Digital marketing is an inseparable part of a business today. It demands investment of both time and money. According to a report by eMarketer, worldwide spending on digital marketing will be nearly 49.6% of the total media ad spending by 2021.
(Image Source: eMarketer)
Producing big results with a limited digital marketing budget is a challenge faced by most small businesses. According to a survey, 15% of small business owners consider marketing and advertising as a challenge.
But it isn’t impossible to make an impact even with a small digital marketing budget. There are many ways to use your budget effectively.
1. Use the power of online networking and outreach
For a small business to make a place for itself in the market and be visible to customers, networking is extremely essential. Thankfully, in the digital world, networking is not that difficult as long as you are actively involved. There are many platforms and online communities where you can reach out to your target audience and connect
i) LinkedIn – LinkedIn, with its community of over 65 million users, is one of the best places to promote your business and make new connections. If you don’t already have one, it is advisable to create a LinkedIn company page for your business.
LinkedIn’s search features allow people to find pages that offer what they are looking for. Using the right keywords and search terms in your company page will help your page perform better in these searches. You can also find potential clients by looking into your friends’ and acquaintances’ connections.
Apart from this, you can post status updates regularly, share content published by other related pages and participate in groups to increase your visibility.
ii) Online communities – Apart from the very popular LinkedIn, there are many other online communities where you can make your presence known. Online communities usually see a lot of engagement where members ask questions and offer solutions on topics related to the field. These can be great platforms for making your business known to prospective clients, by actively participating in discussions and offering answers to people’s questions. These communities could be hosted as Facebook Groups, independent niche based discussion forums or broader forums like Reddit.
iii) PR with HARO – HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out and if you haven’t heard of it yet, you are missing out on a lot of media attention. HARO is a publicity service site where journalists can find stories for media coverage. It also serves as a platform for brands to have their story told through these journalists and bloggers. So it makes public relations easier for smaller businesses.
(Image Source: Help a Reporter Out)
They have a straight-forward pitching process. Once you have registered as a source, you will receive emails from reporters and media outlets, from all over the world, requesting for stories. If you have an authority on any of the topics, you can answer the reporters directly through email. Although, you are not allowed to pitch products directly in your response, unless the request asks for it, it can still be a great way to get some much needed media coverage.
2. Use gig platforms to get your marketing content for less
Your blog and your website are major digital marketing tools that require attention. In fact, 55% of marketers today reportedly rely on blogging as their mainstay for inbound marketing. But running a business will leave you with no time to maintain a blog on your own. And hiring full time employees to maintain your blog or website is expensive for a small business.
This is where gig platforms come to your rescue. There are numerous freelance platforms where you can connect with freelancers to get marketing content for a much lower price than hiring a writer.
Here are some popular platforms that you might want to consider.
Upwork – Upwork is a leading freelance platform offering services in various categories. You are sure to find the right kind of freelancer to create content for you here. That’s because the platform also allows you to search for freelance solutions based on the size of your business.
Narrato – Narrato is an AI-driven content platform that connects you with thousands of pre-qualified and expert freelance content writers. It focuses mainly on marketing and web content, and uses smart algorithms to match you to the best suited freelance writers. They also offer free plagiarism checks, free images recommendation tool and a $1 trial.
Fiverr – Fiverr is a popular freelance platform that deals with various categories such as graphic designing, digital marketing, animations, music, lifestyle and many more. They have recently launched industry specific services for the e-commerce and gaming industries.
Awesomeweb – Awesomeweb is another great freelance platform where you can find freelancers in the fields of logo design, web design, blog design, WordPress, mobile app among others. It is very easy to find the right kind of freelancer for your job here with all necessary information such as skills, rate/hr, availability amongst others.
Using these gig platforms, you can get quality content at a very low cost and little investment of your time and resources.
3. Repurpose content in multiple formats to gain a wider exposure
The main idea behind repurposing existing content is to draw attention back to your old content pieces on other platforms. In 2013, Google’s Matt Cutts said that 25 to 30% of web content is duplicate or repetitive and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, Google takes all the duplicates and groups them into a cluster. Then it shows the best of the results in that cluster.
Repurposing can mean sharing the same content in a different format or adding more information and updating the content over time. The best way to choose content that can be repurposed, as suggested by most experts, is to choose those pieces that are timeless. For instance if you wrote a blog post on the Android KitKat version some years ago, there’s not much point in re-purposing it as we have moved way ahead. Repurposing can only be successful when the content has some relevance in current times and will continue to be relevant in the future.
Next, look into your analytics and find out which are your most popular posts and what made them work. It is usually seen that content pieces that people really found useful tend to perform better after re-purposing too.
Lastly, find out which of your posts need to be updated. There are often certain developments that may have occurred after you published a post and they were not mentioned in your content earlier. Such information can be added to the existing post and published again, to make it more valuable to the reader.
(Image Source: Hootsuite Blog)
Some of the best ways to repurpose your old content is by creating a presentation, an e-book, an infographic, an animated video tutorial or a podcast. People today have exposure to various channels to gain information. By repurposing old but evergreen content, we aim to reach out to more people across these numerous channels.
4. Leverage the power of video marketing
No matter how low your digital marketing budget is, you cannot overlook the importance of video marketing anymore. According to a survey conducted by Renderforest, marketers who use videos grow revenue 49% faster and receive 41% more web traffic from search than those who don’t use video.
So, it is important that you find out a way of including this marketing tool in your strategy. And in fact, video marketing doesn’t always have to be expensive. You could make your own videos, in-house, with the help of the right people and the right tools.
The first thing you’ll need here is a good script – something that’s engaging and is able to stir people’s emotions. Video marketing is more about making use of people’s emotional impulses rather than stating facts. You can either go for live action or animated videos.
Equipment can be rented at very low costs and you can edit and refine your videos using some good tools. Here are some great tools that can help you with video creation and marketing.
Wideo – Wideo is an online video platform that allows you to easily create, edit, and share animated videos. You can also personalize your video by adding your logo or even background music.
Wistia – Wistia is a video marketing software that allows you to host your videos on a customized player, where you can add your logo or change the player colour. It is a good tool to work with that can automate your video SEO process and track your viewers.
Vidyard – Vidyard is another popular video platform for businesses. Here you can create videos, personalize them, add interactive CTAs and share as well.
Lumen5 – Lumen5 is a video platform that uses A.I. to help you transform text content into video content. You can simply import a blog post into Lumen5, and the system will create an engaging video ready to share.
Most of these tools have free trial versions or free packages with some limited features that you can start with.
5. Retarget old and existing customers through email marketing
Retargeting is a marketing tactic that helps keep your brand from losing its relevance among existing customers or even new ones.
Email retargeting can mean sending retargeted ads or noCRM email retargeting. Retargeted ads are pretty simple. You already have customers who have subscribed to your emails or shared their email addresses on your site. So when they visit your site again, you can identify them from their email address and send targeted ads through Facebook, Google or other platforms. This is also called list-based retargeting.
The noCRM email retargeting tries to match anonymous visitors against a large database of email addresses obtained through partners and publishers. You can then send these people some relevant emails or opt-ins they could be interested in.
Your email retargeting strategy can include anything from abandoned cart emails, abandoned product browse emails or Facebook ads related to a product customers were browsing. The idea is to add more value in every retargeted ad. And the best way to add value here is by sending personalized and appropriately timed ads or emails.
Personalization will be much easier with list-based retargeting than noCRM retargeting. For instance, you can address a subscriber with their first name in an email but you have to avoid doing that with noCRM visitors as they haven’t opted in yet. You can still send ads or emails sharing more information about the products they were browsing. If they viewed a number of products, don’t add more than 3 or 4 in one retargeting ad or email.
The best time to send a retargeted email or ad will depend on the customer’s behavior on the site though.
(Image Source: Rejoiner)
An abandoned cart email, for example, should be sent within a few minutes or at least a few hours of the visitor exiting the site. If you can add an incentive on completing the purchase now, say free shipping or a gift voucher, the unsure buyer may be motivated. A product browse email, on the other hand, can wait a day or two as the customer still hasn’t shown deep interest in buying.
Retargeting customers with email marketing can in fact increase your sales. According to research, customers who are reminded of an abandoned cart through email are likely to spend 55% more on the purchase than they would have otherwise spent.
So, go ahead and include email retargeting in your digital marketing strategy.
With these simple to execute tips, you should be able to create a powerful digital marketing strategy, even on a small budget. Marketing doesn’t have to be about how much money you spend but about the ideas and innovation you put into the process.
Neelam Goswami is a budding content creator, and her areas of interest include digital and content marketing. She works as a content writer for Godot Media, a leading content platform. She is also an amateur artist and loves to spend time on creative work.