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Can advertising or digital marketing help small businesses grow?

Getting over advertising and digital marketing paralysis

Any SME or start-up would love the results that a cost-effective advertising or digital marketing campaign provides. Time and again we come across small business owners that tell us this very same thing. “If only we could get people to see what we do, our business would triple”. Yet, for various reasons, thoughts of using advertising or digital marketing to stimulate business growth can send shivers down their spines. How and where do you start? Should I use an agency or do it myself to save money? What are the costs? If I get it all wrong, will it hurt the business? When confronted by these questions, small businesses can sometimes suffer ‘paralysis by analysis’.

Well, if you know nothing about media advertising or marketing platforms, would you want to go it alone? Defining your audience, focussing on USP’s and competing with competitors, it’s easy to understand why anyone could get overwhelmed. Throw in developing a strategy and refining a marketing plan and it’s like learning a foreign language. Therefore, if there’s no support, paralysis sets in and nothing gets done, which will often mean that nothing changes. What small businesses or start-ups really need therefore, is a trusted friend, an experienced guide – a red thread.

Finding honest, transparent help with cost-effective advertising and digital marketing

Most small businesses will have a limited marketing budget. Therefore, getting the right help with cost-effective advertising and digital marketing is crucial to ensure that budget works well. Finding the right help is another matter entirely. For SME’s, given their budget limitations, some genuine honesty and transparency on costs and expectations certainly wouldn’t go amiss. At Red Thread we love discussing cost-effective advertising with prospective clients, especially small businesses that are looking to grow. We’re experienced at helping SME’s and totally understand their concerns, which we’ll answer without any ambiguity or sugar-coating.

Alternatively, take sufficient time for some proper research. If you ‘google’ advertising agency or digital marketing agency in your area, you’ll get hundreds, even thousands of results. Which one will provide the most cost-effective strategy given the budget constraints? Very hard to decide when they all look so similar and offer much the same. Therefore, focus on two or three that have made an effort to stand out from the crowd themselves. Some basic research on their website, work examples, customer testimonies, should help you decide if they’ll be a good fit. Then simply email them or call them up. You’ll find out how easy they make it for their customers to appreciate and take advantage of what they do.

Using various tactics to ensure your digital marketing gets results

Once you’ve stipulated your audience and offering, the right strategy and digital marketing platform combination should deliver fast online results. Google performance research and competitor website audits will guide and inform your strategy. Your own website is a goldmine and forms the engine for your online advertising platforms. Setting up separate website landing pages that Google or social media advertising can link to will provide performance measuring capability. This ability to monitor online platform performance is invaluable and enables you to align your advertising with your digital marketing. Real-time, continual evaluation will help you tweak and adjust accordingly, giving your campaigns the best opportunities to achieve results.

Making your advertising and digital marketing cost-effective and affordable

Having many years’ experience enables you to remove as much trial and error as possible so that every penny performs. Full-service agencies like Red Thread can also use that experience to deliver additional, low-cost platform performance where appropriate.

Email marketing, for example, can achieve a very high return on investment. Targetted messages delivered straight to the email inbox of your audience. When done well, drip-fed to a trusting database, Email marketing can equal the performance of any online marketing tactic.

Content marketing is also a very inexpensive method to deliver precisely what your audience is searching for through your website. On-page content and SEO together with targeted blogs provide search engine bots and algorithms the results material to display.

Online advertising can’t promise you business but it does promise to spend your money.

For the inexperienced, this can often be where available budgets, good intentions and performance expectations collide into a terrible mess. Most online advertising platforms demand a budget figure before launching a campaign. Specific platforms then promise to spend that budget based on your targetting – audience/demographic, geographic location, timing etc. How a campaign is delivered to an audience and the journey they are motivated to take will determine its success, not the click-throughs. The number of clicks you achieve only proves a platform success.

Stop chasing clicks.

On its own, a click is just that, a click. It has absolutely no financial or business benefit whatsoever. Hopefully however, there’s a real person behind that click. Where that individual’s click lands, the incentive communicated and call to action it receives as a result will determine your campaign success. Therefore, know exactly what your customers want before spending time and money taking them somewhere they don’t want to go. You can then decide what the central, motivating message needs to be.

If your business needs help with making advertising and digital marketing more successful and cost-effective, then please get in-touch. Simply complete our short online contact form or email sayit@redthreadcreative.co.uk. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to have an informal chat, then please call 0117 9074651, we’d love to hear from you.

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