5 Budget Friendly Online Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses
For corporate firms and large brands with marketing budgets worth millions, shelling a few thousands of dollars for their monthly marketing is no great deal. However for small scale businesses, every penny counts and the budget spent in marketing has to garner an immediate ROI.
Is it possible for small businesses to increase their footfalls using the latest technology at the most affordable rates?
We present 5 strategies to develop a robust marketing plan that gives the maximum returns on investment.
#1. Thoroughly research about your market
Researching on your target audience, their pain points and the ideal buyer characteristics has multiple advantages such as:
- Helps brands develop a laser sharp focus on marketing since they already know their likes and dislikes of the target audience.
- Targeted campaigns can be run to attract, engage and woe the audience.
The best marketing teams keep a regular tab on their competitors’ efforts and delve into their shortcomings and the untapped opportunities. SurveyMonkey, Instantly and GutCheck are the free survey tools used to validate research ideas, check the audience response and quickly generate the results.
#2. Giving utmost importance to email marketing
The most effective way to convey your brand’s message to the target audience is via email marketing. 74% consumers prefer commercial communications through emails (Merkle).
Email management services such as AWeber, MailChimp and iContact offer free email service for the first few thousands of subscribers and after that you can opt for paid plans. Amid the intense content clutter on social networks, your message either gets buried or reaches a very small segment of audience, email is a surefire way to make your message reach out to the audience.
The key to high email open rates is to convey your message in the least possible words in a way that keeps the users hooked to read the entire content. You can also add personalization and incentives such as an exclusive e-book, thus giving the audience a reason to look forth to your emails. Never spam the inbox, many bloggers and companies even mention the frequency of emails when a user signs-up.
#3. Optimize for Search Engines
Many businesses claim word-of-mouth to be the best marketing strategy, yet before making a purchase offline, 81% go online and check multiple product details (according to a report by Search Engine Journal).
Whatever the scale of your business, be it a small scale entrepreneur or a corporate firm, making your website search engine friendly is a must. According to the same report by Search Engine Journal, 75% of the visitors never go past the first page in the search results, hence leverage equal weightage on search engine optimization of your website.
#4. Use Social Media strategically
Investing a few hundreds of dollars on Facebook and LinkedIn can take your brand to thousands of potential customers. Investing on social media has multiple benefits such as – portraying your brand to the target audience, increase the company page’s followers by a few hundreds’ or thousands, improved brand awareness and potentially reaping profits in terms of increased sales.
Based on your business niche, you can use one or two primary networks for marketing and the other one to supplement the efforts. With 1.44 billion active users on Facebook, this is one network that should be used by all businesses. Facebook and LinkedIn marketing is used widely is because both of them offer tools to segregate the audience based on their demographics, the amount to be spent is totally in your hands and your brand gets featured directly in the target audience’s news feed.
Give your fans a reason to follow you on social media, offer an exclusive Facebook offers for your fans, thus making them spread the word about your brand to their network.
#5. Jump Past Competition with location based marketing
According to Pew Research Center, 74% adults use location based apps to collect information such as reviews, contact details, and location about the local businesses. By making your brand’s page on location based apps such as Foursquare, wWhere and Google Maps, you will bring in more foot traffic, share exclusive discounts, strengthen customer loyalty and improve conversions.
Create brand awareness for existing and new users by being on the quick search tools (location based apps) used to access quick information. Brands can increase consumer engagement, create greater noise and thereby increase profits in this way by spending almost nothing on marketing
Brands are remembered for the memorable experiences they deliver and being a brand owner you don’t necessarily need big bucks to create innovative marketing strategies, the most cost affordable ones are available just under your eyes.
About the Author: Priyanka Desai is the Founder of iScribblers, a content marketing and social media management firm.
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