Digital Marketing On A Budget: Low-Cost Strategies For Startups: Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part article. 

DMN asked marketing experts the following question: “How can you squeeze the most value out of every penny in a marketing budget?” They replied with a thorough list of affordable marketing strategies. Here are their responses:

Establish a strong foundation of marketing data

Greg Sobiech, founder and managing partner of Delve, said that trustworthy marketing data is essential, and noted that even the free version of Google Analytics offers robust attribution functionality.

“Establish a strong data foundation, understand customer journey (attribution), and truly know how people are finding your brand – how they are being introduced to you,” Sobiech said. “Once you know these facts, then aggressively spend in those channels that introduce customers to your brand.”

eBook: Mapping The Customer Journey

Stay level-headed

The stakes are high, but startups need to allocate their funds wisely to optimize results.

“When operating a startup, every decision carries a lot of weight, and operating a cash-strapped startup only heightens the importance of every decision,” noted Donnie Bullers, marketer, Elastos. “This is where timing, tactics, and execution come in to play. In order to ensure a limited marketing budget is not wasted, it is important to spend extra time vetting options and agencies. Think outside the traditional box on marketing tactics, and implement strategies that have minimal costs in order to gain traction. This will provide the opportunity to grow the budget to a desired level, while starting at an amount that is most comfortable for the company.”

Optimize your website

Stephanie Denevan, director of client services, AUDIENCEX, recommended a strong content marketing plan to drive traffic, support brand awareness, and supplement paid advertising. Denevan also emphasized the benefits of programmatic retargeting.

“It’s the most cost-effective way to drive a desired action and helps avoid a leaky funnel,” Denevan said.

When asked how to optimize websites without breaking the bank, Denevan suggested several tools.

“Conversion rate optimization and heat mapping tools like Crazy Egg, Inspectlet, Optimizely, etc., are low-cost ways to optimize the site and maximize traffic,” Denevan said.

Denevan said that initial paid media should be deployed under a test-and-learn framework, to allow for rapid adjustments based on data being collected.

Related: How Responsive Design Impacts UX (And What It Means For Marketers) 

Focus on brand awareness

“Don’t underestimate the long-term power of brand awareness strategies,” Denevan said. “Even if this doesn’t drive immediate action, collecting user data based on clicks and other on-site engagement will allow you to build sophisticated learnings that can be leveraged for longer-term success.”

Additionally, small business owners can look out for promotions to squeeze the most value out of every penny in their digital marketing budget.

“Often, platforms and agencies will offer assistance or discounts when trying out a new capability for the first time, particularly if you’re willing to take part in a case study,” Denevan said. 

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