Every business needs to determine the best use of their marketing budget. When your budget is limited, you may not have enough resources to pursue every avenue available. Even though both social media and email marketing are inexpensive, you’ll want to direct your resources to the method that gets you the best results.
Without some knowledge of these different forms of digital marketing, you won’t be able to make the right decision. So let’s start with a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of each:
Social Media Marketing
The first thing you need to know about marketing your business on social media is which platforms to use. The most popular and well-known platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Your business doesn’t need to be on every platform. You simply need to work out which platform/s your target market uses. Posting regular updates on the social media platforms you’ve selected will help your credibility, but unless you pay to advertise, you’re unlikely to get the results you want.
Advertising on social media requires a variety of skills such as copywriting, graphic design and strategy. Most channels allow you to target a very specific set of demographics, but if you can’t design an eye-catching ad with persuasive copy, you’ll struggle to convert clicks into customers.
One of the strengths of social media marketing is the fact that it’s affordable. You don’t need a large budget to start advertising and you should see a decent response to your efforts. It’s best suited to B2C businesses that have a product or service to promote. However, B2B businesses can use paid advertising on social media to increase brand awareness.
These days, email marketing isn’t just a matter of sending out a monthly newsletter to your database – although, this is a good place to start. With a proper strategy in place, you can create sales funnels to direct your subscribers to taking the action you want them to, such as signing up for a course or buying a product.
Email marketing works just as well for B2B as it does for B2C business models. Not only does regular communication with your existing customers keep you top of mind, it also encourages new customers to learn more about your business and what you have to offer. The goal of email marketing should never be to push sales, but rather to demonstrate what value you can add or what problems your product or service can solve.
Creating content for your newsletters does take some time and effort. Your newsletter will also need images to help grab your subscribers’ attention and encourage them to read your articles. This requires the skills of a graphic designer. If you don’t have the time required to generate copy or the skills to design your newsletter, you can outsource this task to a reputable digital marketing agency.
Not only will an agency be able to design a professional newsletter for you, they’ll manage the distribution and provide you with a full report on its performance. Learning what type of content your subscribers respond to best will help you create better newsletters.
Understanding your audience
When your budget forces you to make a choice between two different marketing methods, the most important factor to consider is your target market.
Now, you might assume that if your target market is under 30 then social media is the obvious answer. However, research shows that most young consumers prefer to interact with brands and businesses via email. The point here is research your target market to learn their preferences.
Both social media and email marketing can help you achieve your business goals, and if you have the resources, you should include both methods in your marketing strategy.
Working with a digital marketing agency
If you don’t want to hire a digital marketing manager to manage this function in-house, you’ll need to outsource the work to an agency. There are a number of benefits to working with an agency such as access to skilled and experienced marketers, monthly reports to track your ROI and a set monthly cost.
Don’t expect to see an immediate improvement in your business. Any marketing strategy takes time to deliver the results you want and it’s essential to lay a solid foundation. As time goes by, you’ll see your social media community grow and more subscribers will respond to your newsletters. There may even come a time when you’ll need to invest more money into your digital marketing efforts.
If you’ve decided that 2018 is the year to start marketing your business online, have a look at our range of digital marketing packages. From the Social Starter which focuses on basic social media management up the Marketing Maven which is a full-service package that includes blogging, newsletters and paid advertising, you’ll find something to suit your budget.