Are you still paying for real-life marketing strategies like print ads, billboards, or direct mail? Consider this. You spend thousands on a billboard that sits above a busy sidewalk. You’re in front of a lot of people every day. But they’re not looking up. They’re looking down. At their phones. Albeit sad, this is our reality. Digital is becoming more and more a part of our everyday real lives. If your business doesn’t adapt, you’ll be spending a fortune and reaching very few people who can impact your business.

Where to Allocate your Internet Marketing Budget

Once you make the decision to reallocate some of your business’s budget to digital, where should it go? While often surprising, these strategies should make their way into your Internet marketing budget to help your business thrive.

Search Engine Advertising

The first step in doing more business is getting found and the fastest way to make this happen is through search engine advertising. As business owners, we are so lucky to have one predominant place where customers are searching for what you do. It’s called a search engine and most people prefer to use Google. When someone types in what you do in where you do it (e.g. Gift Shops in Los Angeles or Auto Body Shops in Chicago) are you the first answer that gets delivered to satisfy that search? Search engine advertising allows you to put yourself there. This is the equivalent to having an ad posted on the inside cover of every old phone book you used to use but way more targeted and not nearly as expensive.

Depending on your industry, search engine advertising could cost you very little and, once implemented, can turn immediate results, making this a great recommendation for where to assign your Internet marketing budget.

Website Design

Website design and development are a vital part of an online brand and something you should invest in without hesitation. Website design can make or break your business, not necessarily as a result of aesthetic appeal, but as a result of conversion. Everything on your website, from text content to call-to-action buttons and more, should be driving website traffic to the page that converts visitors into customers. For most businesses this will be a contact page, where visitors can fill out a form, view your map location, or view your phone number.

Without conversion-centric design, your website is likely to experience a high bounce rate, as people will click through to your website and press the back button or click away immediately. Make sure website design is part of your Internet marketing budget for lasting benefits.

Website Copy

Website copy is more than just words on a page. It’s intended not just to make a great impression, but also to serve as one of the biggest vehicles for search engine optimization. Good keyword strategy in your content (and lots of it) will boost your chances of ranking on search engines. Investing in a copywriter or an agency that specializes in content will pay off big time as your website earns a positive reputation amongst search engines.

Good website copy also supports your online advertising efforts. Google wants to offer the absolute best solutions for the questions and searches they get. Therefore, they’re more likely to serve your ad if the ad is pointing to a page that is rich in text content, especially if that content is directly related to the text in the ad. Simply put, if the ad is likely to deliver on its promise, it’s more likely to be served first. Make sure website copy is part of your Internet marketing budget so you can get found and make a great impression on website visitors.

Social Advertising

Putting some of your Internet marketing budget into social advertising is a great idea for most industries because you get a lot of bang for your buck. Facebook users, through profile settings and behavior, give away a lot of information about themselves. This allows the social network to display your ads only to those who are most likely to be interested in it. Even a small amount of budget per day can have a large impact. Your ad can be targeted towards driving page likes or clicks to your website and now, you can even offer Facebook users a form to autofill directly from their news feed. This is called lead ads.

Professional Photography

This is usually a surprise to most business owners, but professional photography is one of the best investments you can make in relation to your Internet marketing budget. Allocating a few hundred dollars to getting great photographs of you, your staff, and your products or services will do wonders for your website and other visual elements of your online brand. Use these images throughout your website, social media posts, and email marketing campaigns. High quality authentic photographs will boost your chances of making a lasting impression on visitors to your online brand.

Allocating your marketing budget to the digital world can feel like a big transition, but once you start seeing results, you’ll realize the importance of the change. Going digital will have real world impact on your business today and tomorrow. Be sure these Internet marketing strategies are included in your new budget.

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