Young Upstarts

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3 Digital Marketing Tips For Small Businesses Operating On A Small Budget

Digital marketing has exploded in the last few years with the help of social media and influencer marketing. For the 30.2 million small businesses in the US, this has been both a welcome and contested change. With giant corporations embracing the digital marketing shift, it is easy for small businesses to get lost in all the advertising and promos now available online. More than 80 percent of businesses spend at least $50,000 on digital marketing annually. As with most small businesses or those just starting out, they often come with a small budget, and navigating a digital marketing strategy that packs a huge punch on limited funds can be tricky.

Yet, your business does not have to contend with being faded into the background by larger digital marketing campaigns simply because of your budget or resources. Marketing is fundamentally about getting noticed and connecting with your customers in the past, present and future. Sticking to the fundamentals of marketing and adding a few innovative ideas for cost-effectiveness into your digital marketing campaign can not only shave your business expenses down, but is a resounding success with customers new and old to your product.

1. Get On The Content Marketing Bandwagon With Email Newsletters And A Blog.

When it comes to retail,  63 percent of customers expect personalization, according to RedPoint Global’s survey, while interactive marketing is set to be a key trend in the coming year, thanks to its customer engagement boosting powers. Content marketing can tick both of these boxes, and if done right, cost a small business a fraction of the cost. For new or cash strapped small businesses, start with adding a blog to your website. Businesses with blogs receive 55 percent more traffic than businesses without them. However, be sure to tailor your content to your customers (the personalization factor) without going overboard to sound too advertorial. This means considering the industry and target market your business is aimed at before creating blog posts.

You will also want to set a publication schedule to ensure consistency and build up interest from your followers. When it comes to promotion, synchronized alerts on your social media channels is a simple and cost-effective promotional strategy. Be careful to include existing customers as well, with the use of a weekly or monthly newsletter. Around 31 percent of customers found it frustrating when a business failed to recognize them as an existing customer, while 34 percent found being sent offers or information on an item already purchased annoying.

2. Make Use Of Local Business Websites Or Promo Discounts On New Ad Clients.

Go old school with local ads and press releases in local gazettes, newspapers and publications. This also applies to local websites such as county/state business directories, news sites or locally based marketing teams. More often than not, local and small businesses are offered discounts and competitive rates for purchasing advertising space. In addition, these local outlets and resources are ideally placed to help you target your local customers. Around 97 percent of customers go online to find a local company, according to research by Adaptive Marketing. For example, a small business based in Santa Barbara or along the Californian coast would be more suited to working with online Marketing Santa Barbara experts to achieve user acquisition in the area.

3. Use Your Social Media Channel As A Strategy And Feedback Platform.

The normalization of social media as a communication, marketing and even purchasing tools for customers has meant that for a small business to be competitive in the digital era, they must create a brand presence on social media platforms. In fact, it is now one of the first steps small businesses take after establishing a business location. It is also an incredibly cost-effective outlet to market your business. On average, companies that outsource their social media marketing pay $200-$350 per day. However, this is easily done in-house, either by hiring a dedicated (and remote) social media manager, or taking on the tasks yourself as the owner/manager.

You can also opt to hire freelancers for one-off digital marketing campaigns or contracts, which saves on human resource costs. The platform itself is very low priced with social media networks such as Instagram charging $0.70-$1 for an ad. This can rise to $3 for highly competitive industries. The advantage of these digital marketing outlets is the ability to receive instant feedback and criticism on your product, campaign and service, giving you the edge as a small business able to adapt to your market’s needs.

When it comes to marketing your small business, the key ingredients are creativity, resourcefulness and a customer-centric strategy. This has not changed in the digital marketing era. Keeping it impactful while also inexpensive in the world of digital marketing is easily achieved once you keep this in mind. With original marketing ideas and strategies focused on the customers instead of your ad budget, you can ensure your small business brand is seen, supported and given loyalty.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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