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5 Best Types of Advertising Campaigns for Your Small Business

Choosing the right advertising campaign for your small business can feel a bit daunting. The good news is that with the advent of digital marketing, it is much easier for a small business to reach new customers without a huge marketing budget. With digital marketing, you can see phenomenal results whether your team consists of one person or 100. In this article, we’ll cover some of the best and most affordable ways to get your message out there without spending a bundle. These days, that typically means leveraging the power of digital advertising as opposed to running traditional advertising campaigns. Traditional advertising campaigns vs. digital marketing Now, we are not saying you should never run a traditional advertising campaign. For many small businesses, traditional advertising still has a very important part to play in their overall marketing strategy. Traditional advertising campaigns for small businesses would include everything from local radio and TV spots to classified ads in the local weekly newspaper or circular. They can include offering coupons in special coupon mailers, billboards, and print ads. They can even include advertising on city street benches and moving billboards on the backs of trucks. Traditional marketing still has its place, and in most cities, you will still find tons of local ads out and about. However, digital marketing and online advertising have some great advantages. There are five main benefits to digital advertising: 1. Digital advertising typically costs less. Traditional advertising often has significant costs to it. Even classified ads can be expensive if you want to have the ad highlighted properly. Designing print ads requires the services of graphic designers in addition to the fee for being in the magazine or newspaper. Radio and TV spots require production as well. On the other hand, digital marketing can be relatively cheap if not free, if you put some effort into it. Posting on Twitter, for example, doesn’t cost you anything. Sure, you can pay to have posts promoted, but building a following cost you nothing but your time. This is great for small businesses with small budgets. 2. Digital campaigns can be planned on the fly. Traditional advertising often has to be planned in advance, sometimes months in advance. If you suddenly decide you want to run a last-minute sale, you can’t easily whip up a traditional advertising campaign and expect stellar results. For instance, a magazine may only print four times in a year and your ad needs to be submitted three months before it hits the newsstand. However, with digital marketing, you can advertise a sale on a whim. For example, once you have built up a large enough email list, all it takes is a few lines of ad copy and the push of a button to advertise your latest sale and you’ll still see a return on your efforts. 3. Digital advertising can be easily tracked. Digital marketing’s main benefit over offline marketing is that you can easily track everything. You can track how many times your ad was clicked on vs. how many times it was viewed. You can track how many people opened up your email newsletter. Analytics is the biggest boon to digital marketing and is something you can take advantage of easily. 4. Digital ads can be updated quickly. Did you decide you wanted to send a different message than the one you just put out? You can easily update your website or change your online pay-per-click ad to reflect your new messaging. Not so much with offline advertising. If you spot a typo after your coupon has gone out, you’re stuck with it. 5. Digital marketing has a global reach. Global reach is one of the best parts of online marketing. You can easily advertise your small business all over the globe, gaining many more customers than you would have if you were just a local brick and mortar store. Driving ROI through digital advertising ROI stands for Return on Investment. That means you bring back more revenue than you spent on expenses. With online advertising, you can easily track your earned ROI through the power of analytics. The trick is to create comprehensive digital marketing campaigns that actually drive revenue. For small businesses, this means leveraging the best online advertising opportunities that provide a better bang for your buck. For the industrious small business owner (especially if you are a solopreneur who has to do almost everything yourself), this can be fairly easy to accomplish. You just need to decide how much time you want to spend and when it’s time to pay someone else to get the job done. In the next section, we’ll look at the top five digital advertising opportunities for your small business and how to make the most of them. The 5 best types of digital advertising campaigns for small businesses Digital advertising campaigns come in many sizes and forms. You can focus on just one area or do a little bit in each to spread out your reach. 1. Pay-per-click advertising Pay-per-click ads are now the old workhouse of digital marketing. These are the ads you see above or next to your search results when you use Google, Bing, or other search engines to look up topics online. The challenge with pay-per-click advertising is that a lot of the most popular keywords are extremely expensive now. If, for example, you were starting up a business that uses a popular keyword (like “online classes”) then you might be looking at spending $100 (or more!) per click. This is obviously not financially feasible for most small businesses. The key to making pay-per-click affordable is to use “longtail keywords,” which is a fancy name for a collection of keywords that is long and much more specific. Thus, instead of spending $100 on “online classes,” you might find a much cheaper longtail keyword such as “online classes in underwater basket weaving.” Furthermore, pay-per-click is the most expensive when it’s done through the top search engines like Google. You can often find smaller pay-per-click venues like BidVertiser that aren’t as well known. They don’t have as wide a reach, but they are much, much cheaper. 2. Email campaigns Email newsletters and campaigns absolutely must be a part of your digital marketing strategy as a small business. These are a no-brainer. On your website, you simply put up an opt-in form for your potential customers so they can keep up-to-date on what your company is up to. Many email service providers offer plugins that make integrating sign-ups and your website simple. Don’t have a website? No problem. Don’t forget about your Facebook page! You can also add an email newsletter signup form on Facebook. In fact, with a Facebook page and an email list, you can start marketing your small business even without a separate website. Once you have an email list, you should engage with it regularly. Follow best practices for email campaigns to get better results. 3. Content marketing Content marketing is all the rage these days, but what exactly is it? In short, content marketing means using content—such as blog posts, videos, infographics, etc.—to drive search engine traffic and customer engagement. Primarily, this is done through having keyword rich content on your website, typically in your blog. Remember what we said earlier about those longtail keywords? These same keywords you use for your pay-per-click ads should also be used for your blog posts. This means the search engines will index your blogs based on those longtail keywords, and you will get organic traffic (and hopefully leads!) from that. Use tools like this free keyword niche finder from WordStream to discover some great keywords to use. Content marketing can also refer to multimedia content such as YouTube videos if that’s a platform your ideal audience uses. 4.  Social media outreach Social media is often hyped up as the main way to get leads online these days. Of course, it’s still important, but don’t expect too much from it unless you’re willing to invest in it. Social media works when you either spend a significant amount of time or money on it. For example, Facebook has a powerful targeted online advertising system that can be great for small businesses, but just realize that you aren’t going to get 100 signups from a cheap $5 spend. Thus, with social media, you need to decide which places you want to focus your attention (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or others) and whether you want to spend your efforts on organically growing followers through your own time and energy, or spending money on ad spends. Your choice. Source: Pixabay 5. Online display or banner ads Last but not least, don’t forget banner ads. Depending on your product or service, you may be able to find super cheap banner advertising on a small niche website or blog that speaks to your target audience. The banner advertising you get may be a full sponsorship with a website owner that actively promotes you because you are helping keep the site afloat. Look for those opportunities that other online marketers ignore, and you can do quite well. Wrap up In summary, digital marketing offers wonderful opportunities for small businesses. This is due in part to the following: Digital advertising typically costs less. Digital campaigns can be planned on the fly. Digital advertising can be easily tracked. Digital ads can be updated quickly. Digital marketing has a global reach. Take advantage of these opportunities to see your business soar. Campaign Monitor offers an easy-to-use email platform, complete with mobile-friendly templates, a drag-and-drop email editor, and award-winning customer service available seven days a week. Contact us for more information.

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12 of the Best Productivity Hacks for Digital Marketers

As a marketer, you spend so much time juggling emails, content, social media, and more. You could definitely do with extra hours in the day—but that’s just not possible. So how do you boost your productivity and effectiveness, without having to find more time in your already-too-busy schedule? Below, we’ve explored 12 key productivity hacks that’ll aid your digital marketing strategies, maximize your time, and ease your stress levels. 12 productivity hacks to aid your digital marketing campaigns From knowing when to delegate to using automation tools to your advantage, there are a number of ways you can get the most out of your day. Plus, once you get into the habit of using these hacks, you’ll soon find that the process becomes much easier and you become a pro at using your time with maximum efficiency. 1. Avoid those time-consuming distractions There are so many things vying for your time, some important, some not so important. For the latter, try to get rid of these distractions as best you can. This means avoiding social media where possible. If you can, disable all notifications for social media sites so they aren’t popping up in the middle of your productive work sessions. With U.S. adults spending an average of 45 minutes per day on social media, there’s a lot of time that could be going to better use. And this also goes for your smartphone. Even though you won’t want to cut yourself off from family and friends completely, try to remember that sending one message often leads to a stream of others. If it can wait until you’re on your lunch break or you’re on the bus on your way home, leave it until then. If you find it hard to avoid messages and social media notifications, try putting your phone in the drawer out of the way. 2. Cut back on your meetings Another time-consuming part of your working week is meetings. But how much work actually gets done in a meeting? According to recent surveys, the answer is, unfortunately, not a lot. Around 50% of meetings are seen as a waste of time, and since the average worker spends a whopping 4.5 hours in meetings per week, workers feel like they’re wasting a lot of time. At the very least, that’s a big chunk of time that could be going to better use. To overcome this, try: Allocating specific times and dates for meetings: Don’t just attend a meeting whenever it crops up. Rather, ensure it’s planned in during your allocated meeting time—unless it’s an emergency. Limiting the duration of your meetings: After 20 minutes in a meeting, the average person’s attention begins to wander to other things, like what else they need to be doing. So try and keep meetings short and snappy, around 15 minutes long. Setting an agenda: So you can stick to the aforementioned time, be sure to put an agenda in place and email this to the other attendants. Think you’ll face backlash for taking a stand? Think again. As more and more research crops up saying that many meetings aren’t solving the issues they’re meant to, more people will start saying no. Consider this an opportunity to start a trend at your office and you might be surprised how many of your peers feel the same. 3. Master multitasking Are you reading this with hundreds of different tabs open, an email half-written, and the phone ringing in the background? Then you understand the concept of multi-tasking. However, while many of us attempt to multi-task, we actually end up wasting time going back and forth to different tasks and not accomplishing much of anything at all. We lose concentration and ultimately forget to finish a key task. Instead, multi-task your way through the day by focusing on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking becomes about working solidly on one project a time, though you work on multiple projects throughout the day. 4. Don’t count hours, count the work you’ve done A lot of us might claim, “I’ve worked 60 hours this week.” However, if we broke down our working week into productive time and wasted time, we’ve probably not accomplished as much as we should have, or even as much as we think we have. Instead of counting how many hours you’ve been working, start looking at how much time you’ve spent being productive. This will incentivize you to get more done—especially when you realize how ineffective your current working methods might be. A great tool to use to track your productivity is RescueTime: This tool helps you understand how much time you’re being productive and—more painfully—how much time you aren’t being productive. It also allows you to set yourself goals, block distracting sites, and set notifications for when you spend too much time doing one thing. 5. Learn to delegate As a marketer and/or business owner, it’s understandable that you want to control everything. However, this can often lead to ineffectiveness and ultimately burnout. Instead of trying to have your hand in everything, take a look at the tasks that take up a lot of time and be honest about the ones that you could re-assign to another professional. Once you divide up your work and even outsource some parts, you’ll soon start getting through your to-do list without sacrificing the quality of your work. In fact, you’ll probably see an improvement. 6. Batch together tasks for specific days As we’ve already seen, multi-tasking and switching from one task to another isn’t the most productive way to perform at the optimum level. It’s inevitable that you’re going to lose time or quality as you move from one area of your business to another. Instead, get more out of your time by following leading marketer Neil Patel’s productivity hack: batch together specific tasks on certain days. If you assign particular days for certain tasks, you’ll boost your productivity because you’ll be able to focus on each task without distractions and your brain will stay in writer mode, or curator mode, or whatever mode you need to do your work and do it well. For example, you may use Mondays to curate content, Tuesdays to build promotions, and so on. 7. Set aside some time for emails Despite email being one of the most important communication methods for your business, your inbox can consume a lot of your time if you let it. Do you ever find that you’re in the middle of doing something only to get distracted by replying to an email you’ve just received? To avoid this, try giving yourself certain times in the day to read and reply to emails, e.g. the start and end of the day. Then, unless something urgent arises, you can leave your emails alone for the majority of the day and stay focused on the task at hand. 8. Take control of your own calendar The thought of allowing people to book your appointments, arrange to meet you, and schedule certain tasks for you may be appealing, but is this lack of control over your own schedule causing inefficient working patterns? To outsiders, the free time you have on a Tuesday morning may be the ideal time for them to organize a lengthy meeting, but you may need that time to get an important project done. Rather than leaving your calendar open to your colleagues, block out specific times for yourself so you can get stuff done. That way you can ensure no meetings will interrupt your flow. 9. Make some goals for the year ahead Enthusiasm and motivation aid productivity, but likely some days you feel more motivated than others. To foster inspiration day-to-day, start setting goals for the months and year ahead. You can use your yearly goals as long-term aspirations, e.g. boosting profits by X amount, while your monthly goals can be more short-term. Divide your monthly goals into weekly tasks and use these to structure your week. As you tick off each task and goal, this will help you feel one step closer to your overall goal as they’re all aligned and working toward the same outcome. 10. Enlist the help of automation software and other tools Thankfully, in today’s technologically-advanced world, there’s a lot of tech that can help improve your productivity. Look at how you can automate certain processes, e.g. sending emails, delivering quotes, and posting on social media. Automating a task—whether you can automate even just one task or twenty—will free up your time to complete more high-level work. Equally, you may find that there’s a tool that can help you streamline your tasks. From RescueTime, which we mentioned above, to a simple tool like Google Calendar, these tools can help improve how efficiently you use your time. Also consider saving time by learning keyboard shortcuts from some of your favorite sites. Be selective in the tools you choose, though, so you don’t end up spending all your time organizing your tools rather than letting them organize you. 11. The Pomodoro Technique: Set up 25-minute working increments The Pomodoro Technique consists of working solidly without distractions for 25-minute intervals with 4-5 minute breaks in-between. This way, you become less likely to get distracted while working because you know a short break is coming up in a minute. You end up focusing more intensely for longer periods of time, ultimately accomplishing more than you would have without it. Even though 25 minutes doesn’t sound long, the time frame works with humans’ natural short attention spans. When you sit down and you know you’ve got 25 minutes to achieve something, that task gains your full focus and allows you to get more done. Image Source: Medium Entrepreneur Chris Winfield employed this technique and found that he was able to get a 40-hour working week down to just 16.7 hours. To test this method, simply set a timer for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break when the interval is up. Repeat three times before taking a 15-minute break. Then repeat the entire process. You may find that you’re able to fit 6, 8, or 10 of these 25-minute increments into your day and you’ll definitely be amazed at how much you can get done in 25 minutes. 12. Take some time out regularly As well as these regular 5 and 15-minute breaks, it’s important to take some extra time out for yourself. This could be an hour of meditation, walking, reading, or journaling, but make sure you schedule this time into your day. Research shows that the one-hour lunch break boosts productivity, improves well-being, assists creativity, and aids healthy habits. While it might be tempting to work through lunch, taking a break to rest, relax, or get to know your coworkers can boost your mood and make your more effective in the long run. You might also want to set aside time for professional development. This will be time you use to gain new perspectives and skills, and, therefore, productivity. There are plenty of classes available online, so you can fit your learning in your newfound, efficient schedule. Wrap up Breaking your productivity down into manageable chunks will help you get started making those all-important tweaks to your schedule. Start with one productivity hack at a time and see how it works for you. Changing too many aspects of your schedule at once can become confusing and make you revert to your old, inefficient ways. Once you’ve adjusted to one hack, add another until you reach peak efficiency. Soon, you’ll have established a productivity-enhancing routine that not only sees you getting more work done but achieving a higher performance level, too.

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