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Whether you’re self-employed or part of a small business, the idea of creating a successful marketing strategy is often halted when you realize the expense that’s involved. Even if you followed the 10% rule, revenue may simply not be enough to justify everything you’ve got in mind. Creating a web marketing strategy on a tight budget can be difficult, but is actually possible.
Let’s take a look at some tips on how.
With any extensive marketing plan, the key to success is to be prepared. Whether content marketing, link-building, SEO, or pay-per-click advertising, having a solid plan of action before committing is essential.
As an example, many businesses, large and small, plan for the winter holidays as early as mid-summer. This creates a powerful push that, when done correctly, is almost always successful.
If you’re not sure how to plan out your web marketing strategy, this infographic from Bluewire Media will get you started:
One Thing at a Time
Who doesn’t want to hit the ground running with a web marketing strategy? If it works, you look like a rock star.
But the key to web marketing success is to take each part and work with them individually. It’s better to be great at a couple of strategies than mediocre at several of them.
Get each strategy to the point that you see results and move onto the next one. Trying to tackle them all at once will become an overwhelming process, and could leave you out of budget before you see results.
For example, if you know that your audience is predominantly on Pinterest – focus on that social network alone for 6 months.
Avoid Cheap Outsourcing
If you’re a marketing specialist already, you know what it’s like to be inundated with emails and phone calls from companies promising big results at extraordinarily low prices. These proposals were designed to have you a make a “spur of the moment” decision, which could do harm to your already tight marketing budget. Most of these resources have a far greater risk than reward.
If you can’t afford quality services due to budget, consider working on them in-house, and outsourcing them after you’ve grown your budget to something more feasible for what you’re looking for.
As well, you may consider outsourcing individual tasks rather than whole marketing functions. This infographic gives you some ideas on the tasks you could outsource for blogging alone:
Watch Your Entire Sales Funnel
Understanding your sales funnel from brand awareness through to conversion helps you optimize the strategy as a whole. If there’s a problem with your customer service, it can be corrected. If your e-mail marketing can be optimized, you can fix it on the fly.
If you don’t know where any of these problems are and how the customer experience is affected, your marketing strategy is destined to have issues. Remember, even if there’s one hole in the boat, the ship still sinks. Observe, adjust, repeat.
Here is a helpful visual of a simplified marketing funnel from Authority Hacker:
Focus on Your Target Audience Repeatedly
The idea of marketing isn’t always to reach as much of your target audience as possible, but to convert them as often as possible. As an example, rather than spreading your PPC budget thin across multiple search engines, start with one. Utilize your budget for retargeting and display ads.
While you may think this is redundant, it’s been proven over and over that those who see your brand more than once are more likely to remember it. The earlier in the sales funnel a user is, the more important a little concentration can be. You’ll achieve higher click-through rates and a lower cost per click overall, which inevitably adds to your bottom line.
If you’re looking for a lower cost-per-click on your banner ads, think outside the box and try out ad networks like Advertise World instead of Google AdWords:
A/B Test Everything
Your website is the best it can be. Your text ads are perfect. Your emails are attractive and captivating. All of this might be true, but according to whom? The only way to truly understand if the customer is following your marketing strategy is with A/B testing. With large enough samples, you’ll begin to understand how customers interact with your brand.
If one strategy works better than another, it doesn’t matter how you feel about it. Your ultimate goal is conversion, and you should be ready to adjust to reach that goal. Remember that A/B testing isn’t a once and done process. Always be testing.
Those inexperienced in web marketing are hesitant to realize that web marketing isn’t an overnight success. In fact, the budget you use early on can often be intimidating. But with the right strategies implemented correctly, results will show. Keep an open line of communication with both internal and external resources involved in your marketing plan.
Under-promise, so your marketing strategy has the best chance of over-delivering.
Your marketing budget doesn’t always have to be tight, but whether or not it is will always depend on your successes and failures. Being proactive rather than reactive assures that you’ll have a full understanding of performance while having a better chance to thoroughly think through your web marketing strategy as you move forward.
Mel Devent is a passionate blogger who enjoys writing about all things digital marketing. She is currently working as a Marketing Associate at Blogger Sidekick, helping small businesses build authority brands with content marketing. In her spare time, she loves scuba diving, watching movies and catching up with friends.