Cost-effective digital marketing strategies - Business Works
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Cost-effective digital marketing strategies

Ryan Higginson, Vice President, Pitney Bowes Recent research from InfoTrends found that 36.4% of SMEs plan to increase their digital marketing spend in 2013. In light of the rise of digital marketing and m-commerce, Ryan Higginson of Pitney Bowes offers his top tips for marketers to cut costs, but keep up with the pace.

  1. Create universal content
  2. Creating content that can be used across multiple channels, offline and online, rather than working in siloes will help save on costs and deliver consistency of the message. For example, physical marketing techniques, such as promotional posters, letters and adverts, can be combined with digital channels by implementing techniques such as QR codes. This means that when a customer walks past a poster or sees a code on a product, they can scan it with their mobile and instantly be taken online to access more information or even make purchases.

    Businesses should do all they can to re-purpose content through as many channels as possible. If you have created a promotional video donít just put it on your website. Think about sharing it via social media such as Twitter and YouTube. In fact, Twitterís newly-launched video sharing app, Vine, can provide a quick, cheap and easy way for video content to be uploaded and shared with target audiences. In turn, customers can then share this content further with peers and others within their networks.

  3. Implement multichannel campaigns
  4. While bigger firms often have large budgets, in-depth expertise and sufficient resources to launch multi-channel campaigns, many SMEs feel that they donít have the capacity to compete. However, this neednít be the case. There are marketing tools available now which give a step-by-step guide to help SMEs develop and launch multi-channel marketing campaigns easily from making sure mobile websites are optimised to launching a QR code campaign or mastering e-mail marketing.

    Such tools are easy to use and affordable. For example, businesses can create a mobile optimised site for as little as £6.99 a month. Whatís more there is no need to overhaul existing marketing strategies and processes to do this. You just need to implement the programme that suits your business needs, so that you can enjoy the benefits without worrying about infrastructure issues. To help with the transition to digital some programmes will also offer a support service, so your questions can be answered quickly and the personal touch still remains.

  5. Analyse to understand the success of your campaign
  6. A lot of time and money can be wasted if the marketing channels and locations that are used arenít bringing in high sales numbers. As with any new strategy, basic business principles still apply. Itís important to decide how you will measure ROI with any new digital technique you are trying out.

    In order to get the most out of mobile channels for instance, data and analytics has a key role to play. Businesses can use free tools such as Google Analytics to see exactly how many visitors are accessing content from a mobile device, while geolocation technology and maps make it possible to find out where customers are viewing information from or buying products and services. The fundamental advantage universal to all digital technology is the immediate creation of data which would otherwise be very time-consuming and expensive to collect. This instant Ďintelligenceí will help businesses better target future campaigns, which will ultimately save on costs and precious resource. Itís all about building momentum from one campaign to the next through continuous analysis, refinement and execution to ensure that they are as successful as possible and yield the highest sales figures.

  7. Make the most of social networks
  8. Social media marketing is a free way to capture consumers whilst they are surfing the web by simultaneously sharing content and messages. However, a common mistake made by businesses is selling rather than engaging Ė customers do not want to receive sales pitches everyday through social media. If you build relationships with followers first, itíll be easier to engage them with your products and services when you do want to sell to them. Key to this is establishing a voice on these channels. Sharing interesting stories and blogs and asking questions to followers and fans will help encourage engagement. Once youíve gained credibility, you can then send promotional deals and offers directly while also asking customers for feedback.

    In terms of the design of social media sites, there are lots of free tutorials and helpful guides out there to help you compile templates and homepages for any social media pages such as Facebook or Twitter. Once youíre established, itís also important to measure the success of your social media activities. Free tools such as Social Mention, Google Alerts and Google Analytics will help with this.

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