Guide to Integrated Marketing on a Limited Budget
By Sarah Bundy
How to focus your limited marketing budget for optimal online exposure and sales.
You have a limited budget and you have a job to do: get as many targeted sales and traffic to your website as possible. You need profit and you need growth. But with a limited budget, where are you supposed to focus that money?
The online world is vast and ever changing. For a small business to keep up with internet marketing trends and technologies is almost impossible, unless that’s the business you’re in. So how do you know where to spend your money in order to ensure you’re not wasting it?
Here are a few tips to help you determine the best options available to you:
- Hire an internet marketing firm or consultant who’s specialized in several areas of internet marketing to help you determine the best ways to spend your marketing budget according to your business, target market and product offering. By hiring an internet marketing specialist, rather than a specialist who only focuses on one or two channels, you’re more likely to get an honest and overall approach to spending your marketing dollar profitably.
- Do some tests yourself in various channels and see what your analytics turns out. In the online world, you have about a dozen or so options to expose your company or product / service. The main ones to test would include:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – natural search engine rankings
- Pay Per Click (PPC) – frequently known as adwords (google) – paid search engine rankings
- Email Marketing – direct to customer email newsletters or announcements
- Social Media Marketing – things like Facebook, Twitter, and your blog
- Display Ads – banners or text links showing up in other people’s websites
- Affiliate Marketing – a performance based model like having an online sales force working on a commission base only
- Article Writing and Online PR – to get press / media coverage with influential web sites
- Comparison Shopping Engines – great if you have products you can display in shopping engines and your prices are competitive. Try Google Product Search for free
- Video Marketing – Optimizing videos on Youtube, Video and the like
- Mobile Marketing – the creation of a mobile store or app for iphones, ipads and androids
Most importantly with these, especially if you’re doing your own testing, make sure you have analytics tracking set up to see which marketing channels are working best, producing the highest ROI and the lowest CPA (cost per acquisition) per client. This will then help you determine how to spend your marketing budget more strategically with higher profits in mind.
By Sarah V Bundy, CEO of All Inclusive Marketing Inc., Vancouver, BC Internet marketing company