Making Your Marketing Run on a Shoestring Budget

If you are a startup in a competitive marketplace, you probably don’t have enough money to engage in branding, but you must have funds allocated to generate leads. The question is how to use that limited budget to help you get off the ground. The first thing most buyers do today is go online to research a product, and this is where you can reach them. The highest and most transparent advertising return on investment has been delivered by search marketing—paying for your ad to appear when your prospects search for products like yours online.

The beauty of it is that you can do it all internally, without hiring an agency. Programs like Google AdWords have all the tools you need to find the most productive keywords, create the most effective ads, and bid to achieve the highest positions you can afford.

Here are some hard-earned tips:

• Only the top three ad positions produce tangible results. Paying for being below No. 3 is not worth it!

• Beware of the creeping bid costs. The better the keywords are, the more expensive they get, and fast. To offset that cost, hire a search engine optimization (SEO) expert to get you higher rankings in free (organic) search results in parallel. It may cost you a few thousand dollars and a few months of waiting, but this investment will pay off when you get to the top in the free search. Then you’ll be able to either drop the paid search marketing program or decide to continue it if your sales revenues allow for a bigger budget.

Rick Engels CEO and President BroadSign International Minneapolis

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