words by Jason Parks, CEO of The Media Captain for entrepreneur.com
In light of the controversial introduction of advertising on Instagram, we are taking a look at online marketing, and sharing 5 simple ways to really smash it while not having to break your budget.
There is nothing more frustrating for a business than spending money on a marketing campaign and not obtaining quantifiable results, especially on a shoestring budget. So here are some ideas that may help.
1. Retargeting Advertisements - $0.70 per day
Let’s translate this definition from Google into English so all business owners can understand this amazing form of advertising.
Suppose you own Carl’s Cookie Shop in Columbus, Ohio. You generate a lot of web traffic from tourists and locals who are interested in your delicious chocolate chip cookies.
The majority of your business comes from foot traffic into the store but your goal is to generate more online sales. By placing a cookie onto your website, your advertisement for “free shipping” on 12 or more cookies will follow those people who have visited your website and appear on different websites they visit.
The beauty of this form of advertising is that it is dirt cheap and you are targeting people who have already expressed interest in your company. It drastically increases your brand awareness as well.
Carl’s Cookie’s advertisements will populate on sites like ESPN, Huffington Post and Yahoo. You can decide whether to bid on a per-click basis or by cost per impressions (CPM). You will be shocked with the number of impressions you can get for just 70 cents a day.
How do you get started? Google provides 15 image sizes where you can place advertisements for your business. If you are not familiar with Photoshop, a graphic designer should be able to create the advertisement for you within an hour. After you have the creative aspect complete, follow these steps to add the retargeting tag onto your website and you are ready to launch your retargeting campaign.
2. Bing Advertising - $1.30 per day
Did you know that Bing averages a 33.5 percent cheaper cost per click for its online advertising than Google Adwords? While there are certainly some industries where the cost per click will be north of $1.30, you should be able to get at least one click per day through Bing Advertising for just $1.30 when you bid strategically.
Bing is an afterthought to many business owners, but it shouldn’t be. When you are on a penny-pinching budget, Bing should be your first option.
It is easy to become complacent with your pay-per-click marketing strategy when you have a larger budget. If your advertising does not develop leads immediately, you may assume the campaign just needs more time to mature, but you fail to perform an analysis for each and every click.
However, cost-saving methods can lead to greater efficiency. With a smaller marketing budget, you are forced to analyze each click for key metrics such as click-through rate, bounce rate and average time on site which ensures higher-quality traffic.
To further increase conversions, create a custom landing page designed specifically around the keyword on which you are bidding. Unbounce.com is a phenomenal platform that allows non-developers to create stunning landing pages.
3. Facebook Advertising - $1 per day
Have you been discouraged by your business’ social-media interaction recently? Even with witty posts, can you not generate the social chatter you deserve for your business page?
This is due to Facebook’s Edgerank Aglorithm, which was developed by Facebook to govern the content displayed on its News Feed.
Facebook wants businesses to advertise in order to receive exposure. Although frustrating, you can generate immense interaction with a single $5 post.
Through Facebook Advertising, your message will be seen by the masses. Just create a captivating post with an alluring image and target the right audience.
Let’s suppose Carl’s Cookie Shop promotes a Facebook post for free cookies before noon on National Cookie Day and targets people within a five-mile radius of the store. I am confident a great deal eyeballs would be attracted to this post.
Now how will your business capitalize on its social media posts?
4. Blogger Outreach - FREE
Let’s return to Carl’s Cookie Shop.
Carl should spend some time away from the kitchen and reach out to Columbus food bloggers and local tourism sites to contribute articles promoting his famous cookies.
Carl would provide valuable content for the external sites and in return, he would generate referral traffic along with valuable local backlinks, which is valuable for SEO.
If you craft a solid pitch and are persistent with your outreach, you can easily forge new blogging relationships, which will have a long-term and positive impact for your company.
The best part about blogger outreach is that it is free. It only requires your time in order to be successfully implemented.
Once your business begins experiencing favorable results from this low-cost marketing campaign, you can start investing more money into the various high performing digital outlets.
Remember, people who bargain-hunt at second-hand stores can end up finding the greatest treasures.