How To
8 min read

How To Maximize The Effectiveness of Your Digital Marketing Strategy On A Small Business Budget

Jane Sandwood

June 2, 2022

An effective digital marketing strategy is developed based on the ability to research and plan effectively, not a big budget. Once you understand how digital marketing works, you can set a clear path to success.

This article will give you a guide that is not complete in every detail. Still, it will provide you with insights, statistics, sources, and resources needed to build a plan that will take your company to the next level via digital marketing. 

Would you believe me if I told you that this could be accomplished with budgets starting at just a few hundred dollars per month? 

Well, you can.

Ready to get started and learn some excellent information?

Here we go!

Have A Clear Marketing Budget

It doesn't matter if it's only 200 bucks a month; you can work your way into a higher budget as you go. I would suggest using at max 500 a month until you start seeing returns if you are doing it yourself. If you have the 10k, you could hire professionals to come in and set up in-house systems and train the staff that will be doing the work, or you could employ professionals and beat the learning curve. But this guide is for the ones with limited budgets, not how to set up a mini in-house agency.

Tailor Your Marketing Efforts

While this may seem simple, it's a deep dive into your business's purpose and who it serves, then customizing your marketing to this specific group of people.

Once you have launched your small business, it is time to work on capturing and retaining customers. This is where digital marketing comes in. As global retail e-commerce sales continue to thrive, there is a growing need for businesses to pivot their marketing to match this shift. 81% of consumers research brands online before purchasing. However, the power of digital marketing continues to be underutilized by small businesses. According to marketing statistics, Around 1 in 5 small businesses don't utilize digital marketing. While most small companies cite a limited budget as a challenge, a great digital marketing strategy can still be budget-friendly and effective. 

The fact that only 20% of small businesses are using digital marketing should make the other 80% of small companies highly motivated to jump into it. This would give the average small business an extreme edge over its competitors.

Know Your Demographics

Before we dig in, let's make sure we're all using the same definition of demographics.

people standing near desk with makeup kits

There are patterns to your target clients and customers once you start digging. While the definition above gives you a lot of ideas, there is a lot left out. It's your job to seek out this information, but it helps if you look at this as a conceptual task.

Let's dig into yoga for a quick example. 

With a quick search on Google, I found a blog with a magnificent list of yoga demographics, statistics, and facts.

Here's a short list of interesting information that can help you build out campaigns that will give you specific targets and the benefits you can offer them with yoga classes.

1. Among people who attend yoga classes, 39% want massages.

2. Statistics show that yoga can lower your systolic blood pressure by 26 points.

3. Yogis in their 30s and 40s make up nearly 43% of the clients.

4. Approximately 52% of practitioners claim yoga has helped them reduce their PTSD symptoms.

Here's the source for the yoga data and statistics above. It's worth reading, and it is an excellent example of the type of information you need to gather concerning demographics.

Now back to the four lines of information gathered. 4 out of 10 want massages in the same location as the classes. Interesting! Do you offer this service in addition to yoga? Maybe you should consider it if 4 out of 10 potential clients want it and are willing to pay for it.

Next, we have people with blood pressure issues. You could benefit from this information if you owned a yoga studio, as it can lead to more potential clients and an increase in profits.

4 out of 10 are between 30 and 49 years old. This information narrows the age range down for us. Of course, you need to dig further, but would your messaging be different if the majority group were in a younger or older age bracket? Absolutely.

Then we learn that 52% of practitioners reduce their PTSD symptoms via yoga. That's impressive. Think people around your studio with PTSD would like to know this? I'm sure they would.

Demographic information makes it easy to narrow your targeting down to specific groups of people and gives you insight into the content needed to help them attain their goals.

Use Digital Marketing To Build Customer Trust, Not Just Promote

Building customer trust is the hardest part of digital marketing, especially for people new to marketing in general. Not one phase, tool, or tactic is about you or your company. It's all about the client and their needs and desires. If you fail here, your entire marketing campaign is all for naught.

If we cover the four topics on the list, three of them are pain points. That means they are suffering and are actively seeking relief. A large segment wants a massage after yoga, and two more segments have medical conditions. As a yoga studio owner, it's your job to let them know you get it and have reasonable solutions for these pain points. You can improve the quality of their lives to some degree. 

That's powerful, and you get paid to help them overcome these issues. Say focused on helping your clients, and you will win big, as will your customers.

How to Develop Develop A Content Strategy

Developing an effective content strategy is critical to success. Let's take a deep dive into content plans and strategies and see where it leads us. But before we dive into the rabbit hole of content, let's define it.

person using macbook pro on brown wooden table

What is content?

Content is the means of delivering inspiration, tips, tricks, education, or other information that will help your customers reach their goals and eliminate their pain. Content comes in many forms. It can include written content, audio, video, images, graphics, data, statistics, directions on accomplishing a task or project, etc.

Where should you place your content online?

The first questions you should answer are:

  • Where can I find my potential customers online?
  • What content are they consuming?

Every decision about digital marketing is about your potential customer. Remember that your potential customers are not experts in your field, so make sure the messaging is simple, entertaining, and valuable to them. 

Never assume your customers are experts.

It's easy for the expert to assume the customer knows what you know, but this is far from the truth. You start them at the beginning and walk them down the path to help them become competent in understanding what you offer. This helps them come to a conclusion, and if done correctly, that conclusion is to do business with you and your company. 

If you catch a potential customer at the beginning of their journey, the content will be different from someone halfway through the buying cycle. You must have content for every step of the educational process to a sale, from beginning to expert level.

Where are your customers frequenting online?

The next step is finding the places your potential clients visit to get the information they desire. Is it via video on Youtube, Snapchat, Instagram, or other video-sharing sites? Are they reading blogs or listening to podcasts? You need this vital information to ensure that you place the correct content in the best locations and properties to educate your customers.

It's useless to produce content and place it on platforms your potential customer will never visit. Make sure you choose the correct platforms and methods, which brings us to the next topic: the platforms you use to deliver content.

Local SEO

SEO - Search engine optimization is the process of producing content on your website or blog and ranking it in Google's local search results. Most small businesses in the U.S. cater to a local clientele, and local SEO gives the highest long-term ROI in the business overall.

It converts higher than email marketing, paid ads, and social media. What's most interesting is Google's local maps system converts at a higher rate than organic listings in search results. Google Maps (GMB) is a must for a local business, no matter the services or products offered. 

GMB is the number one lead and sales generator for local businesses and you should include it in your local SEO. Make sure you master this platform first if you are local. Many blogs and Youtube Channels have in-depth information that can teach you how to deal with maps listings.

Note: Your website is inseparable from your Google Maps listings (Google My Business, or GMB) and SEO for local results.

Social Media

Social media is a vast topic, and the opinion wars continue concerning which platforms are best for any specific business. The reality is you will choose just a few of the available platforms to distribute content on because only a select handful will fit your business model.

white samsung android smartphone on brown wooden table

Here's a short list of social media properties that may or may not fit your business model.

Facebook

YouTube

Instagram

Snapchat

Reddit

LinkedIn

These are the most prominent platforms on the web in the social media sphere, but not all of them are useful to your business.

Let's pretend we have a local business that caters to other businesses. If this is the case, you own what is known as a "B2B" or "business to business" company. Which platforms above would be best suited to your needs?

My first instinct is that LinkedIn is the B2B platform to target. You have professionals looking for other professionals for one reason or another. The beauty is that there are dozens of content types and formats you can use effectively on LinkedIn.

Each platform has a list of content types you can use; you have to invest the time to research and implement what you've learned. Do your due diligence.

Email Marketing

When it comes to digital marketing strategies that deliver the highest return, email marketing continues to top the charts. Using email is helpful for small businesses for several reasons: it is feasible on a limited budget and aids in customer retention. 

Being easy on the budget is helpful to cash-strapped small businesses since customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition - approximately four times cheaper. While content marketing can help capture first-time consumers in a budget-friendly way, adding in email marketing can help your business retain current customers.

Email marketing may be low-cost compared to other methods, but it doesn't perform well in most local business models. Open rates are poor compared to the email marketing peak back in the early 2000s. Make sure you use the correct methods and tools for your business.

Develop A Content Strategy

Now that you understand the basics and have done your due diligence, it's time to start your content planning.

You can break the plan down into three primary sections. Those would be the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel.

Top of Funnel

The top of a funnel is much larger than the bottom since most funnels are wide at the top and small at the bottom. The funnel section represents the buying stage of your potential clients or customers. It includes the fanatics, the curious ones, the ones in the beginning stages of their education on the topic, and every other customer in-between.

Middle Funnel

These are the ones who have done some research on the topic, service, or product and are now learning more as information becomes available. A good portion of these people are seeking more information than a single question’s answer and are further into their research. They are interested but not convinced enough to make a purchase yet.

Bottom of Funnel

These are the people who've already decided they need the product or service, and they are simply deciding what company to choose. They are that close to buying. This is the part of your funnel where you add discounts, coupon codes, and other offers to seal the deal, making you and the client happy and satisfied. You can learn everything you need to get started in sales funnels, then implement it.

Conclusion

While the entire process can seem overwhelming, if you take it step by step, you can learn to use any of the tools, platforms, and content to build the business of your dreams. You only have to be willing to do the work and spend the little money involved.

Spend the time researching and developing your knowledge base, then start planning and implementation. You'll be glad you took on this project before you know it.

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