Clearing the initial hurdles of starting an online marketing campaign

To many small business owners, the task of entering the competitive field of online marketing can feel like a perilous step to take. With such a wide range of regularly expanding options, it is often hard to know where to start and in which direction to head once you do. However, these qualms are not reason enough to stay on the sidelines. Companies that don’t engage in online marketing, regardless of their size, are at risk of losing ground to their competitors.

A recent study of small businesses conducted by Citibank shows that most small businesses already recognize this. In the study, 70 percent of respondents said they used the internet for marketing purposes, and most said they plan to ramp up their efforts in the near future.

Despite the inherent difficulties of marketing your business, launching an online campaign is essential for most companies. Here are some small business lead generation tips that are easy to implement and will help you get on the right track.

Try free methods
If you are worried about the costs that a full-fledged online marketing campaign would entail, you can start slowly by exploring free options. Simple steps like frequently updating your brand page on Facebook – or starting one if you don’t already have one – or tweeting regularly can help you attract visitors without spending a dime.

A blog is another great free method for generating interest in your brand. Every day or two, write a simple post that shares information about your company, engages your customers and draws viewers to your company site.

Synergy
Another way to expand the reach of your small business without breaking the bank is to partner with other growing companies. You can share links to each other’s sites, refer prospective customers and even split the costs of more traditional advertising efforts. Of course, you will want to think carefully about who you team up with – it is better to pick a company that is relatively complementary to your own instead of one that could be considered a competitor.

Get help
Once you’ve exhausted some of the free options, it is probably time to enlist support. After you’ve gotten the ball rolling, start looking for avenues to pursue that will require outside help. Because you’ve already devoted some time to evaluating different strategies, you are less likely to be wasting your money on an ineffective method at this point.

How have you kicked off an inexpensive online marketing campaign for your small business?

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Martin Jones

Martin Jones is a Senior Marketing Manager with the corporate Cox Communications social media team where he assists in leading strategy, campaign ideation and marketing execution for Cox Business social media & content marketing. Today, over 1 million fans engage with Cox Communications content, campaigns and Customer Care on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube. LinkedIn and Google+.