Digital Marketing on a Budget, Tips, and Tricks for a Lean Campaign in 2020

Digital Marketing on a Budget, Tips, and Tricks for a Lean Campaign

Digital marketing can be difficult as it is, and even more challenging when you have a limited budget to work with. 

Not only are you limited by the number of channels that you can pursue, but also a few different things that you can do within those channels.

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The good news is there are ways that you can bootstrap your campaigns and keep your startup lean while you’re scaling, it will just require some sweat equity on your part.

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Lean Campaigns and How to Do Them Right

There are a few channels you’re going to want to pursue if you want you’re going to do digital marketing for your startup. Some aspects of digital marketing are more affordable than others and can be accomplished by rolling up your sleeves rather than by throwing money at it. Let’s talk about what they are.

SEO, The Best Return On Your Investment

When it comes to pure ROI, SEO will provide the best returns of any marketing effort out there, that is, when it’s done right.

Recommended read: SEO Strategy: Leverage the Power of Content Marketing to Boost Your SEO Efforts

Outside of traditional technical SEO, which most good content management platforms take care of for you, the most important aspects of SEO come down to high-quality links and high-quality content. If you want to stay within a certain budget, you’re going to have to do the work to acquire these yourself because outsourcing to a digital marketing agency can be expensive.

Here are some tips for creating content:

1. Focus on money keywords

When doing keyword research, focus on targeting keywords that are further along in the buying funnel rather than earlier. Depending on your industry, the types of keywords they are will vary, but if you have a good enough knowledge of your customer, you will know which keywords signify the stage of the buying cycle they are in. For example, anything that starts with “what is” may be too early as they don’t even know what your product or service is. However, targeting keywords like “how to get” or “where to buy” or even “(product) reviews” means this customer is ready to make the purchase. This will save you time and money in the long run and help you generate revenue from your efforts sooner.

2. Go for Quality

When creating the content around your keyword research, focus on doing one keyword per article and diving in-depth on whatever the topic is. Make sure to do competitive research and outdo every article on the first page.

3. Marketing yourself within the content

Not only do you want to make sure you position yourself as a thought leader on the topic. But make sure to mention yourself as a solution to their problem. Many times companies just blog away without ever letting the reader know that they, in fact, assist with the very problem they are trying to educate the customer on. Make sure to add banners, as well as mention yourself within the post itself. Last but not least, capture the emails of those readers.


If you’re hoping that that content finds the light of day on the first page of Google, then you will need to build links.

First, what makes a good link?

Here are a few things that make a good link:

  1. The website is a relevant niche
  2. It has a high domain authority and low space score, as measured by the Moz tool
  3. It is a contextual link
  4. The content where the link is located is relevant to your website
  5. It is a do-follow link

Overall those are the basics you want to look for. Once you get that down packed, its time to start outreach. You will have to manually reach out to these sites and let pitch them guest post ideas. Basically, you will be offering free content for them in exchange that they allow you to link back to your website.

As you can see a lean SEO effort takes a lot of writing. So roll up your sleeves and get to work!

Recommended read: SEO Tips: How to Make a Killer SEO Campaign That Really Works

Social Media, the Untapped Potential

Another lean avenue you want to pursue is social media. Much like SEO, this will require a lot of content creation, just different kinds. Many people know social media has potential, but not many know how to do it right.

Here are some tips to grow your following.

1. Be consistent

The most important thing of all when it comes to social media is constituency. There is an audience for everyone out there and if you’re consistent when it comes to putting out interesting content, then your following will grow. Social media users are a lot about novelty. Put out as much content as you can daily, and your following will grow.

2. Mix it up

When it comes to delivering content, make sure to vary what you put out there. Don’t just be that quotes page. Deliver high-quality content that revolves around every aspect of social media. Every once in a while, throw in some personal videos in there so that your fans can feel closer to you.

3. Reciprocate

Much like the real world, people will be like you more if you give them attention. Make sure not to ignore comments and respond to all your followers within reason. Also, make sure to repost stuff from other pages and engage in other people’s content, this will help you spread your reach and potentially earn new followers.

Get to Work!

At the end of the day, if you want to run a digital marketing campaign on a budget, you will have to put in a lot of the work yourself as there isn’t much room to outsource to a marketing agency. All that is left to do is try this out for yourself! 

General FAQs

How much should a small business spend on digital marketing?

The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if you’re doing less than $5 million a year in sales and your net profit margin—after all expenses—is in the 10 percent to 12 percent range.

How much should I budget for marketing?

As a general rule of thumb, companies should spend around 5 percent of their total revenue on marketing to maintain their current position. Companies looking to grow or gain greater market share should budget a higher percentage—usually around 10 percent.

How much does SEO cost?

How Much Can You Expect to Spend on SEO? If you are hiring a top-level SEO company to execute a local campaign, expect to pay $500+ per month. A national or international campaign will require a minimum budget of $2,500 to $5,000 month.


Sean Dudayev

Sean Dudayev is the Founder of Frootful Marketing who is passionate about all things related to business growth. After selling his first company, he chose to take what he’s learned and help other entrepreneurs scale their start-ups to the next level.