More for less is a human characteristic and there is nothing wrong in adopting that approach to your digital marketing budget. The problem here is that the term digital marketing covers several avenues, some of them more expensive but not always assuring returns in proportion to what you spend.
Then again, over time there are shifts in which channel is more effective in general and specifically about your position, products, customers and competition. External political or market situation could also influence the choice of channel.
Areas of digital marketing
- Digital marketing today covers a suite of services and strategies such as:
- Search engine optimization
- Website design, development
- Social media
- Paid searches – PPC
- Mobile marketing
- Email marketing
Not all channels cost the same and returns are not in proportion or directly measurable
You can see from statistics that all channels do not give returns in proportion to time and money you spend on them.
- For instance, SEO is responsible for 1000% more traffic compared to organic social media and that 53% traffic results from organic search and that SEO accounts for 14% positive closures. 37% of shoppers get inspiration from social media during the purchase process decision.
- Google accounts for 92% of traffic
- 60% of marketers claim that inbound SEO activities account for best quality leads
- To confound the matter you have to consider that over 500 million hours of video get watched every day and that 46% of users react after viewing a video ad. Ecommerce sellers can boot sales by 144% when they use product demo videos.
- As for PPC, for every $ 1 spent, advertisers earn $ 2 and that 64% of visitors will click on Google PPC ad when they are looking for a product to buy.
- Digital ads are booming with global spends expected to top $ 375 billion by 2021.
- Over 51% of smartphone users find new products when using their mobiles to search online and that only 7% of such visitors ever go beyond the first or second page of search results. Smartphone conversion rate has increased by 64% making a good case for mobile ads and marketing.
Statistics are overwhelming enough to confuse you to go one way or the other but the crucial factor to consider is which strategy best suits your product referenced to target markets if you want to get more from your digital marketing budget.
The case for PPC
The simple statistic above shows that you earn $ 2 on every dollar spent on PPC. The simple arithmetic should convince you to focus exclusively on Google’s PPC as a way to get immediate leads leading to conversions. However, it never pays to put all your eggs in the PPC basket. People also look at other things like your position as a respected authoritative source and that is something only SEO gets you.
Organic SEO is free. However, you do need to engage SEO experts to implement a variety of carefully analyzed, researched strategies over an extended period and that costs money. Results are slow in coming. It could take a year for results to show but the volume could keep increasing. Ranking and traffic are not the only consideration. Your reputation grows with the right set of SEO tactics. So, at this stage you could opt for a limited, modular SEO package and let returns from PPC finance it to some extent. SEO is important since Google considers backlinks as one of the top three factors to rank a website. The more backlinks a page of your website has, the more traffic Google drives to that page but keep in mind that if you buy a link or publish a paid guest post you are spending money. Still, keep churning out useful content and disseminate it wherever and whenever you can.
Both PPC and SEO give you the benefit of analytics on traffic and other stats. Now is a good time to stop and analyze which keywords perform best and modify strategy as you move forward.
Social Media is another exciting (and almost free) avenue to explore for rich dividends in your digital marketing efforts. You can keep working at it for free or you can take a shortcut and spend on social media adds to reinforce your posts and tweets. Without social media your digital marketing will simply limp along so engage digital marketing experts with expertise in social media marketing to actively work on accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram at the very least. You can create a “well-rounded persona” of your business and then, through engagement, get people to follow you and promote you. Social media is interactive and it can get you immediate results at low cost besides helping you to sell direct as you can do on Instagram. You build a brand, a reputation and a presence so, for some companies, maximum emphasis on social media will yield rich dividends. Dedicating 40% of your digital marketing budget to social media will give you tangible and intangible returns far in excess.
Do not ignore video
People these days are more inclined to view videos than to read text. TikTok is the best example. You can use your smartphone to shoot videos and keep posting such videos to YouTube and similar channels. Create a series and you will have visitors regularly. Video can be more persuasive, impressive and convincing. If you can budget for it, hire a decent video production unit.
The starting point is to identify your goal: is it to drive leads or is it to create branding campaign? In case of the former you can quantify returns while the latter is an intangible value. Create brand value and you spend less time, effort and money on convincing leads to buy. Just make sure you engage an expert in digital marketing to handle digital marketing for you and tell them your goals so they can work to deliver results.