How to Save Money on Internet Marketing

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Internet marketing campaigns are incredibly valuable for any business in today’s market. With it, even the smallest business can reach a global audience of billions of Internet users. Even a small fraction of a percentage of those people can form a brilliant audience capable of pushing a business into an extremely profitable state. Internet marketing is all about reaching those customers ahead of your competition.

The drawback to Internet marketing is, unfortunately, the companies that do the work. It’s an unregulated industry with thousands of marketing companies fighting for the right to market your business — and charge you for the service. Whether you’re hiring an independent contractor or working with a larger firm, you need to watch out to minimize the costs without signing on for poor service.

1. Take the time to develop a marketing strategy.

Before a single word is posted online, there should be a strategy. What does that mean?

  • Establish your budget. This will limit the companies you can work with, determine what services you can utilize and establish ground rules for a pay per click campaign.
  • Decide on your goals. Do you want to reach a certain level of traffic? A certain rank in the search engines for your niche? A certain level of new sales? Do you want to expand into a foreign market?
  • Establish which forms of marketing you want to use. Website SEO, content marketing, pay per click, paid advertising, e-mail campaigns, multimedia campaigns, social media marketing — they all have valid uses, but trying to use them all at once is a quick way to break the bank.

Taking the time to develop a strategy will save you money you would otherwise waste on experimentation.

2. Work with a team of experts who know what they’re doing.

It’s entirely possible to learn the basics of Internet marketing and put them into action yourself. It’s also going to take a significant investment in the form of your time. Your time is likely best spent elsewhere, so it’s a good idea to work with a team of experts to establish your online marketing plan. You will want, on average:

  • A Search Engine Optimization expert to analyze your current efforts and identify ways to improve.
  • A content creation specialist to create new web content, blog posts and product descriptions in keeping with modern SEO rules.
  • A social media manager to set up and run profiles on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and other social networks.

Over time, you can train your own staff in some of these roles, particularly in managing your social media profiles. You can get all of this through an Internet marketing firm, or you can hire freelancers. Beware of anyone who offers their services for too low a price! Research the average prices and avoid the cheapest on offer; chances are they either don’t know what they’re doing, or use techniques that can harm your site.

3. Make use of modern technology to enable new customer connections.

Modern technology is a great enabler for business practices, marketing strategies and other efforts that might have required a massive investment a few years ago. If you can provide some means of linking modern technology with a customer need, you can greatly boost the exposure and profits of your company. Take, for example, the secondary market for event tickets. Ticketbis makes use of a modern technological platform to connect people with tickets to people who want them. By providing security and connections, the site enabled people to sell World Cup tickets and the like without risk.

If your business can come up with a simple and effective technological link, it makes your advertising that much easier; you have an innovative niche with little competition.

4. Measure, adjust and iterate your strategy based on data you collect.

Every step of the way through your marketing plan, you need to be collecting data. Sales, conversions, new hits, returning visitors — everything you collect can be useful to your marketer. The idea is to learn what works best and change your marketing plan to emphasize that strategy. How often you adjust will be a personal calculation between you and your marketing firm, based on the agility of your website. Such adjustments minimize the amount of money you spend on plans that aren’t bringing in new customers or maximizing profits.

5. Consider the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is the idea that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of the effort. The idea is that the initial investment in a marketing campaign will have the largest return, while refinements will have increasingly diminishing returns. Circumstances don’t always adhere strictly to the principle, but it can be a good guideline for deciding when to pull back investing in one strategy and start investing in another — pay per click to email marketing, for example.

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