Strong marketing is a necessity for any business to grow and succeed, but small businesses often struggle to find the budget for their marketing ventures. The potential costs of marketing, especially when tallying up advertising, online marketing, social media, search engine optimization, email campaigns, and public relations, can easily reach into the many thousands of dollars per month.
Fortunately, allocating thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars immediately for marketing isn’t always necessary. Often, companies can find success by starting small, and growing their marketing efforts in phases. But to do so successfully requires a company to know where its marketing dollars will have the best effect for sales and growth.
Having helped many clients start small and grow their marketing budgets, we have discovered a few helpful considerations when starting or ramping up marketing efforts. Whether you’re a small business interested in starting your marketing for the first time, or a larger company looking to expand your marketing, these tips should help provide some guidance.
Know Your Audience
When deciding where to start your marketing, it’s important to first understand the audience you’re looking to connect with. You need to know how they prefer to receive information, the problems your products and services can solve, and the messaging that will drive them to your business.
We’ll note that if it’s been more than a year since you last researched your target audiences, or even considered who those target audiences are, it’s imperative to do so again. The winds of the market have likely changed, and as technology and communication continue to expand and progress at a quick pace, it’s possible your target audiences are slightly different than they were even a year ago.
Once you know how to connect with your audience, and the messaging that will persuade them to purchase your products or services, take a moment to prioritize the various marketing tactics that will best help you reach them. For instance, some businesses may find email is the best avenue, while for others social media will reign supreme.
Determine Your Budget
Budgets can be hard to determine, especially for marketing. But deciding on how much you’re able to spend is an important consideration for which types of marketing you start with and grow into. For example, a small budget won’t land you an ongoing television ad, but may be enough for online advertising.
When you know how much you’re able to spend, you can determine how many marketing activities will fit within your budget, and which marketing tools you should be using. Make sure that if you’re planning to work with a marketing firm, you take into account the cost of paying them for their services. While it may at first seem counterintuitive to pay an agency when you could put that money into email campaigns or Google AdWords, remember that an agency’s expertise will likely get you farther with less money than you can on your own.
Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising
In today’s world, most consumers are Internet-savvy enough to appreciate the resources available to them online. When looking for products and services, consumers often search online for companies, reviews, and help. Additionally, many people turn to social media to get feedback from friends and review the brands they’re interested in.
With millions of people visiting Google and social media sites like Facebook multiple times per day, there’s a good chance your target audiences can be found there. With that in mind, we often recommend our clients start with Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising for their marketing efforts. Granted, if we discover such activities aren’t the best options for our clients, we’ll direct them elsewhere. But that happens so seldom we can say with great confidence that most companies will benefit from using Google AdWords and/or Facebook Advertising as a first step in their marketing.
In addition to being hubs for online visitors, there are a couple other reasons to consider Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising as the first source for marketing your business. One reason is that both are pay-per-click, which means your company will only pay for an ad when someone clicks on the ad and visits your website. We consider these “warm leads” because they’re most likely interested in your products or services, which makes converting them into customers that much easier.
The other reason is the fact that both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads offer detailed stats about your marketing efforts. Using the information provided from both sources, you can analyze which ads are working, and which need improvement. You can make changes based on hard data provided by Google and Facebook and better improve your other marketing activities, such as email, social media, other advertising, and public relations, all thanks to the data provided by Google and Facebook.
Invest in Your Business
When it comes to marketing, it’s important to remember the old adage that you need to spend money to make money. A little marketing is better than no marketing.
When you start your marketing efforts, you may have to pull the marketing budget from other aspects of your business, but in most cases doing so will benefit your business and bottom line. As you find success with your marketing, we highly recommend using new revenues to expand and enhance your marketing. Starting small is good, but continual growth is necessary to maximize the potential of your marketing efforts. The most successful marketing is multi-pronged with many tactics.
Looking for Help?
We recognize that business owners and marketing teams can be very busy. If you have any questions about your marketing, or need help getting started, call us today at 501-372-0393. We’re always happy and excited to help!