This is a guest contribution from our friends at Mondovo
Digital marketing isn’t as easy as it looks.
What we mean by that is that anybody can set up an AdWords account and bid on keywords or create a Facebook business page and run ads. The challenge is knowing how to do it right. Similarly, everyone knows that backlinks are important, but very few know how to conduct a safe white-hat link building program.
After all, if you’ve got a small marketing budget and you make the wrong choices, you might as well set your money on fire. The key is to spend smart and understand what you’re doing so that you can reap the benefits of your digital marketing efforts.
The topic of digital marketing can be an overwhelming one, but there are some common-sense things you can do to maximize your marketing budget to get the best possible results for your business. Here they are:
#1: Make a Detailed Marketing Plan
One of the most common mistakes that small business owners make when they’re marketing is that they take a scattershot approach without having a big-picture view of what they want to do or what they hope to accomplish.
You can avoid wasting money by taking the time to:
- Articulate your marketing goals. What do you want to do? For example, you might want to increase traffic to your site, improve your conversion rate, and boost your sales by 10%. Each goal requires you to think about strategy in a slightly different way.
- Figure out what your in-house capabilities are and which aspects of marketing you need to outsource. You may decide, for example, to outsource blog posts but find images to use with them yourself.
- Allocate your budget according to what you want to accomplish.
Understanding what you want to accomplish will help you to spend your resources wisely and give you the best possible chance of building a flawless digital marketing strategy.
#2: Choose the Right Marketing Platforms
Depending on what type of business you own, some marketing platforms are likely to be more beneficial than others. Some of the things you should consider when evaluating your options are:
- How likely the people in your target audience are to see your campaign on a given platform
- How much it costs to advertise on that platform
- Are your marketing capabilities versatile on that platform?
Social media marketing is a good example. If the majority of your target customers use Facebook but not Twitter, then it makes sense to focus your efforts on Facebook and not worry about maintaining a Twitter presence.
If you have data about your target audience, you can use it to identify the best sites to use for marketing. The Pew Research Center’s 2018 statistics have some information that may be useful to you.
#3: Inventory the Content You Already Have
If you have a website, blog, and at least one social media account, then the chances are good that you already have some content that can be used to help you reach your marketing goals. Companies with a lot of older content may not be sure what they have. Here are some tips to help you evaluate it:
- Make a list of all blog posts, videos, white papers, and proprietary images in your archives
- Note which content is evergreen (meaning it’s not date-dependent or outdated)
- Mark content that could be updated or refreshed with new information
Once you have a detailed inventory, you’ll be in the best position to spot opportunities to re-use or repurpose existing content.
#4: Update Content as Needed
Now, it’s time to think about how you can make additional use of the content you have. Here are some suggestions:
- Update outdated content. For example, you might take a blog post that features statistics from several years ago and update it with the most recent data from a reliable source.
- Repurpose content by putting it into a new format. You might:
- Take a blog post with a lot of statistics and turn it into an infographic
- Take a social media post that performed well and turn it into a video
- Put images together in a new and compelling way
- Take multiple blog posts and turn them into a whitepaper or eBook
- Revamp content to use on different platforms. On Facebook, you might post images over time that all make it into a single album. One way to repurpose them would be to create a bulletin board on Pinterest and pin those images together for your followers to see. You could then link them back to your eCommerce store, if you have one.
This is the time to get creative. It’s a lot less expensive to repurpose or update old content than it is to create new content from scratch.
#5: Curate Content for Your Target Audience
Content curation is an important part of any social media marketing strategy. It involves finding content created by other people and sharing it with your audience. The best content curation strategy adds something original to the content you find.
You can find content on the social media pages of industry leaders, influencers, and by following relevant publications. When you share the content, you find with your audience, make sure to put your own spin on it. Even a sentence or two can be enough to build your authority and add value to the content you share.
#6: Save Time with Posting Automation
Let’s face it, it can be time-consuming to create and find content to share on social media. During regular business hours, you may be too busy to do it – and after hours, you want to be able to enjoy time to yourself.
The solution is to seek out and use marketing automation tools. These tools allow you to spend just a small amount of time to schedule your posts. If you have a detailed content marketing strategy, you already know what you want to share and when you want to share it.
A scheduling tool can allow you to set up a whole week’s worth of posts in a fraction of the time it would take you to do them one by one.
#7: Keep an Eye on Your Metrics
The final thing you can do to maximize the advantages of digital marketing is to monitor the performance of your campaigns and adjust them as needed. After all, there’s no point in continuing to run an ad that’s not performing up to your expectations.
You should use your metrics to tweak ads and campaigns and split test alternatives. A single split test may yield only a small improvement in your performance. But, if you take a methodical approach, you should see incremental improvements that add up over time.
Having a small marketing budget doesn’t mean that you can’t reap the advantages of digital marketing. Instead, it requires you to be methodical and creative as you arrive at a digital marketing strategy that allows you to engage your audience and achieve your most important marketing goals.
Sameer Panjwani is the Founder & CEO of Mondovo.com, an online marketing toolset that helps you track your rankings, monitor your site stats, and research your competitors. A man of many talents, Sameer is currently on a mission to help 1 million businesses grow organically through his products and services. Find