Small businesses often struggle with exposure. Many people believe that effective marketing requires a huge budget. How can a small business begin on a low digital marketing budget?
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing passively generates leads as an alternative to strategies like cold calling. It uses online content to build brand recognition with the public. Digital marketing is necessary for a business to thrive now, and you need to be doing it.
How exactly can you start on a low digital marketing budget?
The bigger companies have bottomless pockets and a massive workforce to boot, how can the little guy compete? We’ve created an easy-to-follow 5-step plan, which makes digital marketing available to anybody. This plan is particularly effective for inbound marketing, you can find more information about that here.
Step 1: Identify your target audience
Effective marketing begins with identifying your client base. There are plenty of effective methods available to do this.
Examine the trends of your previous clients. Were they of a similar age, a similar professional background, male or female, any trends will inform your strategy. Understanding who your customers are will affect the type of media, the content included, and the time-released.
If you don’t have many prior clients, start conducting market research. You should find similar businesses that would market to your same target audience. From this information, you can make a client persona and build your strategy around that.
Client personas are made-up profiles of a fake person. For example:
Billy is a businessman working a 9-5.
He is a desk worker, so he’s often tired when he finished work.
He is 23, his job requires him to work on a computer all day.
From this, you can infer that your content needs to be posted early, so he doesn’t see it after work. You can infer that the content needs to be marketed to young adults, however, you may also decide this detail is unimportant and discard it.
Step 2: Create a place for your content to lead
Make a website. Small businesses need to bring the potential leads back to a single place.
Having a website is useful for seeing exactly how popular your business is. This allows you to critically analyse the content you create. If you don’t see many visitors, you need to change your strategy by either creating new content or targeting different audiences, if you do, analyse why it’s effective.
Having a website that looks professional will establish your business for potential customers. Leads drawn in by your digital marketing will be brought to your website.
Step 3: Begin building a social media presence
The most common and easiest way to begin digital media marketing is with social media platforms. Social media receives such a vast amount of traffic, meaning you’re likely to gain some traction.
Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Tik-Tok are most commonly used. Simply sign up and make a group or business page respectively in order to start posting, allowing you to begin building a presence. Edit the description, name, and image for your group so that it better fits your business and helps clients find you easier.
Don’t be afraid to post memes or similar content, this is what grabs most of the attention on these sites. As long as the content is relevant to your business and appropriate for your target market, it will be effective.
Step 4: Expand on the content available on the website
Now you know your audience, you have a website and you’ve got people interested. What’s next?
Start creating inbound marketing content like blogs, videos, or podcasts that you can post on your website. This will increase the level of engagement with your website and create awareness of your business.
Some ideas for content are:
- Informative blogs
- Instructional videos
- Professional podcasts
- Working videos/images
There is plenty of content that you can create for your website that will make marketing more effective. Just be sure when creating this content that you present yourself as an industry professional, as potential clients will see it.
Step 5: Begin creating subscription content
You can confirm whether your target audience is interested in your content by making it subscription-based. This will automate the process of keeping high interest.
Subscription content refers to things like emails or text. It is used to keep user engagement up and keep those who enjoy your content viewing it. However, not everyone who views your content will be a client, so why should you be concerned?
Keeping your media channels saturated with views is good for the SEO score (search engine optimization score) of the page, meaning it will be easier to find in the future. By keeping as many people engaged as you can, you increase the odds of garnering more and more popularity. This, in turn, increases the odds of clients finding you through your digital marketing.