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Starting up a small business is a brilliant way to turn your passion into profit. However, the main problem with running an independent business is that you don’t have the same financial backing as you would do when working for someone else or a different company. As a result, you have less of a budget for things like digital marketing, even though this is essential for getting your business’s name out there.

To help our readers with this predicament, we’ve created this article which lists 7 different ideas for running a digital marketing campaign that even small businesses can afford. Keep reading to find out what they are.

1.) Hosting Competitions

One of the best ways to market your business nowadays is to host competitions online. This usually involves rewarding the winners with a gift voucher, products from your business, or something from a third party i.e. a new television. Though technically giving stuff away for free will incur a loss for your business, the rewards you’ll reap from this digital marketing campaign will more than make up for this deficit. For one, competitions help to generate a massive buzz around your business. Also, most online giveaways involve people having to share the competition’s post or tag several friends, thereby increasing the online visibility of your company. Pretty ingenious, right?

2.) Email Marketing

Email marketing is the virtual version of handing out flyers, except this is a much more cost-effective form of advertising. It’s the perfect way to deliver information and chase up sales with an already engaged audience, plus build brand loyalty. However, many small business owners don’t use email marketing because they’re worried about spamming their contacts or being unable to afford these campaigns. Fortunately, with email marketing software, you needn’t worry about either of these things. This software can segment your contact list, meaning customers and clients will only ever receive information when it is relevant to them. What’s more, email marketing software will send messages automatically, saving manual labour, and can often be downloaded completely for free.

3.) Social Media

Social media is an incredibly effective form of digital marketing – and it’s completely free of charge to register on these platforms. If you haven’t already, it’s time to make use of social media for your small business. For starters, you should create a Facebook page. This can usually substitute for a regular website if you can’t afford to buy your own domain. Invite friends and family to like your Facebook to increase its visibility. Meanwhile, Instagram is a good platform for holding competitions and posting visual content. If you have products to showcase, then this is the place to do it. Social media like LinkedIn and Twitter, on the other hand, are good for networking with other industry professionals. This is great for those who still need to get their foot in the door.

4.) Blogging

Blogging is a brilliant form of digital marketing that everyone should use to their advantage. For starters, blogging allows you to deliver information about your product or service to interested customers and clients. This will help you to close sales. If you’re unsure what to write about in your blog, we recommend discussing the subjects that are relevant to your business and industry. It’s also important to ensure the information is newsworthy. For example, an estate agent would write about how coronavirus has affected the property market. What’s also great about blogging is that it can improve your search engine optimisation. This increases your online visibility and attracts higher-quality traffic to your website. Once your blogs have been published, they will remain online forever, sending customers your way indefinitely. As such, it might be worth buying a domain for blogging, because (if done correctly and consistently) this is a cost-effective source of advertising.

5.) Livestreams

Most people dislike putting their face onto the internet, so the thought of hosting a livestream is horrifying to them. However, this is a surprisingly effective form of digital marketing that doesn’t cost much money at all to run. Social media apps – like Facebook and Instagram – allow people to run a livestream from their mobile phone. This alerts the people who have liked or followed your page that you have ‘gone live’, attracting a greater audience than regular video content. Livestreaming is also helpful because it puts a face to the name of your brand, which often results in consumers feeling more connected to you. This is especially true when it comes to running a small business. Livestreams are great if you want to interact with your audience, too. Web seminars and Q&As are examples of this.

6.) Reviews

Business owners can sometimes be wary of their reviewers. However, if you’re passionate about your work and providing people with good customer service, then they aren’t anything to worry about. In fact, you can use the excellent reviews that people have left to your advantage for your digital marketing campaign. If potential clients see proof from others that you deliver a high-quality service, their trust in you is bound to increase and you’re more likely to close a sale with them. Posting a satisfied customer’s review also doesn’t cost much money. All you need to do is create an eye-catching infographic of the review, then publish it on one or more of your social media platforms.

7.) Building Brand

Finally, small businesses can usually increase the effectiveness of their digital marketing campaigns by building their brand. Like we mentioned before, the more connected people feel to the face behind the name, the more likely they are to trust you. This is especially true for small businesses. You can build your brand by interacting with customers and adding a little personal flair when writing your marketing content. Professionalism is also key to building a brand. 

These are our main tips and tricks for running a marketing campaign as a small business. Not only are these ideas inexpensive and implementable but they’re also proven to be effective.