As a small business owner, you know the importance of marketing your business online. While you likely have an established online presence, it’s important to continually market yourself in order to ensure the best results.
But let’s face it: unless you’ve scored a huge investment for your business, you probably don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing. And because most small businesses don’t have the money to hire a full-time marketing coordinator, it’s up to you to figure out the best way to spread the word about your business. When you’re working with little to no budget, increasing brand awareness, domain authority and overall content output can be tough.
Here are five guidelines to help you get your resource-friendly marketing strategy started.
1. Determine Your Brand
Present a consistent image of your business, and don’t change that image to appeal to different types of audiences. You want to present a reliable look and feel so that it’s clear who you are and what you do.
For example, this could take the form of using the same logo or colour scheme, maintaining the same conversational tone in your advertising content or even using the same font in all your invoices.
2. Determine Your Goals
The smaller your budget, the more important it is for you to be clear and specific about your goals. Start by answering one simple question: what does a successful marketing campaign mean to you?
Some popular goals include increasing website traffic, generating more leads and increasing overall sales. And once you determine what you want, you can begin to develop specific steps that will help you to achieve it.
3. Determine Your Metrics
How will you know if your efforts are successful? Before launching your campaign, it’s important to define baselines and metrics. Begin by setting up Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, and then integrate their features so that they work with each other. By using them together with clear KPIs, you can see information about visits to your site, which pages are the most popular and the path your website visitors are taking.
It’s important to be mindful of the data reported in both of these tools, and to use the data you gain to improve the user experience by redesigning pages, editing your site’s layout or adding new content.
4. Pick Your Target
Your products or services may appeal to a large group of people, but that presents a problem when it comes to trying to market your business on a limited budget. Instead, use your resources effectively by picking a segment of your total potential audience to focus on. Narrowing down your target consumer base will decrease marketing costs, and may even make your campaign’s message more accessible to the desires of that audience.
Spend some time researching the platforms your target audience is most likely to use (such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.), and then spend more of your budget reaching your consumers there.
5. Create Great Content
Instructional videos, infographics, blog posts; content marketing is all the rage. Creating great content that informs readers and encourages them to share links increases domain authority, which can help your search engine rankings.
Great content also helps you to position your business as a leader in the industry, which builds brand recognition and trust. For example, submit an editorial piece to your local newspaper about something exciting happening in your organization, or submit guest content to blogs in your niche. When it comes to marketing on a budget, content marketing is hands-down the best way to inexpensively market your business.
While getting your business on the map (or the first results page on Google) doesn’t have to be a costly venture, it does take time. Building your brand’s online presence takes planning, patience and most importantly, persistence. So, if you don’t see immediate results, don’t give up. Just remember: Apple, Nike and Facebook weren’t built in a day.
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