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We all try to make our online marketing dollar go further.  There are plenty of ways companies can spend their online marketing buck, but getting a fair return can be easier said than done.  Not spending anything on online marketing is even worse.  The key is smart online marketing that gets you the best return on investment (ROI).

Here are some tips for making your online marketing dollar go further.

Don’t Put all Your Online Marketing Eggs in One Basket

Many small businesses have limited budgets.  It is easy to over fund and underfund an online  marketing program.  For example, if you spend all of your money on a brand new website but have little left over to promote your site or keep it current, you may be set up for disappointment.  Allocate your marketing funds wisely so you don’t blow your budget all at once.  Switching gears too often can also adversely impact your online marketing programs.  Running an email campaign once and stopping after the first send makes it hard to determine what is working and what is not.

Avoid SEO Tricks and Gimmicks

It is easy to obsess about your SEO.  There are so many SEO tricks and gimmicks that come and go.  Many trendy SEO techniques work for a while, and then, all of a sudden, your site cannot be found.  Avoid search engine spam techniques like zip code landing pages, keyword domains, and outsourced backlink programs.  The door has closed on many of these techniques. Focus on quality content that is compelling, and search engines will reward you.  Follow best practices for onpage SEO, and your corporate website will be easily found in relevant searches.  Other low-cost, low-effort activities, including Google + and Google Places, tell the search engines that there is a real person behind the site and may make a difference in improving your page rank.

Don’t Overlook Email Marketing to Boost your Online Marketing Programs

A recent report on which marketing channel gets the most bang for your click shows that email marketing gets more visitors, more customers, and more bang for the buck for Business to Business (B2B) marketing as compared to organic search, paid search, and social media.  Cold and inactive leads, dusty contact lists, customers, and current prospects are all good candidates to communicate by email.  If you choose to add email marketing to the mix make sure to follow best practices to avoid spam.  Also, stick with informational and educational content that is relevant to your readers.  Keep in mind that email marketing is for lead generation not closing sales in the world of B2B. With email marketing you can also leverage existing assets including blog articles from your site.  Include links back to your website to landing pages with other information offers including white papers and onsite assessments (eg. Complementary risk analysis).

Include Social Media in the mix

Another technique that doesn’t need to break the banks is Social Media.  You don’t need to get carried away with hoping your video goes viral to get results.  Start out by sharing blog articles, infograms, webinar replays, and other relevant content on your social media networks.  Join LinkedIn groups to find a target audience that matches well with your geography and service.  Your posts may get picked up in the daily or weekly digests that are emailed to ALL members of the LinkedIn group.  If you use a low-lost tool like Hootsuite or Bitly you can automate some of the posting so it doesn’t take too much time.  Stay on top of your posts and add comments to comments and likes to likes to keep your posts at the top of the newsfeed.

With all of these low-cost techniques, make sure you have an expected outcome in terms of how many leads, how many customers, and how much revenue you need to justify your efforts.  Stick with what works, dump the programs that under perform.  Make the most of your online marketing program by working smart.