5 low-cost online marketing techniques for SMEs
A survey carried out last year revealed that global spending on digital marketing is about to reach the $100 billion mark. With the average person spending an entire day every week online and one in five adults spending as much as 40 hours a week on the world wide web, it’s not surprising that companies are willing to splash the cash to reach out to this market.
What if you don’t have a big online marketing budget however? Big Amsterdam, a marketing agency in Amsterdam, share five affordable online marketing techniques for SMEs.
Clients often wonder if blogging is really a necessary part of running a business. It does after all require skill to generate high-quality content, find the time to put something together and even think of topics to write about in the first place.
When done correctly, blogging can have a huge impact on visibility, leads and sales so yes, blogging should absolutely form a crucial part of your online marketing strategy.
If you’re still on the fence about this one, here are some top blogging benefits.
- It’s a highly effective way of reaching targeted audiences. If you’re using the right keywords on your website and in your blog posts, you’ll be attracting the right people to your content.
- Google loves a website which is updated on a regular basis, blogging gives you an easy way to do this.
- It’s cheaper than other online marketing methods such as social media ads and PPC.
- You can use your blogs as great content on your social media platforms.
- It allows you to present yourself as an expert in your field as well as humanise your brand.
- Helps generate inbound links.
- Facilitates conversation – engagement is very important when it comes to forming relationships with potential and existing customers.
The average person checks their emails 15 times a day so it makes sense for businesses to reach out to customers through this medium. As well as allowing you to target audiences anytime, anywhere in a non-intrusive manner, email marketing is also relatively inexpensive.
When competing against some of the biggest brands in the world, what benefits can email marketing offer SMEs?
- By keeping in touch with your subscribers on a regular basis, you can build strong customer relationships.
- By creating your own voice, style and image, you can develop a unique brand. In time, this will make you as instantly recognisable as the larger brands.
- When you’re giving people useful content for free, you’re not only establishing yourself as a leader in your industry, you’re helping to build a deeper connection. Whether it’s tips, advice, the latest industry news, company updates or exclusive special promotions for subscribers, if your audience feels you’re offering something of value, this is going to help establish trust.
Social media allows you to show off who you are and what you offer with the added benefit of having a reach that’s endless.
Why use social media?
- Increases your brand’s visibility.
- If people like what they see on your social media pages, chances are they’ll click through to your website to find out more.
- Boosts SEO.
- Every post, image, video or comment on your page could bring customers a step closer to making a purchase.
- Engaging with customers online improves customer service.
- Interacting with customers on a one-on-one basis on social media makes them more loyal. Loyal customers spend more money, stay with you longer and tell their friends and family about you.
- Signing up, creating an account and posting is free – making social media very cost-effective.
We’ve all done it. You’re trying to decide where to go for dinner, which hotel to book, which broadband supplier to use or whether or not to trust a company you’ve never used before. We want to know what other people are saying about brands and this has a huge impact on our buying decisions.
An incredible 97% of people read reviews for local businesses and for 90% of us, a positive online review makes us more likely to go through with a purchase.
Why embrace online reviews?
Online reviews can be daunting, after all, people could leave negative comments. Getting yourself listed on Yelp, TrustPilot, Feefo, Google or TripAdvisor offers many benefits however including:
- You can respond to negative reviews. Not only does this show you care and take complaints seriously, you may be able to resolve the issue and avoid losing a customer.
- It’s free to respond to reviews, making it a very cost-effective medium.
- You send out a strong and powerful message that you put delivering real value and customer satisfaction before everything else.
- You can share positive reviews on your social media platforms.
- Google’s reviews show up in search engines so when someone searches for you, they’ll know you’re a great company to work with.
Cross-promoting all your online marketing activities is a fantastic way to get the most out of what you’re doing and it doesn’t cost anything. Some great ways to do this include:
- Put a link to your website and social media pages on your email signature.
- Put links to your social media pages on your website.
- Post links to your blogs on your social media pages.
- If you have any videos, these can sit on your website, social media pages and YouTube channel.
- Ask influencers or other local businesses to share your content.
- Use emails and monthly newsletters to share your recent online activities.
- Comment on other people’s posts so you’re getting your or your business’s name out there.