Last year, spending on digital ads increased by 35 percent from the previous year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Seeing as we’re already on track for another record in 2022, it's no understatement to say that ad spending is at an all-time high, and that companies are always looking for new ways to save money on marketing.
However, ads are just one way to promote your small business, especially if you're on a budget. Learn tips for getting your brand's name out there below.
Take Advantage of Free Tools
Begin with the end in mind by knowing how much you're willing (or able) to spend on promoting your small business. Fortunately, we live in a time where myriad opportunities are available for low costs or even free.
Free promotional tools include:
The Small Business Administration recommends businesses spend around 8 percent of revenue on marketing. Any of the options listed above can help you diversify your long-term promotional strategies while saving money.
Sometimes, it makes more sense to improve upon existing strategies than to throw them out or start enlisting other tactics. entirely. For example, if your PPC campaign has historically not had great ROI, but others in your industry use it successfully, maybe the best move is to upgrade your plan.
One free way to improve ROI is to start tracking analytics for your online traffic. Google Analytics, for example, costs nothing to sign up for.
If, for example, you discover your website has a high bounce rate on your landing pages or somewhere in the marketing funnel (meaning people visit your website then leave quickly), you know you have work to do on optimizing those pages. What gets measured, gets managed.
A website serves as the “home base” or digital business for many small business digital marketing strategies. Without a professional design and smooth functionality, it’s unlikely that your email, ad, SEO, or social media campaigns will get very far. You may direct traffic there just fine but lose them along the way.
For example, the average user leaves a website within 3 seconds if it doesn’t load, so ensure that your pages are loading quickly enough, and focus on the following:
Also, by improving your website’s user experience (UX), you’ll see a noticeable improvement in your site’s SEO value. Google uses over 200 factors on your website to determine its ranking, which means that a UX design will improve your long-term, organic traffic.
Integrating digital marketing strategies with one another is fairly intuitive, but don’t forget about physical marketing campaigns, especially for local businesses. Flyers, direct mail campaigns, and word-of-mouth marketing are still widely effective strategies, especially for B2B or B2G marketing. Direct outreach can go a long way when trying to attract larger business deals!
If you have discounts, sales, or loyalty rewards programs to serve to your target audience or existing customers, use them to their fullest extent! Offer users a sense of urgency and let them know why they should shop with your business, not your competitors’.
Whether you’re competing for SEO, ad clicks, or anything else, focus on originality with your promotions. For example, trying to get to the top of a Google search for a high-traffic keyword can be challenging with a blog, especially if your website isn't that old. Instead, you might choose to put time into crafting unique and informative videos to help get new eyes on your products.
If you notice there is oversaturated competition for a PPC campaign, SEO keyword, or any other strategy, think outside the box.
We’ve mentioned blogs, social media, newsletters, and other specific strategies. Use these as opportunities to engage and inform your intended audience and you’ll see a difference in building brand awareness, positive brand associations, and higher conversion rates.
By offering users the information they seek, you can inform them of the challenges posed and offer your services as a solution. For example, a mechanic may post information on Reddit or Quora about how to change your oil, discuss some of the challenges (buying tools, lifting the car, etc.), and offer their services as a solution. This is the best way to build sustainable, organic traffic and revenue without overspending.
Now that you know some great ways to promote your business on a budget, put these tips to use as soon as possible. Some are cheaper than others, and some are free, but they are all effective if executed properly!
Keep reading our blog for our latest business tips and feel free to contact us with any questions or for help with your strategy.