Ask 10 small business owners what the most cost-effective form of digital marketing is for them and you’re likely to get 11 different answers. Opinions on marketing techniques and branches of digital marketing tend to be extremely strong and they’re usually quite divisive. Some might say that email marketing is so inexpensive that it might as well be considered free to them. Others will make the same claims about social media, even if they happen to represent an enterprise-level operation.
While it’s true that prices are next to nothing if you do everything yourself, it’s important to keep in mind that your own efforts are worth something. That means the amount of time you put into any specific marketing technique should factor into the equation. On the other hand, there’s no reason that you’d want to avoid doing everything yourself because this can save quite a bit of money.
Average online marketing budgets can run between $30,000-145,000, which should help to drive home the idea that you want to be sure that you take the time to figure out which techniques are the most effective for your situation. It might make the most sense to take start with the ones that a majority of businesses already use.
Branches of Digital Marketing – Reviewing Your Social Media & Email Marketing
Unless you represent a very large enterprise, chances are that you don’t pay for slotting on social media. The only people who usually do are those running actual ads, which may not be all that effective. Simply authoring posts and putting them up on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t cost anything, besides whatever your own time is worth. Those who are serious about focusing on a content marketing campaign on either of these platforms do hire writers.
However, this still usually doesn’t represent a major capital investment. If you pay a writer around $5 to author 200-word Facebook posts, then you’d only be spending $150 plus possibly tax to get a whole series of posts for the month. The same would go for those who hire people to professionally write email posts and decide to join a top affiliate marketing platform.
SMS text messaging services are every bit as affordable, especially since you’d probably never hire someone outside of your own marketing team to manage them. Larger enterprises that use text messages to handle support requests usually delegate this task to existing marketing personnel or someone in the customer service department. You could theoretically amortize the cost of this over time since you need to maintain this personnel anyway.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel free to cut down on any of these channels if they don’t seem to be working for you. Consider checking out whether one of them has a tendency to produce a large number of leads. More than likely, social media will be the front-runner, but there are ways to dramatically improve the cost-effectiveness of your email marketing prospects.
Developing an Email Campaign that Makes Sense
The cost of writers and computer equipment isn’t the only expense people incur when running an email marketing campaign. Software costs are going to add up, especially if you decide to use any sort of tool that comes with a subscription fee. Each additional fee you get stuck with is going to further drag down the cost-effectiveness of your overall campaign.
Appropriate use of message tracking technology will help you find out whether or not people are reading the messages that you’re sending out. Though it probably costs next to nothing to send out an email, you’re wasting quite a bit of time by transmitting messages that are flat-out ignored. Take some time to revise your techniques and see if you’re able to convert any existing leads into sales this way.
Email Marketing and Blog
Point out anything else that you’ve been posting online when you send out an email blast. Whenever you post a guide on your blog or some kind of how-to article, you have a chance to show this off to your newsletter readers. Eventually, you’ll probably want to copy any newsletter-exclusive content over to your blog anyway. While copied content can make it hard for your blog to rate high in the search engine rankings, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be able to reproduce it from your email newsletters as long as you own the rights to these posts. Search engines don’t get an opportunity to index content that’s merely emailed to people, after all.
If you don’t know how much you’re spending on your email campaign, then you’ll want to consider investing in some new email management tools that’ll help you get a better handle on the costs you’re incurring. This is an example of how sometimes you have to spend money to make money. A properly designed piece of management software will give you a look at what works and what doesn’t so you can make adjustments accordingly. That can put you in a better position to examine your pay-per-click campaigns.
Branches of Digital Marketing – Rounding Out a Marketing Campaign with PPC Technology
At least one study claims that businesses should be making $2 for every single dollar they invest in a PPC campaign. The alleged return on investment for one that uses the Google Ads service should be something like $8 for every dollar you spend. In spite of these impressive numbers, there’s a good chance that your own campaign isn’t anywhere near this level of cost-effectiveness.
While it might sound counterintuitive, it could be that you’re simply not spending enough to get the right number of impressions. Some SMBs will spend between $8,500 and 10,000 a month in order to ensure that they have enough impressions to convert into sales. Only a small portion of users who take an interest in your ads will ever actually make a purchase, of course, which means you have to reach as many individuals as possible in order to attract an appropriately sized audience.
For most growing companies as well as those that have already reached at least some degree of market saturation, it’s important to make use of every single one of these branches of digital marketing and marketing techniques. Rather than trying to figure out which ones to drop, you might instead want to figure out which to emphasize and build up faster than the others. Once you strike the right balance, you should be able to bring in more leads than ever before.