If your company is fairly new, and relatively small, it can be difficult to gain exposure and get in front of your desired audience. Larger and more established companies tend to have much higher advertising/marketing budgets, putting “the little guy” in a tough spot when it comes to competing for customer attention.

There are, however, a number of strategies that can be used by a small business to level the playing field, especially in the digital landscape. A little bit of money can go a long way if you know the best ways to utilize it.

Here are some marketing methods we recommend for small businesses that want to get the most out of their budgets.

Build your SEO campaigns around specific, long-tail keywords

When it comes to targeting mainstream, high-competition keywords in your search engine optimization strategy, you’re likely to get muscled out by larger companies that can afford to bid far more for clicks. The better strategy is to form your own niche and aim for long-tail keywords (in other words, multi-word phrases that describe your product or service — or some aspect of it — more specifically). A few months ago we wrote a lengthy article on why long-tail keywords are an SEO staple, and it’s definitely worth reading if you’re looking to maximize the impact of your SEO bucks.

Take advantage of inexpensive content marketing tactics

content marketing strategiesThere are inherent up-front costs involved with many forms of marketing and advertising, but content marketing is a bit of a different animal and that’s one thing that makes it so popular. Starting a blog requires only committing the time of a capable employee with writing skills, or hiring a content specialist, which tends to be relatively cheap. Suddenly you’re updating your site’s content regularly (great for SEO), while also giving current and potential clients a destination to read up on your subject matter knowledge and expertise. The statistics are striking: companies that blog receive 97 percent more inbound links and 67 percent more leads than those that do not.

Invest in your your social presence

Continually updating your social media accounts is a fairly easy way to maintain an active digital presence while also keeping another pipeline open for traffic to your website. In order to make sure you do it right, and have a legitimate strategy built around it, you may want to bring on a third-party social media consultant, but this tends to be more affordable than many other marketing services. Additionally, creating even a small budget for paid social promotion will capture a lot of eyeballs. We went over some crazy social media marketing numbers last week.

Work with similarly small-sized agencies

Large-scale digital marketing agencies can do great work — there is a reason they’ve gotten to where they’re at — but they often aren’t a great choice for small or medium sized businesses. For one thing, they are expensive, sometimes prohibitively so. And secondly, they aren’t necessarily in touch with the priorities and needs of a newer company that is still finding its footing. By working with a smaller agency, you’ll be enlisting a partner that has faced similar challenges of its own, and can offer applied techniques for breaking through with limited resources.