that they’ve been doing great on their own so far or they would rather use the money elsewhere, there is still a case to be made for digital marketing.

Here’s a few reasons it may be worth looking into:
– Digital marketing can be done very cheaply
– Most consumers use online reviews and resources to influence their decision
– Marketing can be automated
– It can potentially expose you to new markets
– You can track where your money goes and how well it performs
Those all sound great, but to address the real reason you’re here, lets walk through the options to keep it cheap.

Setting up Social
If you haven’t already set up your social media profiles, this is the first step you need to take. For almost any business I would recommend at least starting with Facebook and Google Business. They are widely used and are relevant for purchasing decisions. Not to mention FREE!
Think about who your customers are and then think about what other platforms you want to set up. Snapchat, for example, has a very young user base while Pinterest has more of a middle aged female population. Do some research and find out where you may find your target customers. (this is a great article to help get an idea of who uses what platform: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/)
The reason you should start with social is because it is a free and easy way to get in touch with your customers and reach new ones at the same time. Upload pictures of your products, staff, behind the scenes, and news you may have. Make sure that all your information is correct and that you link to your website or desired call to action to efficiently interact with your audience.

Email/Response Gathering
Email marketing is a fantastic way to directly get in touch with your customers. If they give you their email make sure that you give them content that they would be interested in receiving. This could be helpful tips, upcoming specials or new releases, giveaways, or news about your business.
Using Mailchimp you can gather a list of about 500 emails before having to pay. At that point if you have more, paying for a membership is worthwhile.
Once you’re able to grow your email list, you should be using it to generate reviews towards your online presence. Email is one of the most direct ways to get online reviews as you can send links directly to their inbox. This eliminates the hassle of having to log in with different accounts for the user. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog about email campaigns.
Automation
When you’ve got all of your social media set up its time to start thinking about what content you’d like to post. To eliminate wasting time get a bunch of pictures taken at once that you can schedule out over the upcoming month. Facebook allows post scheduling in the platform itself. Other third-party programs such as hootsuite or eclincher offer a bit more control over all social media platforms.
Email is another automation that you can set up for cheap.

Analytics
Most programs and social media platforms have analytics built in now. It’s worth taking some time to understand the basics of analytics and how to use them to improve your marketing. They are a key part of digital marketing for many reasons, but the two main ones are: you can track how well your money/ advertising is working and better understand your audience and how to reach them.
Google analytics should be installed on your website to see where your website traffic go and their browsing habits. When you get an idea of that you can cater your marketing to those habits and characteristics you found to make it more relevant.
Using analytics can help save you from wasting money and time. Using analytics properly you should be able to gauge what types of content resonates with your audience or what keywords are performing higher in your campaigns.

Planning and optimization
Once you’ve gotten your marketing going it’s time to start putting a lot more strategy into your marketing. Using analytics and planning you should be able to take an educated guess at what will perform well for future content.
The next step is to make it even better than your first attempt! Whether its your creative, your audience, your budget, your placement, etc. there is always a way to improve. Look at what performed well and try to spin off that idea. Any try to cut back on any low performing content.

In the end…
You can do digital marketing online for almost no cost other than time. Now, the tradeoff for doing it cheaply is that good organic growth can take a very long time to achieve. That’s because there is quite a learning curve to properly execute an organic campaign. Even experienced marketers will say it’s a slow process
What you can do alternatively is look to an agency or digital marketing specialist. When I work with my clients I am always sure keep budget as a priority for smaller businesses. Sometimes an organic campaign is the only option for low budget campaigns. When the company is able to grow their budget, results are a bit more present.
Speak with a member of our team today! We’re experienced with a wide range of budgets. Our goal is to find exactly what your business needs and create a campaign focused on reaching that success.