Let’s face it, most businesses don’t have a bottomless marketing budget.
Digital marketing is essential for every business. It’s how a business gets the word out about who they are and what they do.
Unfortunately, though, marketing isn’t something that’s free. By far, the most expensive way to go about marketing your business is by hiring an in-house professional to do it for you. You can save a lot more by working with a marketing company, or you could do it all yourself.
But, here’s the thing, even if you do it yourself, it still isn’t free. You’re only one person, and at the end of the day, you still have to know which marketing strategies to dedicate your time, energy, and dollars to.
5 Key Places to Put Your Marketing Budget
#1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Being visible online is incredibly important these days. When someone searches for relevant keywords to your business, you want to be found — and you want to be found at the top of page one of the SERP (search engine results pages).
When the average person uses a search engine like Google, they typically won’t look past the first page in the SERP. In fact, they won’t even look past the first few results on the first page of the SERP! So, if you’re not on top of page one of those results, you may as well not be online at all.
In order to get to page one of the SERP, you need to have a solid SEO strategy. When it comes to SEO, you can easily get lost in the weeds or be overwhelmed by the technical side of it, but the main aspects of SEO are simple — keyword research, content marketing, and linking.
A good organic ranking can’t be bought; it has to be earned over time through consistency and hard work.
#2. Top Placement Ads
SEO is the long game, and no matter how much content you publish or how many backlinks you get, you won’t get to the top of the SERP overnight. So how can businesses ensure that they are visible until they start earning those organic rankings? They can do so through Top Placement Ads, or Google Ads!
Top Placement Ads are exactly what they sound like. Instead of earning organic clicks through SEO, you’ll pay to jump to the top of the SERP in an ad. Ads like these allow businesses to get the visibility they need online right away.
While Top Placement Ads are great for new businesses without much of an organic online presence, they aren’t a cost-effective long-term strategy for success
#3. Social Media Marketing
A successful online marketing strategy is one that ensures that, wherever your target audience is online, your business will be there, too. And, these days, your target audience is most likely on social media.
Social media will give you a whole new level of digital marketing because it’s a powerful tool for not only gaining more visibility but also building a more personal connection with your audience. No other form of marketing makes it so easy to show off a different, more personal side of your business.
The most popular social media channels are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but a lot of businesses find a lot of success on some of the newer, smaller channels, like Snapchat and Pinterest. Your business doesn’t have to have a presence on all of them, but you should have a presence on any that are relevant to you. You should make it a point to post and interact with your audience regularly.
#4. Online Reputation Management
With SEO, you can ensure that people will actually encounter your business online, and with online reputation management, you’ll have more control over what exactly they find when they do. No matter how someone finds your business online, your online reputation is what helps to set you apart and close the deal.
There are many different aspects of your online reputation, and a good strategy should include claiming your listings, generating reviews, responding to reviews, and utilizing the right tools to monitor your online reputation, like Top Rated Local®.
With so many competitors out there, you need to give people a reason to trust your business. When people can read your customers’ reviews, they feel like they know you and have some idea of what working with you is like, which helps to give them peace of mind and establishes trust in your business.
#5. Email Marketing
Whether your goal is to get more reviews, to let your customers know about upcoming deals or sales, to announce new products or services, or, even, to provide your customers with informative content, email marketing is the way to go. Unlike many of the other forms of digital marketing, which are focused mainly on customer acquisition, email marketing is all about building customer loyalty.
As one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising, businesses tend to see a higher return on their investment with email marketing. This is largely because, nowadays, people have the ability to check their email on their cellphone at any time of the day or night, no matter where they are.
Email marketing is also easy to personalize to your audience. You can select all kinds of groups to target. Whether you want to send an email to every one of a certain age group or every one who purchased a specific product, you can easily do so with email marketing.
Most businesses know that digital marketing is essential, and if you don’t have a bottomless budget, you can get a lot out of it when you know where to put it. These are just a few of the many great places to put your marketing budget. Although they’re all great choices, the answer to where your budget should go really depends on your unique situation.