Generally, paid for tools offer you guaranteed exposure. Unpaid tools offer credibility and longevity, although they take longer to have an impact upon web traffic.
- Search engine optimisation
- Social media
- Article placement
Examples of ‘paid for’ digital marketing tools:
- ‘Pay per Click’ advertising
- Banner advertising
- SMS (text messaging)
- Sponsorship – page/webinar
Measurement and brand control is harder with unpaid tools such as guest Articles and Blogs, whereas results from paid tools such as SMS are more easily tracked.
Often they work successfully together: Pay Par Click and Banner Advertising offer short term presence boosting web traffic and interaction whilst Articles and Optimisation take affect longer term. Both offer opportunities for careful targeting.
Good optimisation via site content will also enhance the ranking of the paid for (PPC) advert. The tools are therefore different but complementary, combining to drive traffic to your website.
The key areas to think about when you get receive a free, online opportunity are:
- Targeting - will this channel reach your target customers? If not, you are investing your time in the wrong direction!
- Longevity - how long will your information be live for? Can you stimulate a quick response by including an offer with a closing date?
- Timing - when will your piece/activity appear? How does this affect the content? Some channels - such as search engine optimisation or guest articles - may not be able to provide a date.
- Flexibility - can you change the content once it's live? Perhaps a different image or new information?
- Guarantee - most free online tools can guarantee appearance (pending agreements in some cases)
- Control - content marketing, netwokring and social media offer good levels of control whilst remaining very cost effective - even free - options. Clearly the search engines will retain control over your website's ranking!
To summarise - yes - many free digital tools are worth considering... but not just because they're free! Take the time to find the right ones for your oragnisation... and good luck!
Not sure which are best for your business? Contact us at Decisions Marketing – we’re very happy to chat about online marketing.