Online Marketing

7 Questions for Marketing Online on a Tight Budget

It’s never an easy venture to own and operate your own a business that caters to the Hawaii tourism industry. Natural calamities can put a hamper on tours and activities, not to mention ever-changing government regulations, political factors, and other various external events and conditions that make running your business a very challenging endeavor.

Ecommerce is also changing in a lot of ways. Gone are the days when you can get on top of Google’s search results just by having a beautiful website and a simple search engine optimization plan. Now you have to keep up with Google’s fickle algorithm updates, maintain social media engagements, and keep up with pay-per-click advertising. What used to be a cheaper alternative to traditional marketing is fast becoming an expensive—but necessary—part of your overall marketing strategy. These days, it’s not uncommon to spend a minimum of $5,000.00 just for pay-per-click advertising alone.

Obviously, the promise of a level online marketing playing field isn’t as level anymore. Most companies have little room left in their tight budget when it comes to online marketing. But don’t worry. Here are seven questions to answer in developing a successful online marketing strategy on a limited budget.

Who is your market?

Your marketing strategy should have a clear idea about your target clients are. Success will be next to impossible if you do not have a well-defined audience. Before you spend any money on marketing, figure out your target market first. There\’s no need to outsource a fancy market research firm at a steep price. If you know your product, you are best placed to figure out your market yourself. For example, who will be most interested in your product? Men or women? What is their age group? What are your clients\’ interestS? What is their likely financial situation?

Once you have a thorough profile of your customer, determining how and where to reach them is a walk in the park. This step may take a while, but that\’s OK. The more you learn about your target audience, the easier it is to determine which platforms and websites to use to reach them more effectively.

What are your goals?

Determine what your core purpose for online marketing is. Increased brand awareness? Increased revenue? You will probably have numerous goals, but it is important to note what they are to measure the level of success and the barriers overcome.

Prioritizing your goals will also go a long way in determining where your marketing dollars should go first.

How much do you want to spend?

Now that you know who your target market is, where to effectively reach them and have set goals, plan your budget accordingly. Online marketing can be quite inexpensive if you’re using the right tools, but these tools will require a lot of the proverbial elbow grease to effectively work.

Additionally, if you’re looking to employ some sort of pay-per-click advertising campaign, be prepared to budget accordingly and set realistic expectations. Use the right advertising platform to generate the right kind of traffic you’re looking for. For more information, take a quick read about the differences between Facebook Advertising and Google Adwords.

What should your brand represent?

Distance yourself from competition by putting your unique selling propositions upfront. Do you offer better value? A better pricing point perhaps? Is your product or service more convenient to use? Make sure these unique characteristics are mentioned in your online marketing materials. Showcase these unique characteristics by featuring testimonials and third-party reviews of your product or service to drive the point further. In time, your name should be synonymous with these unique values and propositions that it will be hard for your competitors to distinguish the value proposition from your brand and vice-versa.

How do you get traffic from search engines?

Being the first among the first results when your product or service is searched for on Google or BIng is crucial. So how do you achieve this? The best way to do this is by making your website more appealing to search engines. Do a proper keyword research, generate backlinks to your site, crafte your content to properly include the keywords you’ve researched. Here’s a good primer on search engine optimization that you should read.

However, please keep in mind that SEO does require a lot of dedication and is at times a complicated process. It’s not uncommon to see no results within the first month or two.

How do you generate more content?

FACT: Increased content on your site, leads to increased opportunities for search engines to visit your site. Blogging can be a great (and free!) way to generate leads and links to your site. But don\’t just be producing content to generate content. Write quality blog posts that will lure readers, provide value, and establish you as an expert in your field. Guest blogging on more established blogs is another sure way to generate traffic to your site.

How do you get more brand exposure?

Don\’t just sign up for these services and become passive. Ensure that you engage your audience and give them something interesting that will glue them to your brand. As much as most people do not concern themselves with companies\’ social media accounts, it won\’t hurt if you go the extra mile to maintain their interest level. Syndicating and sharing your blog content on your social media accounts is a great way to reuse and repurpose your blog content for more exposure and social media engagement.

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