If you and your small business are in the midst of some tough times, the actions you take to right the ship can start to feel pointless. You might find yourself wondering if your limited funds will allow you to take the necessary steps to bring customers back to your door. I’m here to tell you do not despair. There are a lot of affordable steps you can take to attract customers via the multiple avenues of digital marketing.

Digital Marketing Basics

Is it a good idea for me, an employee of a marketing agency, to tell you that you can handle your own digital marketing? Maybe not, but I wouldn’t feel right withholding fundamental tips just on the off chance that I could make an extra buck.

Please note that this article is there for those who are in need and the concepts I’m going to be talking about will seem very basic and maybe even appear to be common sense to those whose businesses are growing and thriving. With that said, there are two main avenues you can explore when you don’t have funds to put into marketing, blogging (Part I) and social media (Part II). These two might seem like a no-brainer now but trust me, when your business is starting to fail even no-brainers seem impossible.

The Power of the Blog

Listen, if you know anything about inbound marketing, then you know that a blog is a powerful tool. Yet, according to an article by FitSmallBusiness, less than 40% of Fortune 500 companies have a blog on their website. It’s true that a lot of those companies can afford to cut corners but if you’re struggling you need to take advantage of blogging.

How much will a blog cost you? In most cases, as long as you already have a website, a blog is free or close to it. Some hosting services might charge you a bit extra to add a blog but often the cost is negligible even to a struggling business. Even if you have a Wix site, you can add a blog. The most significant expense is going to be time, both time to set up the blog and time to write blogs. In terms of actually writing the blog, we have a lot of tips and tricks that can help you get started.

For me and possibly for you, finding my voice has proven to be a consistent challenge. If you can’t tell by this point in the blog, I try to write more relaxed blogs that speak to people I can relate to and visualize. With the exception of blogs on social media, I never write anything too technical or filled with too many stats and figures. It’s just not my style, and you would be able to tell if I tried faking it. So, in my relaxed and casual way let me suggest a few things for you and your blog:

Use your voice. Write about what you know and what you know your customers are looking to read.
I understand that times are tough, and you are going to feel the pressure to turn every blog into a hard sales pitch. Do not do that. Take a minute to compose yourself. Your blog is going to be a service to potential customers. It will bring people to your site and demonstrate to those people all of your areas of expertise. Think of your blog as a way to share information rather than as an ad.
Make sure your blog features a call-to-action. These handy features can turn almost any blog into a potential lead generating page. If you were upset with my advice to prevent your blog from sounding like an ad, you can rejoice in the fact that a CTA will give you an opportunity to lead your reader to a sale.
Brush up on search engine optimization (SEO). If you’re going to take the time to set up and write a blog you need to make it count. SMA has a lot to say about do it yourself SEO so feel free to search our blog library for articles that will help you.
Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough, be patient. Let me say it one more time. Be patient. I promised you digital marketing steps you can take on your own to help your business, but I said nothing of quick overnight fixes. Blogging is a slow game. Perhaps the slowest game in all of digital marketing, but when done right it works.

Well, there you have it. Something you can do even in the toughest of times for your small business. Part II of this blog will look at some free, yet powerful social media solutions that you can utilize to turn your business around.

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