This is a common problem for small businesses, or those who are just starting out and maybe planning to leave their “day job” to finally follow their dreams. In order for any business to take off, you need to educate your customers, telling them that you exist and have something very exciting to offer. So, sooner or later, it comes down to digital marketing.
But there is a problem – you barely have any budget for advertising, let alone for hiring a good agency. Now what? White flag and surrender? Of course not! There are plenty of things you can experiment with, while keeping the bare minimum of a budget. Today we’d like to share some ideas of where to start with you.
1. Take time to educate yourself first. Yes, you are saving money by choosing not to hire an agency, but having absolutely no idea of what you are doing, it’s easy to make some mistakes with your online advertising and end up losing unreasonable sums of money. To avoid this unfortunate situation, you need to invest some time and effort into educating yourself on the matter. Luckily there are plenty of good materials available for you online for free. You can follow blogs on the topic to get some advice or tactics, but first we recommend you start with resources from Google and Facebook that they have prepared for beginner advertisers and that are available to everyone for free. Just search for Google Skillshop or Facebook Blueprint and start learning.
2. Don’t have much money for advertising? Start with Facebook and Instagram Ads! In these platforms you can go with a budget as low as € 1. Anyone can scramble € 10-15 per month to spend on ads. Yes, such a small investment will, most likely, not bring you an ocean of sales, but it will allow you to test the waters and get comfortable with Ads Manager, as well as gain your first page followers or some initial brand awareness.
3. Not ready to invest in advertising yet? No problem! If you have a website, you may start focusing on SEO. This means that you don’t have to invest money, but you will definitely need to invest much more time when compared to advertising. Again, educate yourself. You need to learn the basics of “on-page SEO” to understand how to improve your website at Google’s eyes, go about your keyword research and, yes, produce tons of content, while trying to get some links from other websites to point to yours (backlinks). Sounds difficult? Well, it is a rather big and not-so-easy task. But the good thing is that you can split it into smaller pieces and “attack” one at a time. Make it a habit to dedicate yourself to your website SEO for at least an hour a day and in three months, you will be surprised by how much has been done already.
4. Still don’t have a website? Well, you definitely want to create one someday. But before you get there, make sure you are present on Social Media, especially on the ones your target audience likes to spend time in. 📢 Luckily, creating a social media profile is easy and free. Publish useful content, be present, engage with your audience, answer their questions or doubts and you might be able to save up enough money to hire a web designer to create your website. Have you noticed how we excluded creating a website from the “do-it-yourself” practices we’re listing? That’s because it really is better to get some help with this, since there is a big probability you will end up with something that, in the end, will be easier to dump than fix. But if you feel like learning web design and get ready to go with some “pre-prepared” solutions like premium WordPress themes, you can definitely do it. Again, and even more than in previous points, EDUCATE yourself first.
5. So you have your Social Media profile, are posting some content and even investing a little something on ads, is there anything else that you can do? E-mail marketing! Especially while having no website, you need to get your content to your target audience somehow. E-mail marketing can be a way. You may say that you don’t have an e-mail database yet? Well, start building one! One way to go about it is to create a “gift” – like a PDF voucher for a 5% discount on the next purchase, or “how-to manual” for example – for your business’s clients niche. Make sure, it is something really useful for your audience and then run a Social Media campaign, giving away that gift “for free” in return for their e-mail addresses. Building a database will take some time, but why not start today? Just make sure, you bring yourself up-to-date with the GDPR regulations before you start.
We want you not to be naive and understand that, when possible, it is always better to hire professional help. This will, for sure, save you money in the long run and also will free up a lot of your valuable time. But before your business grows to the point where it is possible, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from experimenting with things and go DIY on digital marketing. Educate yourself, be proactive and success will follow!
For more information, bespoke strategies and efficient digital marketing solutions, just contact the Clarity’s girls through firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.yourdigitalclarity.com.