In many ways, an affordable Internet marketing strategy is not much different than an "old school" approach. There are different tactics you can use to get the attention of your audience. So how do you choose?
Internet marketing is actually a very broad canvas that can be filled with a variety of subjects, so to speak. Chief among these, in our view, is the use of "inbound marketing" strategies as opposed to simple, paid advertising. In other words, owned media versus paid media.
Internet Marketing Tactics: What's the Difference?
Owned media is made up of content that you control. For example, the content on your company website, your blog posts, and all of your social media channels.
HubSpot describes it this way,
While owned media content can take on a variety of forms -- blog posts, case studies, whitepapers, etc. -- the primary goal of this content is to continue providing value to leads as they move down the funnel. These assets offer a more controlled -- but not overly promotional -- message about your company.
On the other hand, paid media is made of various methods for promoting content and your brand. There are variety of paid media tactics you can use on the Internet to drive traffic to your owned media.
We would be remiss to leave out a third category referred to as "earned media." This is media exposure you "earn" by word-of-mouth. It describes the online recognition you receive as a result of your other media efforts.
Our friends at HubSpot go on to say,
You can earn media by getting press mentions, positive reviews, reposts, recommendations, etc. You can also facilitate earned media by helping journalists and content writers author their articles, or contributing your own thought leadership content to industry publications.
One more significant tactic that cannot be overlooked is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. This is a valuable addition to the affordable Internet marketing arsenal in that it can, when done well, provide great ROI by boosting organic search visits to your website.
Thinking About Affordable Internet Marketing Strategy
If your business has unlimited resources - money, time, people - you could dominate your industry by simply pouring all this into a traditional outbound advertising strategy.
Yeah, right... if only!
The reality is that no business really has unlimited resources, and most businesses have very limited resources. This is why marketing online, and inbound marketing in particular, is such a boon to so many small to mid-sized businesses. You really can have an affordable Internet marketing plan.
Perhaps the one (and possibly, only) downside to inbound marketing is that it takes time to realize significant results and for your brand and content to gain traction with your audience. This can be frustrating, at minimum, and even untenable for some businesses. With a limited budget, they cannot wait six months or more to generate the leads they need to be profitable.
This is why paid media has such an appeal and can serve to boost overall inbound marketing efforts, in addition to driving relatively immediate results. The danger is that, because business owners often do see a great return on their investment in tactics like PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads, they focus solely on that tactic.
But, by putting all their "eggs in one basket" they run the risk of suffering huge and sometimes immediate loss if and when Google, for example, makes an algorithm change. This can and has happened.
The key to an effective and successful Internet marketing strategy is diversification.
Diversity is the Key to Affordable Internet Marketing Success
Actually, there are many keys, but this is certainly a big one. By engaging in a balanced "trifecta" of online marketing tactics you can optimize the chances of achieving your marketing goals.
An overly simplified description would look something like this:
Content marketing (blog posts, email campaigns, guides)
Pay-per-Click marketing (Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook or LinkedIn advertising)
Search Engine Marketing, or SEO
Diversifying both your budget allocations and your time and effort can help to ensure that if one or another of these tactics fails to deliver well, or consistently, the other campaigns will be driving the needed traffic and leads to your doorstep.
The Case for A Good, Local Inbound Marketing Agency
Fortunately, you don't have to attempt this on your own! Your options for implementing a successful affordable Internet marketing strategy include turning to a professional firm that can work with you to maximize your efforts.
A qualified agency like BroadVision Marketing will develop a road map with an implementation time line, marketing milestones, and key deliverables. Using this road map we will create the framework and structure for us to work with you and help you to achieve your marketing goals.
Get your Free Complimentary Inbound Marketing Session to help you make an informed decision or call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238.