Everyone who starts a business does so to make money. The end goals may vary – you may be looking for long-term security, stability for you and your family and so on – but, when it comes down to nuts and bolts, the way to achieving your goals by making money.
The old axiom that it takes money to make money is still true, but the amounts you need and the way it is applied is changing. Businesses no longer have to forfeit short-term gains for long-term stability and, what’s more, small businesses can now compete with industry leaders in their niches with a good chance to win. It’s no longer just about the money, but how the money you invest is used.
Changing the face of marketing
When it comes to marketing your small business, there are a couple of different avenues that you can explore. Although not exclusive, spreading money in different avenues can dilute your efforts. The best way to invest in marketing will certainly depend on the product or service you are providing.
- Traditional marketing is usually a dead end because spending substantial amounts of money on newspaper, radio or television advertising is out of reach for most small businesses and the returns don’t justify the amount that must be invested. Your potential market is huge, but the minimal return that can be expected from media marketing means that it is the weakest of the methods of marketing you can try.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is an effective technique when you have the skills and expertise to use it. SEM is a constantly evolving discipline that requires maintenance and a constant influx of work. It is a time-intensive marketing method that can offer huge dividends with a modest investment.
- Social Media Marketing (SMM) is the easiest method of marketing to learn and it is relatively simple and inexpensive to get started, but it is limited within a niche media for its targeted audience and, although it can be an effective aid, it should be run as a secondary campaign alongside a SEM campaign.
The best of all worlds
Every business is unique, but generally the niche you are wanting to advertise to is a well-defined and narrow demographic. By marketing to a group that has a better chance of becoming future customers, your business will get more return on its marketing dollars. SMM can find that audience, but it doesn’t guarantee that potential customers see it.
SEM, on the other hand, makes your products or services look attractive to Google, Bing or other search engines that get used on a daily basis. Whether your business is online or local, having the first result on a Google search will guarantee that your business will increase.
Of course, getting that coveted first spot is not as easy as asking Google for it. Your website must be attractive to the algorithm that controls the search engine placement. Since that algorithm is constantly evolving, your website must also grow to maintain the ranking.
The best way to do that, in fact, the best way to determine what kind of marketing your business should be pursuing, is to recruit a company or person who understands SMM and SEM. This digital business consultant can help set up and oversee a comprehensive marketing campaign to ensure that you get the most value from your money.