The Cost of Business
There’s no question that the cost of running a marketing campaign online is lower than offline, but that still doesn’t mean it’s free. We recently highlighted free and inexpensive ways to run your own SEO efforts, but very few if any online campaigns are ever successful without spending some money.
How much you need to spend, and what you spend it on, really depends on you and your business. Every business will have different budgets, different human resources, and different priorities. There are some things that really need to be budgeted in by every business to some extent, however. The free solutions will only get your feet wet or get you started. At some point you’ll need to bite the bullet and open the wallet.
Web Site – Buying a domain name is cheap and I highly recommend it, but it’s not free. There are other cost considerations that go into your website too. An SSL Certificate is non-negotiable, and if you do actual business online then you’ll need some sort of e-commerce module or service for transactions and more. You’ll also need a responsive design for your website, meaning that it will render well on smartphones, tablets, and PCs alike. Google is now punishing sites that aren’t mobile-friendly.
SEO has already been mentioned, and while you can boost your search results to some extent, the process is really an ongoing one that never ends. You really need to invest money into SEO and consider it necessary advertising dollars.
Advertising will definitely fall into the list of necessary costs. PPC, or pay-per-click advertising is always worth looking at, although it may or may not work for your business. That depends on the keywords you need and the competition level for them, which affect your cost.
Finally, you need a blog. That blog will need to stay filled with new content every week, so you’ll probably need to hire a freelance writer or content creation company to keep it going with interesting content.
Social media is no longer “the free way to advertise” like it used to be. Just like Google with it’s search results, social networks are cracking down on and even hiding “spammy” posts trying to advertise something without paying them. Facebook ads will likely top the list of paid social advertising for you, but there are options on other networks as well that will fit nicely with your business.
In considering your costs for social media spending, the first question should be whether it can be handled internally. A social media marketing campaign today can be a time-intensive and confusing proposition that requires a dedicated manager or even a small team, depending on your size. One way to control costs and ensure solid results is by hiring a social media agency to handle things for you. Then you can concentrate on other things, like building your business.