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I’ve finally reached that point in my career where my superiors trust me enough to interview prospective employees. Perhaps they shouldn’t—after all, my favorite question to ask is, “What’s your favorite Leonardo Dicaprio movie?” Let’s just say if you’re not a fan of Leo, I’m not a fan of you.
But my second favorite question to ask is what he/she thinks she would enjoy about working in a small company environment. Blue Corona itself is small (though aggressively growing) company, so if you’re a small business owner, you can rest assured that we’ve walked in your shoes, duct-taped them when they fell apart, and kept on walking.
It’s no surprise that small business owners are so concerned about the cost of inbound marketing and whether or not they can afford it. But inbound marketing actually gives small business owners a leg up on large businesses in more ways than one—with cost being one of the most important ways. With a cost-per-lead estimated at 60 percent lower than traditional marketing, inbound marketing puts small businesses on a much more level playing field.
In Part 1 of this blog post, I talked about the costs of SEO and PPC and whether or not it was an affordable option for small businesses. In this segment, I’ll talk about the costs of two other inbound marketing channels—email marketing and social media.
How Much Does Email Marketing Cost?
I’ll admit—I once referred to email marketing as the fanny pack of inbound marketing—outdated and unattractive. But like a fanny pack, email marketing is still appealing to certain demographics, and it’s pretty damn practical when you think about it (Do you need to carry a more than pocket-size but less than back-pack size amount of items with you while retaining the availability of both hands? Do you also want to look as un-stylish as possible while doing so? Alternatively, have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a kangaroo? FANNY PACKS.)
Email marketing leads are often considered some of the lowest cost leads when it comes to online marketing channels. According to my boss Big Ben Landers, email marketing remains one of the most effective and lowest cost online marketing strategies available.
In order to manage your company’s email marketing campaigns effectively, you need an email marketing provider. The good news is that there are dozens from which to choose. Most are very easy to use and inexpensive—with the prices based on how many subscribers you have.
At Blue Corona, we have our own platform that integrates with some of our advanced analytics tools, but most business owners will be fine with something like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. Depending on the number of subscribers you have, you can expect to pay somewhere between $15-100 a month. To put it simply, small business owners have NO reason to not be tracking and testing email marketing campaigns.
Note that the quality of your clicks and leads will likely be better if you use an opt-in, house list of subscribers and not a random list you’ve purchased from a sketchball on Craigslist.
Read more about how to get started with opt-in email marketing.
How Much Does Social Media Marketing Cost?
The value of social media marketing is constantly questioned. At this point, most companies know they should be using social media to market their business. But when it comes to small business owners and social media marketing, I can see how it can seem like waste of valuable time and company resources to have someone farting around on Facebook and Twitter.
Contrary to what some business owners believe, social media websites can generate a significant number of leads, sales, and referrals to your website. But how much will it cost you?
Most social media sites allow you to set up your profiles for free, though many sites have “paid” or “promoted” posting options to expand the reach of your message. But before you begin any of that, you’ll want to make sure you can track the results of each and everyone one of your social media campaigns. Read more about how to track social media success with Analytics.
So what will it cost you to outsource your social media? I’m not going to lie—I’ve seen some absolutely insane prices for social media marketing around the Web; we’re talking between $1,000-7,000 a month. For a small business, we’ll probably agree that this is a bit aggressive.
That’s why I recommend Blue Corona’s Virtual Online Marketing Manager package. When you make Blue Corona your Virtual Online Marketing Manager, you set an inbound marketing budget that works for you and we distribute it across the various inbound marketing channels to figure out which avenues are getting you the cheapest cost per lead and the highest return on ad spend.
To learn more, give us a call or fill out a form online. We’ll prove to you that small companies can afford inbound marketing. Are the results worth it? We’ll let our case studies speak for themselves.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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