Smaller local companies and startups often look for ways to cut costs more than the mega corporations everyone knows about, but no matter what size your business is, saving money is always a good idea. One great area of business to save in while also investing back into your company is digital marketing. By now, every business person should acknowledge that a lack of a digital presence is detrimental to performance and ultimately to future survival, so we’ve put together a few of our favorite lower-cost digital marketing tools to implement into your day-to-day operations.
Social Media Planning
For those of you looking for some help planning and scheduling social media posts, Hootsuite is going to be your best friend. This awesome all-in-one social media management tool has several versions: free, professional, team, business, and enterprise. To keep this as budget-friendly as possible, I’m only going to cover the first 2 options.
The most affordable option is, of course, the free version. This is great for a small company starting to build their social presence. It allows one person to schedule 5 posts on 2 platforms each month and that’s where the benefits end and limitations begin. The professional version is going to start at $49 a month and then allow unlimited posts to be scheduled for 10 platforms. This version also allows for more features like versatile content calendars, reporting templates, and inbox management.
Moving onto keyword research, Spyfu is extremely helpful when it comes to finding the right terms and phrases to incorporate into SEO and PPC strategies. Personally, I don’t have enough good things to say about this resource! Covering the basic plan, it starts at $33 a month if chosen annually, or $39 on a month-to-month basis. SpyFu’s database contains 6 months of keyword ranking history, annual search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC projections, and so much more – and all of this is just in the keyword research tab! But best of all, you can actually act like a spy (get it?) and compare your company’s rankings with competitors in the Kombat report. All I can say is run, don’t walk to SpyFu.
Once you’re done exploring Spyfu, blogging is next. But sometimes, the keywords you need to rank for don’t make the easiest topics to write about. This is where Answer The Public comes in to save the day. Their free version allows you to search keywords and phrases by geographic location and language in the user interface. Once you press search, it will provide you with potential blog topics! Save some time and brainpower during your busy week by popping over there to get easily generated topics in no time.
Monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) in your company’s Google Ads is perhaps one of the most important practices in PPC. But what many people do not capitalize on, in my experience, is Google Ads’ reporting function. Once you’re logged into your company’s account, you’ll see a button for reports in the upper right portion of the page. There, you can choose to measure predefined metrics or customize your own reports and dashboards! This means reporting is accurate and reports can be refreshed for specific time frames right in the application. Building out new dashboards is great because not only do you get to measure exactly when you want, but you get to learn more about how KPIs and calculations work together.
By utilizing these free or lower-cost solutions outlined above, your company is sure to see some major cost-savings and profit-increasing results. Make sure to watch online tutorials, research application features, and take advantage of free trials before committing to long-term contracts. Investing funds into new resources but neglecting to understand the scope of their functionality is ultimately a waste of money and valuable time that you could use to improve other areas of your business.
If these tools seem too overwhelming, we completely understand! Digital marketing is not everyone’s cup of tea, however, it should be in everyone’s business plan. If you’re looking to grow your business without dedicating the time and energy into becoming a self-made digital expert, reach out to a local marketing agency to see how they can help. Smarter Searches not only offers a la carte services tailored to each client but also in-depth marketing strategy consulting. Check out some of our projects here to learn more and reach out to us with any questions you may have!