How you market your business to potential and existing customers is critical to your success. Your marketing efforts need to be timely, relevant and within your budget so you can attract the people you want and keep current customers loyal to your brand. Companies, now more than ever, are looking to internet marketing to create these affordable and effective strategies.
According to the Marketing Budgets 2015 survey, which was published in association with Oracle Marketing Cloud, 79 percent of companies planned to increase their spending on digital marketing technology in 2015, which was an increase of 13 percent from the previous year. Despite the trend in budget increases, online marketing does not have to be a costly plan.
Successful internet marketing not only puts yours business in front of the right people, it gives them a reason to learn more about what you can do for them. This can be accomplished through a myriad of inexpensive online marketing techniques. Below are three cost-effective digital marketing measures your business can utilize to increase your customer base and remain pertinent among existing ones:
1. Create Unique and Varied Content
Content is one of the most significant aspects of online marketing. According to Demand Metric, this type of marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62 percent less. To ensure your content marketing works, the information should be unique and it should appeal to your target audience.
Content affects how your business will appear in search engine rankings, and it impacts how users will interpret and respond to your company. You want to make sure any content on your website — or anywhere associated with your brand — is written specifically for that avenue, is created exclusively for your business and is accurate. Stale, outdated or incorrect content could affect your overall brand appearance.
Some of the most successful content marketing plans include a healthy mix of informational text, videos, infographics, photographs, screenshots, maps and other forms of content that will help your audience get interested. Changing up your content makes it more appealing and easier to interpret, and it could generate more views. For instance, according to Kissmetrics, content with relevant images gets 94 percent more views than content without relevant images.
2. Indulge in Social Media Networks
Another inexpensive marketing technique businesses can implement is social media marketing. Of course, most business owners already know the value of using social media platforms to promote their businesses. However, some may be unsure of how to maximize their efforts. What you share on social media, when you post and what social media platforms you use all could affect the outcome of your marketing plan.
Some of the most common social media sites businesses use include Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and about 42 percent of marketers say Facebook is critical to their business. Some of these allows users to post blog-type content, and others provide a more real-time approach to communication. The way businesses use these social media platforms vary, but the general goal should be to connect with potential customers, as well as current customers.
The best way to reach people via social media is to post innovative content that other users will want to share. According to Buffer Social, visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. This could mean posting photos, videos, screenshots or interesting graphics. One of the most popular forms of visual content on social media is infographics.
Infographics, which are visual images like charts or diagrams used to display information, garner some of the most attention on social media. According to Mass Planner, infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than other any other type of content. With a little time and creativity, you can create a unique infographic related to your industry, helping your business get more exposure with little costs.
3. Develop Effective Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing — depending on the software you choose — can be an inexpensive way to reach new customers and reconnect with some who may have forgotten about what you can offer them. Email marketing lets you connect with a person directly through their inbox, reaching them nearly anytime, anywhere. This convenience is beneficial to you and the recipient.
When developing an email marketing campaign, you need to establish your goals and determine what you hope to accomplish. This will help you determine the rest of your plan and your budget. You could have one overall goal or a few small, incremental goals. No matter which you decide, the goal should be something that can be measured. This ultimately will help you gauge if the emails were successful and could give you perspective on how to improve.
Again, the content within the email should be something useful to the reader. Business also should consider that 80.8 percent of users report reading email on mobile devices, according to HubSpot, which makes having a mobile-friendly website critical to this plan. If the reader is intrigued by your email, but cannot view the content properly, the plan could be essentially fruitless. You should make sure your information is valuable and is provided in a coherently.
The way people communicate and the way consumers interact with businesses are changing. People want to be connected more than ever, and they want to have practical information presented in ways convenient to them. Using these marketing techniques can help you connect with your audience in a fundamental way without having to expand your budget.
Sarah Blanchard is a payments industry writer whose primary focus is in providing unique payment processing solutions for high risk businesses and credit repair credit card processing. Follow Sarah on Facebook and Google+.