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The internet, as a tool for business, has limitless possibilities. Companies are appearing online every day. However, while maintaining an online footprint is more important than ever, sustaining it is often easier said than done. This is especially true if you are a small business with a shoestring marketing budget or a startup with limited capital.

It can seem like the large corporations have all the advantages and limitless resources. Small companies and startups not only have an issue with humble marketing budgets, but they also have restrictions in personnel, time, and other resources. Regardless, there are many digital marketing strategies that one can use without breaking the bank.

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The world of digital marketing is one in which capturing and keeping people’s attention is extremely valuable. Small companies and startups are not only struggling against large corporations with well-funded marketing departments, they are competing with a laundry list of distractions all vying for their target’s attention. Currently, there are over 644 million websites, with thousands of new ones created every day. Moreover, each of these sources is producing a myriad of content: blogs, videos, images, plus all the individual social media posts and tweets.

Despite all this, your digital marketing does not have to be costly or overly dramatic. Small companies and startups can have a successful online presence on a shoestring budget if they use a few simple ideas.

1. Identify Your Target Audience –

You should know your ideal customers. As a small business, these groups fall into the category of the vital few, the roughly 20 percent of active customers responsible for 80 percent of your sales. If you are a startup, knowing your product or service should mean knowing who has the most interest. Create customer profiles, also known as personas, to help get into your customer’s heads. Without this step, you can waste a lot of money and never reach those most likely to buy.

2. Create a Facebook Group –

Not only are Facebook Groups free, but they give you the ability to create a community around your brand. Moreover, Facebook is the king of all social media. It does not matter who your ideal customer is, they are likely on Facebook. This tactic can take some time and effort. Nevertheless, by creating a resource and starting discussions, you can drive traffic to your website. The key here is not using your group to make hard sales pitches.

3. Create Content Consistently –

The internet is a great way to build a voice. That said, reaching an effective frequency with content creation is very important. A company must produce enough blog articles, email newsletters, and social media posts to keep their audience’s attention, but not so much that they start tuning you out. On Facebook, a good goal is 5 to 10 posts a week, while Twitter is 5 to 10 posts per day. Your business blog may require a new weekly article.

4. It Is Not About You. It Is About Them. –

If you walk away from this article having learned only one thing, it should be that content creation is about bringing value to your target. If you spend all your time trying to sell your company and products, your audience will walk away and never return. It is best to follow the 80/20 Rule. Use 80 percent of your time providing content that is informative, useful or entertaining, and 20 percent for promotional purposes.

5. Engage with Followers on Social Media. –

Engaging with your follows is not only about marketing, it also is essential for reputation management. People do business with companies they trust and they feel do appreciate them. Failing to respond to comments, questions, or concerns can quickly create a negative impression that may spread. While you may not want to provide customer service on your social channels, your customers may not give you a choice.

What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about more digital marketing ideas for shoestring budgets, or a related topic, please contact us.

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