There’s a lot to consider when spearheading a digital marketing campaign. What is the message and content you’re trying to market? What audience are you trying to reach? What’s the best way reach them? But perhaps the first and most obvious factor any company may contemplate is how much they need—and are able—to spend toward their marketing initiatives.
Marketing should be considered an important business investment. Cutting corners and trying to keep things “cheap” will typically yield your efforts ineffective and ultimately lead to a waste of your investment. However, every company has a budget.
A marketing budget can be a bit tight for newer startups or smaller businesses that don’t boast millions in venture capital and valuation. Even if your company has a somewhat bigger pocket book, it can be easy to lose sight of your spend and return on your investment.
So how, exactly, can you execute a powerful digital marketing campaign with a leaner budget? Here are some strategies and areas of digital marketing to consider:
Just as it has rapidly evolved for personal and leisurely networking, social media continues to grow as one of the most vital and effective marketing platforms for many businesses. Social media allows brands to build and reach an audience in more targeted and instantaneous ways than ever before.
Social networks offer many low-cost and scalable tools that can lend significantly to a digital marketing campaign.
Flex Targeting for Facebook
Facebook’s flex targeting functions allow you to tailor your Facebook ads to specific combinations of characteristics beyond standard demographics like gender, age, and location. Flex targeting is a really useful tool if your business is a bit more niche and targets a more particular audience.
Say, for instance, you run an iPhone app-based vegetarian meal delivery service. You could set your Facebook ad to hone in on users who own a home and are also (of course) vegetarian. What’s even more interesting is that you can set parameters to exclude specific characteristics, like if someone uses an Android smartphone (because your app only works on iOS).
This ability to mix & match qualifications gives you more control and leverage of your spend, making sure your ad reaches the consumers that are most likely to convert to sales.
Facebook Lead Ads
Lead ads pair your ad content with a simple call-to-action button (“Sign Up,” “Download,” “Learn More,” or even “Get Quote”), opening an inquiry form with pre-filled information based on the user’s Facebook profile. Not only does your ad encourage the consumer to seek more information, but it allows them to do so without leaving the comfort of their Facebook feed (or even having to type in their information).
This level of convenience creates a higher propensity for leads and conversions but also consolidates a lot of efforts and expenses for your business. You don’t need to worry about building landing pages and inquiry forms to accompany your advertisement.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engines are the more traditional arena for most digital marketing endeavors. As consumers search the web for products and services, search engines allow businesses to target pertinent queries and present their website prominently within the results pages. But there’s really only one field within the Google Coliseum worth playing in, and that’s page one.
Research shows that about 90% of web searches stay within the first page of results. Not only is page one vital to your organic (non-paid) search rankings, but this is also where paid AdWords listings appear. AdWords campaigns usually make up a big portion of a company’s digital marketing expense, but there are tools and tactics that can supplement your search campaigns to get the most bang for your buck.
What you spend on keywords determines how often and to how many people your search ad is displayed. It’s easy to set a default cost-per-click or let Google determine a sensible bid for you, but the most popular or important keywords can rack up a big tab. You can make your campaign (and investment) more effective by using bid modifiers. These increase or decrease your keyword bids based on metrics like a searchers location or type of device. For example, you can choose to spend more for ads displayed on desktops vs. smartphones, or less for your ad to run in New York vs. Los Angeles.
Have you ever searched for a product, clicked into a website, and continued to see ads for that brand almost everywhere on the internet? Google offers tools that allow you to retarget your ads after a customer has clicked. This gives you a marketing presence beyond the search results pages, displaying your ad on other websites, including social media. It sort of allows you to “follow” a customer who may not have converted, creating a consistent presence for your brand as that customer browses the rest of the world wide web.
When talking search engines, it’s easy to blanket the conversation with Google, as it is, by far, the most commonly used search engine. However, it may be a surprise to some that Bing (the Microsoft-equivalent of Google) captures about 30% of US searchers. It is the search engine behind Apple’s Siri, as well as Amazon’s suite of products including the Kindle Fire tablet and Echo. While you should still consider Google your search marketing priority, Bing yields supplementary conversions, slimmer competition, and cheaper cost per click.
When it comes to a digital marketing campaign, it’s important to do thorough research and determine the avenues and tactics that bet fit your brand and business model. You may find yourself wasting money by going blindly into a digital campaign. Another suggestion to keeping your marketing efforts budget-friendly is to consider a professional digital marketing agency (someone like epicseo.net) to manage and maintain your campaigns. While you might look at it as adding to your cost, it can be a smart and worthwhile strategy to get the most effective and scalable results out of your marketing investment.