From the time that the concept of business has emerged, marketing has always remained customer-centric. The way of delivering services and products has changed but the strategies survived without being altered. Technologies did bring revolution in all fields and marketing is no exception; the latest being, an increasing shift from print media to digital media. The rapid growth of digital marketing is the ultimate consequence of the penetration of internet and social networking sites into our lives. There is no need now to go from door-to-door and convince people about the legitimacy of your product, a post in social networking sites can do that work for us.
The prime advantage that digital marketing has brought in for small businesses and start-ups is the reduction in their marketing budget and effective growth in the results produced. Small businesses have a limited marketing budget and are compelled to compete with national and international brands when it comes to marketing.
Also, the advent and growth of the internet age now mean that startups can afford to dictate their marketing budgets and use digital marketing strategies to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, even with the biggest companies around, and that too without spending a huge amount of money!
Here, we are primarily going to discuss how small businesses and start-ups can maximize their budget and how digital marketing can help them in doing so.
A few tips and strategies for small businesses to maximize their budget are-
1) Smart allocation of the budget –
Paid and targeted ads are a must in the digital marketing industry. Even a single promoted ad on a social media platform could boost customer numbers, which will have a snowball effect as word-of-mouth spreads fastest online.
2) Getting the right tools –
Scientifically, tools are anything that reduces human efforts and maximizes work efficiency. The same concept applies to digital marketing too. There are tools such as Loomly, Buffer, SocialOomph to schedule emails and social media posts. Then there are tools such as GetFeedback, SurveyMonkey to provide us with better feedback. We also have tools to analyze our SEO, which includes Google Analytics, Yoast SEO, and Keyworddid, among many others. These tools can help a business utilize its budget correctly and gain the most out of it.
3) Creating quality content –
Strong content is like a good foundation. It can help you to build a solid and popular business profile. This is one of the reasons why many companies load their site with content, from blogs to videos, DIY tips and how-to guides. These all give their customers something to engage with when they arrive at their website.
4) Having a good follow up with the customers –
Loyal customers are the ones who keep regular contact with a business on a general basis. We should follow up with our customers to get testimonials and reviews, or to promote new products by email and social media announcements to keep them interested. Returning to customers can help us to create a steady income stream and even drive word-of-mouth promotion for new products.
5) Auditing SEO –
We know how important Search Engine Optimization is for marketing a business online. But for the people who don’t know about it – it’s a method to bring in more audience and potential customers to a website. An SEO audit is a process of determining how efficiently our web presence relates to best practices. The modus operandi behind running an audit is to identify as many foundational issues affecting organic search performance as possible. It’s important to have regular audits to ensure everything is in order. Any website is a digital property and it should not be kept stagnant for long periods. By upgrading one’s basic SEO, like URLs, keywords, and backlinks, we can boost a site’s visibility without affecting the budget too much.
Digital marketing does not always have to be extravagant and difficult. It isn’t always about the sale, exposure matters too. Digital marketing is about building a relationship with the audience and becoming their go-to for what they need. The sales will follow because they trust you. Once a customer trusts you, they’ll come back. And they’ll send their family and friends too.
Keep your marketing simple. Keep it personal. And keep it real. People want real, solid information, they don’t want to get the runaround. So getting on a close, personal level with customers and avoiding the cold “I’m-here-to-sell” kind of voice, builds an understanding and trust between marketers and customers which proves to be more beneficial in the long run.