Brian Spero is a contributing team member of Money Crashers, where he helps run online marketing campaigns and writes about business, technology, and finance.
With billions of consumers shopping and spending money online every day, there's no wonder businesses small and large are jostling to jump-start an effective online marketing campaign. While handsome rewards await those who can successfully connect with a pervasive online audience, the question for many is how to keep costs down while ramping up traffic and conversions.
If you are launching a small business on a tight budget, or are looking to improve the efficiency of your current advertising efforts, consider these straightforward tips for saving money on your online marketing campaign.
1. Strategize It's wise to use online marketing to ignite your business productivity, but being overly eager and jumping in blindly is a surefire way to waste time and money. Before ever investing a single dollar online, first establish a realistic budget, and clearly define the goals of your campaign. By taking a comprehensive approach to understanding all of the marketing options that are available to you on the Internet - including factors such as strengths, limitations, costs, and time - you can form a strategy to most economically deploy your resources while averting costly missteps.
- Formulate a comprehensive strategy that includes a balance of free, low-cost, and for-pay online advertising methods, structuring campaigns to work in unison to maximize efficiency.
- Study competitors to learn which methods, whether it is social media marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) or SEO and email campaigns, are most effective for your business.
2. Employ Teamwork Getting your online marketing campaign rolling requires expert guidance and precision, whether it means working with a firm, bringing in a part-time independent consultant, outsourcing to freelancers, or hiring full-time staff. Reduce the burden on any one individual and conserve resources by taking a team approach to managing your campaign. From SEO, to social media, to PPC, with a little guidance, practice, and the support of a software management application, you can reduce the costs of full-service providers by bringing responsibilities in-house and working toward self-sufficiency.
- Utilize team members to produce insightful content in order to generate free fuel to power your social media and content marketing efforts.
- Train staff as online marketing liaisons, employing comprehensive software platforms and mobile applications to administrate and oversee compulsory elements of your campaigns.
3. Stay in Focus There are at least a dozen popular methods for online marketing, but not all of them are equally effective or suitable. Whether you are talking about SEO or email marketing, it's less a question if it works, and more a question of why it works. By focusing on the areas that promise the greatest return on investment, you can strive to achieve a level of proficiency that unlocks its full potential. Even with online marketing techniques that are cost-free, ask yourself if you would be better served diverting your time and resources to methods which provide the most dynamic results.
- Take a measured, scalable approach to online marketing, mastering one element at a time before adding additional layers to compliment your overall campaign.
- Calculate the ROI of your individual efforts, focusing on what is most successful while eliminating that which falls short.
4. Analyze and Adjust Things on the Internet move fast, and that holds especially true in regard to the evolution of online marketing. While it's essential to keep your finger on the pulse of cutting-edge trends and techniques, it only pays dividends if you are also collecting and analyzing data yielded from your ongoing campaign. Just because something is working one day doesn't ensure that it will work the next, while if an element of your marketing is failing, it may just mean you are doing it wrong. By tracking your online marketing campaigns, as well as those of your competitors, you can identify emerging trends and aspects that are successful, while making adjustments to rectify deficiencies.
- Monitor marketing analytic reports on a daily basis, taking a proactive approach to getting the most productivity from your collective efforts.
- Continually test new strategies, whether it's a change of wording in your email marketing subject lines, or tweaking a call to action in ads, measuring results to focus on the most effective approach.
5. Capitalize on Modern Solutions SEO is a cost-effective and sustainable marketing "no-brainer" for any business with a website. Performance marketing done right should ensure a return on investment, and email marketing can bring back as much as $43 for every dollar spent. However, all of these methods can be optimized for performance and cost-efficiency by utilizing a professional software management platform.
An application such as SEMrush not only provides insightful SEO metrics and expert-level guidance in formulating keyword strategies, but also helps perform advertising research to maximize the impact of your paid search campaigns. Marketing software platforms help businesses of all sizes reduce costs by supplying the ability to do everything from performing complex analysis, to formulating effective strategies in-house.
- Deploy software applications to automate tasks such as responding to emails, tracking leads, or posting to social media to preserve resources and ensure accuracy.
- Utilize analytics tools that make it easier to track campaigns and measure ROI, mining insight from reports to make adjusts that lead to improved performance.
Final Thoughts Managing the costs of online marketing is a matter of formulating a winning strategy, operating with precision, and continually striving for improved production. By thinking before you act, focusing your resources, and utilizing modern tools and techniques to achieve efficiency, you can run a first-class campaign that helps you realize your goals and unlock your business's full potential.
What other tips can you suggest to save money on an online marketing campaign?