Inbound marketing has taken hold – no doubt about it, but you don’t need the colossal online advertising budgets of the global brands to take advantage of making social media and blogging a way of engaging with prospective customers and generating leads.

The Integrated Approach to Marketing

For a small business the best approach is to spread your marketing across traditional advertising methods with relatively cheap online strategies. When people read your flyer and then check out your website (which everyone does before ever picking up the phone), they will see that you are reputable, current and engaging with your customer base.

Top Tips for increasing your online presence cheaply

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great forum if you are a company that deals business to business. Create and manage your profile, make connections and join discussion groups. It is a credibility building exercise so that your potential clients can see you as a knowledgeable, credible resource within your industry.

Facebook

Facebook allows you to engage with and grow your audience and potential customers. Especially useful if your business is consumer facing. By sharing news, stories and special offers to encourage people to ‘like’ your brand, stay engaged with you and share your posts with their communities.

Advertising with Facebook can be extremely cost effective exercise to grow your audience. As with Google, Facebook campaign costs are determined by auction either by how often the ad is seen or how many people click on it. Your campaign is targeted towards your chosen criteria

Google

Google+

Like Facebook, Google+ is a forum for growing an online community but unlike Facebook, it’s about connecting to people and business you want to know rather than ‘friends’ you already know. Develop ‘circles’ in different categories, choose which circles you share information with. Post articles, share insights and create ‘hang-outs’ (discussion forums)

Google Ads

Google Adwords are a very effective way to make you more visible to potential customers when they are making a search. Cost depends on how competitive your search keywords are and are governed by auction. A short term campaign specific to an event/special offer is a useful way to promote your company and determine how effective Google Ads are for your business.

Twitter

Twitter is about doing it in 140 characters or less – being succinct is the key and engaging in dialogue with other users. There is no upper limit on how many times you should tweet in a day. It is intense for a small business to manage. However, a recent and fascinating report by Optify showed that Twitter was the most effective platform for generating leads.

Blogs

Blog articles have several purposes. They can help to boost your organic search engine ranking, they let your potential customers know you are knowledgeable in your field and they are an effective promotion and engagement tool. Publish your articles online with links back to your website through portals such as Ezine Articles

Email Marketing

OK so let’s not spam. It’s rude and annoying. Having said that, a well-crafted regular newsletter to people who have agreed to receive one, has the potential to yield a high ROI. A recent case study from dotMailer, a professional email marketing company showed a staggering month on month ROI of £2400% for one of their clients. The numbers are big in this case but the principle remains the same – send targeted message with calls to action and links to more information. Make it look professional and use metrics to gauge results.

Summary

  • Only a relatively small % of your business will come directly from social media but it is developing all the time.
  • Social media builds brand awareness and credibility.
  • If you use it, use it properly – it won’t convince Google or your customers you are credible if you don’t.
  • You don’t have to spend a fortune developing your brand online
  • Integrate traditional and digital campaigns to boost lead generation
  • Use metrics to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns such as  Facebook Insights and Google Analytics  for paid-for campaigns.

If you have any comments or queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the quick contact form.

Want to develop your reach but don’t have the time? Contact us for cost effective, managed and integrated marketing campaigns