Small businesses should invest in online marketing now in order to ensure their long-term growth, according to an award-winning business coach.
Paul Avins, founder of thebusinesswealthclub.co.uk, said everything starts with the business model and marketing plans of an organisation.
Describing marketing as one of the "key areas" of a business, he added that it is crucial in attracting and converting new customers. Mr Avins said profitability is driven by the "ability to create a customer experience, to wow [prospective customers] and to drive customer loyalty deep into [the] business".
The expert advised against cutting back on marketing in trying financial times. "Now is a time to reinvest energy, time and money working on your vision, your strategy and your marketing plans for your business," he commented. Admitting that this approach may not always generate short-term sales, Mr Avins said it guarantees longer-term growth opportunities.
Cost-effective small business online marketing
Content marketing, as long as it is done right, is a relatively cost-effective way to achieve returns on investment.
Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute recently suggested businesses who want to get more bang for their marketing buck should look at investing in content for their websites and other channels.
Speaking during a Google+ Hangout with Spafax content director Arjun Basu and Sparksheet's Dan Levy, he noted that a relatively small proportion of an overall marketing budget can go a long way if it spent on unique, quality content rather than pay-per-click and so on.
Three cost-effective content marketing strategies
1 – Repurpose
There's no rule that suggests you can only use each piece of content once. Very often, a compelling white paper can be supplemented by a video outlining the main points, or an infographic can be described in more detail in a blot post (like we did with The Anatomy of Content Marketing and this accompanying blog post).
2 – Go social
Most social networks are free to join, so if you allocate resources in a clever way and use tools in order to manage accounts efficiently, it can be a relatively cheap and highly successful online marketing channel. Check out how Zaggora supercharged its profits with social media.
3 – Outsource to a content marketing
Rather than taking a risk and allocating content production and promotion to an existing member of staff – who usually doesn't have access to the necessary expertise, sources and other infrastructure – many small businesses choose to outsource their content marketing activities.