There can be little doubt of how important marketing is to grow a business. Companies both big and small plug a great deal of their capital into their marketing in an effort to extending their reach. But even when you’ve poured money into your marketing, there isn’t always a guarantee that there will be a return.
The internet is creating many opportunities for cost-efficient marketing, however. Well-crafted digital content and innovative customer engagement strategies already outrank TV ads in terms of reach. In addition, the costs associated are constantly decreasing as the skills involved become more widespread.
For many companies, their website is a virtual shop front. Website design is often centered around usability and engaging imagery, but most websites now include a blog. Once you’ve set up a website it is important to have something to update constantly so that you can remain in search engine rankings.
But more importantly, a well crafted and delivered blog engages your customers and potential customers on a regular basis. You have the opportunity to tell a story of your brand and offer information that your visitors might not normally have access to.
“For some companies, it may seem difficult to create a blog, but you needn’t be too prescriptive, says Christopher McClean, author at Researchpapersuk and Last Minute Writing, “Some ideas for blog posts include team profiles, crucial dates, product reviews or even interviews with affiliated businesses.“
If you already have anyone on your team who can write entertainingly, there is no cost to blogging. Even if you don’t, the ability to create engaging blog posts can be easily learned or even outsourced for very low costs. You might even invite users or affiliates to write guest posts.
Social media 📱
Blogs are great for engaging with users who are already aware of your website but in order to grow your visitor base there simply no avoiding social media. Unfortunately, social media is starting to become a complicated business and in order to make the best of it you should strategize carefully.
You should utilize your social media accounts in similar ways to you would a blog, using it as a constant way of holding a conversation with your customers. Many companies decide to branch out and use it in a relaxed informal way, developing a brand personality. This is a great way of removing the stigma of a branded account but does run the danger of distracting from the core of your business.
In addition, being too conversational can run the risk of sounding unprofessional, undermining trust in your business. In short, you should focus on being appropriate to your demographic when utilizing social media.
The cost of social media use can be only the cost of your internet bill. But if you really want to optimize it so that you target your desired customer-based, it is a good idea to put some money aside for product launches and dedicated marketing campaigns.
Video content 📽️
In the past, creating video adverts was big business. To get a 30-second advert created was expensive itself, but bidding to get onto a well-watched channel at prime time was even more costly. But in the space of twenty years, this multimillion-dollar business has transformed entirely.
“You can now create very high-quality video content for not much more than the cost of a smartphone,” writes Kristen Seward, a regular contributor to Draftbeyond and Writinity, “With the advent of widespread user-generated content and public platforms such as youtube, customers no longer trust glitzy high production advertising. In this age of the viral video, a relaxed, unpolished video can go very far indeed to establishing a connection with your clients.”
The cost of such content is entirely dependent on how you want to approach your brand. You can splash out on a decent setup, including lighting, digital camera, tripod, and video editing suite, and still have spent a modest $1500 on any number of videos you care to produce.
Press release 🏁
Some of the older traditions in marketing have managed to keep up with the times as well. Press releases continue to be a legitimate way of creating a buzz around your brand, providing you’ve got something to say. In addition, you have much more access to a diverse range of news publishers, meaning you can tailor your event or launch with great precision.
These do have often have a cost to them, but if you target the right website or news publisher, you may find that you’re doing them a favor by providing them with content.
Soliciting reviews 👄
One of the most important ‘social proofs’ that potential customers have come to rely on is the good old customer review. If you’ve delivered a great service or product to a customer, you need to work as hard as you can to get them to expand upon their experience to the public at large. Ensure that you have multiple sources of reviews, from a testimonial area on your own website to Google and Facebook reviews.
Also read: 5 Tips for Selling without Discounting