It is difficult to grow a business beyond a one-man operation if you are not marketing. And in the modern world, digital marketing is everything. The problem is that digital marketing services can be quite expensive. Even moderately priced services can run thousands of dollars per month. That begs the question, is digital marketing on a budget even possible?
Anything is possible. The more important question is whether digital marketing on a budget will actually achieve the desired results. Forbes Council Member Mohamed Elhawary says it can if you pay attention and make sure to maximize every dollar spent.
Effective Marketing With Just $500
Elhawary used a November 2023 post to lay out how a typical small business could effectively market in the digital realm on a budget of just $500. He broke down the marketing plan into five key components:
- Market research.
- Website and SEO.
- Content creation.
- Social media advertising.
- Email marketing.
Elhawary also assigned a dollar value to each one. As someone involved in the digital marketing industry, I can tell you that the amounts are not much. But I can also see the big picture. Maximizing the plan on a limited budget should theoretically boost sales, thereby providing more funding for future marketing efforts.
Each Component is Critical
Even though different dollar amounts are assigned to each component, the individual components are all critical to success. Not a single one is more important than the others. Different dollar amounts are assigned simply because some strategies cost more than others.
It is also worth noting that the five components Elhawary mentioned are in order of implementation. For example, Salt Lake City’s Webtek Digital Marketing always starts a new digital marketing project with market research. They need to. They have no way of knowing how to proceed until they understand what they are dealing with.
Building a website and supporting it with solid SEO is the next logical step. Why? Because a company’s website is ultimately the digital space through which customers will connect. All the digital marketing in the world will be of very little value if a company’s website is not up to snuff.
Reaching Beyond the Website
The remaining three components are designed to reach beyond a company’s website. Interestingly, the costs associated with them are where digital marketing services can get expensive. The reason? None of them are a one-and-done thing.
When Webtek’s digital marketing services include content creation, content is produced on a regular schedule. A client might need new content for its homepage and ‘About Us’ section, but it also needs regular blog posts to remain relevant to search engines. Then there are guest posts that generate the coveted backlinks SEO experts talk about all the time.
On and off-site content is designed to drive traffic. That being the case, content creation and SEO go hand-in-hand. But what about social media and email? Where do they fall in all of this?
External Marketing Tactics
Social media advertising and email marketing are considered external marketing tactics designed to increase brand awareness, promote sales, and bring new customers into the fold. What makes them both exciting is that they can be maximized at a minimal cost. Email marketing literally costs nothing but the time it takes to put together newsletters and targeted messages. As for social media advertising, the pay-per-click model makes it extremely affordable.
Is digital marketing on a budget even possible? Yes, it is. But making it viable is another thing altogether. If you don’t know how to maximize every dollar spent, your budget may not be big enough to make any difference.