If you’re like most small business owners, you’ve got a hefty list of goals to achieve with very little money to spend. By the time you’ve covered your expenses, there may not be much of a budget left over for marketing. Luckily there are ways to stretch a marketing budget further. Follow the guidelines below to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck.
Develop an overall strategy.
Before you start spending that dedicated ad budget, take a step back to make sure your tactics are part of a big-picture marketing strategy. And if they’re not, it’s time to create one. Think about the process you’d take if you had a limited budget to start a wardrobe from scratch. You’d take into account all sorts of things before buying that first pair of socks: the location in which you live, the range of temperatures you’re exposed to and the occasions you’d dress for – just to name a few. Then there’s the time you’d spend price matching, trying on various items and considering how all of the pieces will work together! This is the kind of attention you should devote before spending any of your time or money on marketing tactics. Even doing something as minor as posting to your Facebook page can be a waste of marketing dollars without a solid strategy. If you neglect to flesh out your corporate voice, your target audience and social media goals first, you’re wasting valuable time. Deciding on these factors prior to posting will help you determine which content to share and how often.
Hone in on your target audience.
If you’ve spent time developing customer personas for your business, you’ve probably identified the ones who are most likely to purchase your products or services. It’s a worthwhile investment to spend a considerable amount of time researching these groups. In doing so, you’ll be able to reach and connect with potential customers more effectively, and hopefully bring in the most ROI. By considering their overall lifestyles, values and buying habits, you’ll develop a marketing strategy aimed to catch their attention, relate to them on a personal level and, ultimately, fulfill their needs with your product or service. It’s best to spend your precious time and energy on the lowest hanging fruit –don’t waste it on those who are less likely to buy from you.
Prioritize your keywords.
Every company has a list of terms that closely relate to their business. These are keywords they want to be found for. Whether they’re investing in a long-term content marketing strategy for organic search, or they’re hoping to be found quickly through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns, keywords are, well, key. Developing a prioritized list of keywords will give you a great idea of where to spend time writing quality content for your site. And rather than putting your dollars toward a slew of keywords in PPC, you’ll know which ones to expand on – only those most important for your business. An extremely targeted PPC strategy is most likely to result in the acquisition of real, converting customers. One of our least favorite jobs as marketers is telling clients their budget isn’t high enough for their long list of keywords.
Do your research.
If a large percentage of your customers are purchasing online and you don’t know where they’re coming from, there’s really no excuse. The amount of information available in tracking tools, such as Google Analytics, is overwhelming. We’re talking percentage of new versus repeat customers, highest ranked pages, most visited pages, highest traffic days/times, most popular search terms, most popular social media/other referral pages, and more. Don’t forget the data related to your site’s visitors – you can find the average time spent on your overall site as well as specific pages, the most popular devices used, geographical locations, user behavior flow (the order of pages they visited on your site, and which page they exited on) and more.
You can also measure specific data in your other marketing efforts, such as social media and email campaigns. Take advantage of any metrics offered by providers, like Facebook Insights, and make note of your most popular content. You can often identify the best type of content to share and when, just by keeping track of this valuable information.
As a local marketing agency, one of our main goals is providing the best ROI for our clients. If you’re having trouble meeting your goals, or just don’t know where to start, let Sage Island take control of your marketing budget. Our savvy team of account managers, designers, programmers and writers can help ensure your dollars are put to good use.
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.
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