Most SMEs are cost-conscious.
We have to be. We’re good at finding ways to trim budgets while boosting the bottom line and making the money we have go far.
But how do you harness that savvy thinking when it comes to the ever-changing world of digital marketing?
Thankfully, we’re here to help!
Read on to find our top tips for rolling out brilliant digital marketing that will reach customers and convert leads without costing you a fortune. So long as you have some time and are willing, you can still achieve great success with digital marketing, even on a shoestring.
Give Your Content Some Love
Creating brilliant content around your USP is one of the most powerful things you can do for free to get your brand out there. Remember that old marketing saying – Content is King? Well, it’s as true today as it has ever been. Despite the huge economy around content marketing,
you don’t need to run ad campaigns or sponsored posts to get traction on social posts, and you just have to be posting the right content.
Here’s the advice we always come back to when helping clients think about what content will work for them:
- Write content specific to your business goals
- Ensure your content is written with your audience in mind
- Set your own writing goals and principles (is your company tone friendly, approachable, formal or educational?)
Your choice of content will depend on what type of business you are, and where you have the greatest successes will be affected by many different factors. For most start-ups and SMEs, LinkedIn is the perfect starting point for sharing content, but most companies can also find great success with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even TikTok.
Create Multi-Purpose Content
A great ‘cheat’ when it comes to content marketing is to remember that one piece of content can be leveraged in several ways. For example, perhaps you have published a white paper on your blog. Firstly, make sure you share it across your social channels, but then have a think about how you can extrude other content from it – could you make an infographic from the findings? Is there a great quote you could pull out and make into a graphic tile? Free resources such as Canva are great for creating simple graphics that can make your content work harder and go further.
We say it over and over – video is one of the best formats for sharing content online. Facebook alone boasts more than 4 billion video views per day, and all you have to do is look at the success of video platforms to understand that it’s the most effective and digestible way to present content in 2021.
Many startups and SMEs are nervous about producing their own video content, but it doesn’t need to be daunting. Videos do not need to be professionally recorded to be successful – a smartphone can work well to create short, engaging videos that entice customers. Showing the face behind the business is a really effective way to build trust in your company, so don’t shy away from putting yourself out there and heading up some video content.
Smaller companies are often put off by SEO, and we get it. It can seem like an overwhelming task to optimize your web presence, but it is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase traffic to your site and improve your organic reach.
Keep It Local
An approachable way to tackle SEO is to focus on local SEO. While national SEO is driven by ranking in searches across the country, local SEO prioritises appearing in specific locations, making it more relevant to your base of local customers; plus, it’s free!
Local SEO can be time-consuming. However, the benefits over time can be huge, so it’s well worth investing some time into these SEO must-dos:
- Add location-based keywords to the titles, headings, and body of your main website pages (think: “Oxford accountant”)
- Get your company listed in online directories, ensuring your information is identical across platforms.
- Create content on your blog specific to the neighbourhood you serve.
Leverage Online Review Sites
User-generated content is win-win. It’s great because it increases trust and confidence in your brand, and it also requires very little work from you! Oh, and it’s brilliant for SEO.
Encourage reviews on Google or Trustpilot, and (if the feedback is positive) leverage those testimonials by using them on your website and in your digital marketing content.
Create a free Google My Business Profile
For local businesses especially, a Google Business Profile is one of the most effective free marketing strategies available. Taking advantage of this free listing allows your business to show up on Google Maps, the local section of Google Search, and the right-side Knowledge Panel for branded searches.
Small budgets often require out-of-the-box thinking, so why not consider some of these creative ideas to take your marketing to the next level without splurging your budget?
Produce Your Own Podcast
The popularity of podcasts shows no sign of slowing down, and they can be a great way to connect with your audience. Why not think about reusing content, and record your first podcasts using old blog content? Promote through your social channels and respond to your audience’s needs and interests to create a cost-effective marketing product that your customers enjoy.
If the last 16 months have taught us anything, it’s that video conferencing is a very powerful tool. Webinars are a free way to promote your business by providing helpful information to a wide potential customer base, no matter their location. In addition, they can be used to boost conversions, improve brand awareness and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Ensure you promote your webinar through your social media channels ahead of time and send reminder emails to registrants, so they don’t miss it. As a bonus, webinars will help you build your email list.
You’ll find that most industries have business awards that you can enter. Some charge, but many are free. If you win or are even shortlisted, you can shout about your accolade on social media, giving your customers even more reasons to trust your company. You also may gain some press coverage if you win, so it’s well worth taking the time to fill out the application form to highlight the work you are most proud of.
Shoestring Digital Marketing
Ultimately, marketing doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are hundreds of tactics out there that can be really effective with a small budget, you just need to commit some time and energy, and you’ll soon be seeing results.
for loads more small business marketing tips, click here.