Small Business Financing: Where to Start Investing in Digital Marketing

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As a small business grows, it can go through some growing pains as it enters new arenas and must deal with a different class of competitors in order to sustain momentum. One of the potential stumbling blocks that business owners face in particular is the question of how to deploy their marketing dollars on top of their other small business financing concerns in order to get the highest return for their investments. Without perspective on how to deploy their resources, business owners run the risk of chasing unrealistic goals or prioritizing certain strategies over others to their detriment. Ask yourself the following questions about the direction of your business in order to gauge what the best strategy is for you.

Do you need to focus on short term lead creation? If you are looking for a strategy that will provide you with quick results, then optimizing a PPC campaign might be the right place for you to start. The website searchenginewatch.com recently put out an article recommending PPC as an entry step into digital marketing for small business owners who may not be able to wait for the effects of SEO to kick in and provide them with new business. For this reason, if your primary goal is to create some immediate business for your website, starting out with a PPC centered approach while gradually improving organic SEO and a social media presence is a strong route.

Are you trying to get your content noticed? If your business’s site isn’t predominantly a platform for e-commerce and is in fact more centered on content, then a PPC campaign might not be the right tack to take. Instead, sharing content through services like Outbrainwhich can dramatically improve the reach of the media that you produce, might be more up your alley. Promoting your best pieces through Facebook targeting and promoted tweets is another way to present your content to a wider audience as well as begin to build a more robust social media following.

Are you interested in competing locally? If the focus of your business is solely local markets, then paying to reach a broader audience can be a waste. Instead, promoting your business on local directory sites and managing your responses through services like LocalVox and Yext can help you manage a campaign that is specifically targeted to the area that your business serves. Claiming all of your available listings, and potentially integrating your location data into your site will help you to stand out and get discovered. Optimizing your site for mobile is another way to ensure that you will be discovered by those in your area who are searching for the services you offer.

Photo Credit to Norlando Pobre on Flickr

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