As with any significant investment, a company’s marketing budget should be carefully managed and tracked to account for:
- Cost effectiveness: Cost per lead, Cost per sale ...
- Success factors such as:# visitor, # leads, # email subscriptions ...
- Visitor to lead conversion rate
- Lead to sales conversion rate
The Components of Online Marketing
Because each segment of content marketing involves a price tag, you need to know the details of each element when budgeting.
• Search Ads. Search advertising should be part of your core approach, especially if you’re new to marketing online. With search tactics, your goal is to get people to find you and ultimately visit your website. Your ad appears in the hit list when users enter search terms, and they click through to your landing page. However, these pay-per-click ads carry a cost, which you may not recoup if the visitor doesn’t spend much time on your site.
• Social Media Marketing. You’re probably already connected with friends, and sharing photos or videos. However, if you’re not using social media as a marketing tool, you’re missing out on enormous opportunities. It’s another cost-free approach that encompasses sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, to name a few. When you find yourself asking “how much does online marketing cost?” make sure to include social media marketing. The ability to share photos, videos, blogs and other content across these channels can increase your online presence exponentially.
• Blogging. There are many online tools for posting blog content, including articles, videos, photos and podcasts, among others. Many are free, though some offer upgraded services for a monthly or annual fee. This form of online marketing can be very successful if the content is entertaining, educational or otherwise interesting to prospects. Attention-grabbing content brings a potential customer to your site, rather than you spending money to bring them in the door.
How Much Does Online Marketing Cost?
Any online marketing strategies that are available without cost don’t take into account the investment of time that you must make if they bring the campaign in house. If you’re doing it yourself, you need to consider this cost aspect of online marketing, especially if you’re facing a learning curve due to limited experience. Still, with a few tips for online marketing, you can develop an approach that’s cost-free and effective.
• Create a Facebook profile for your company, and ask your existing customers to “Like” your page. Their online friends will see your information, and may even share some of your content with others.
• Develop a blog page, and post educational articles on a regular basis. You don’t have to blog on a daily basis, but once a week should be your goal to start.
• Draft a newsletter on a monthly basis, which includes topics that are trending in your industry. You can also include news about your company or events that you're hosting.
• Record a podcast or video broadcast using Skype or other A/V technology. The software is easy to use, and you can even bring in guest hosts to attract attention from prospects.
• Draft a press release and submit it to one of the free or low cost online news outlets. These articles should contain a description of your company, summary of the release, and engaging body content.
Bringing your marketing online with these tips can save you money, especially as you start to master these techniques and delve into more advanced methods.