There is a noticeable trend in small businesses allocating more of their budget to developing their internet presence but are they understanding where to spend it? With so many options and with limited resources (finances), small businesses need to make sure they're getting the most out of their marketing dollars.
So where should the money go? Here are five ways use your internet budget properly:
1. Website: An effective internet presence needs and effective website. If you don't have a website at all, it's time to build one. If you have a website, is it time for an upgrade? When considering a new website or an upgrade consider the functionality: Does it have a blog feature? Can you sell items from it? Can you update it yourself? How does it look on a tablet or mobile device? Spending the money on a comprehensive website now can save you money in the long run.
2. Social Media: While the majority are Social Networks are free, your time is valuable. Decide if it makes sense to do it in house or if you should outsource it to an agency. No matter how you do it, make sure it's done right so you can get the best return on your investment. A poor Social Media campaign reflects poorly on the company.
3. Ad Campaigns: There are a few different ways to advertise on the Internet but this focuses on Google Adwords and Facebook Ads. Having a small ad campaign on either (or both) of these platforms can be a great way to increase traffic and impressions. If you decide to use the pay-per-click option, you'll only pay when people click on your ad so impressions are "free". When using these it's important to know your budget, keywords and target audience.
4. Advertising on Blogs: Do some research and see what blogs related to your industry offer advertising and connect with them. Ask about the traffic to their website to see if it makes sense for you to advertise with them. If you sell a product, consider reaching out to bloggers and have them write about your product. In most cases bloggers won't take payment for writing reviews (I don't) so you may just have to provide them with a sample.
5. Copy Writers: When building a new website or looking to grow your blog, don't underestimate the value of a good writer. When people visit your website the only thing they know about you is what they read. Take the time and spend the money to make sure you leave a great first impression to anyone who reads content on your website or blog.
Using the internet is a great way to grow your small business but it's easy to "waste" money in hopes of finding new found success. Stick to your plan and your budget to make sure you get the most out of your internet marketing campaign.