Fresh and free: How your business can do digital marketing on a budget

budget digital marketing

Social media strategist Nicola Moras. Source: Supplied.

Digital marketing is one of the fastest growth areas for business owners to leverage, and many think they have to spend a lot of money in order to make it work for them. But you can make a significant impact in the digital world without having to spend a fortune. Gone are the days of having to spend tens of thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns like was necessary for traditional media.

There are five main keys to leveraging the power of social media and the trillions of dollars that are currently being made in sales online every year. In 2017, e-commerce was responsible for $2.3 trillion in sales, a number that is expected to nearly double to $4.5 trillion by 2021.

Here’s how to use digital marketing strategies without investing big dollars.

Build an audience on social media

Set up business pages on two key social media platforms — choose out of the ‘big three’, being Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Start growing your audience. You can invite your current customers to ‘like’ your page and ask them to invite their friends.

You could even do a low-end advertising campaign starting from $5 a day in order to grow your followers.

Know your audience and know them well

Many business owners know their clients, and know them well, however, they don’t tend to communicate this in the marketing they do. Most deal only in the surface level content rather than talking deeply to their audience.

Take a residential property architect, for example. You know that your clients are passionate about the house they want to build, yet there are many considerations they simply aren’t aware of, that can create stress in the middle of the night when they’re looking at extending, renovating or building.

What are their worries, fears, dreams and desires at a really deep level? And what would the completion of the project mean for them in all areas of their lives?

Share regular, original and educational content with your audience

Your audience wants to feel like you understand them and that you care. By sharing regular hints, tips and advice on ways that they can shortcut or solve potential issues that may come up, you start being seen as expert online.

For example, if you’re a real estate agent, you might give some advice on preparing a home for an open inspection or educate them on industry jargon. Tell them how if they do this, it will help their home sell faster, they’ll usually get a better offer if it’s staged well and this can alleviate a lot of stress and tension for them.

When this is combined with step two, it really helps your company and your products be seen as unique and different.

Offer your audience free, relevant resources in exchange for getting them onto your email list

This is a big one that many business owners miss. It’s crucial that you start building your database of people — with their permission.

With social media newsfeeds becoming more and more full and curated for the individual, you don’t want to miss out on being seen by your audience whenever you can be.

By giving them something for free — ideally digitally — you can then communicate with them in their email inbox. Someone’s inbox doesn’t get filtered the way that social media does so it gives you the opportunity to still be seen, to add value and build relationships with them.

Let them know how they can purchase from you

It sounds obvious, however, it’s a step many miss. By providing people with a call to action, it leads them step by step to buying from you or reaching out and getting in touch with you for more information.

Do this regularly so that people don’t need to go hunting around in an effort to work out how to give you money. Make it easy for them.

Rinse and repeat!

Keep using steps over and over again to continuously build your presence and your digital footprint.

When you do things in this way, you’ll find that as people get to learn more about you over the course of time (some will buy fast but some will take their time), you’ll start building relationships with them online, much like you do offline.

When they are ready, you’ll be the first to mind and they’ll buy from you.

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