Use Logic To Establish an Initial Marketing Budget
Many businesses we work with will pick an amount to spend on marketing without using much hard logic to determine how much the amount will be. A quick example: A percentage of average monthly revenue or target monthly revenue. There are several studies that will show the benchmark for your industry that can be found with a simple Google search. Most small businesses will spend between 5% – 13% of monthly gross revenue on marketing and advertising. Start with a number, then adjust it based on how well your marketing is performing, because the monthly marketing budget you start with doesn’t have to remain static all year.
Don’t Skimp on Content Marketing and Creative
Content marketing and creative services are something you should not skimp on or be cheap with. We see businesses all the time that run huge TV buys or digital buys, but the creative they run is low quality, or they don’t do a good job at rotating creative to help reduce ad decay. Ad decay happens when a target audience is served the exact same creative over a long period of time. This means you need to swap out or rotate your creative message every few weeks. With content marketing, this is the content that stays out on the web forever and doesn’t cost you anything after it’s done. For content marketing, think blog posts, videos, infographics or any other cool image that you publish on the web.
Get Business Reviews
This is something that is free and won’t cost you anything but some time. One of the first things people search for before they do business with someone local are the reviews for that business. Think about when you buy something on Amazon, you’re probably not going to buy a product if it has 1 out of 5 stars.
Use Analytics and Tracking
Google Analytics is a free tool and all business owners should be checking their website analytics reporting at least once a month to see what’s happening. In addition to using Google Analytics you should also make sure you have phone call tracking setup for any of the online advertising campaigns that you’re running. CallRail is a great provider and has quite a few simple integrations.
Don’t Be Afraid to Test New Things
Always be testing new advertising channels to see if they work. With the online advertising campaigns that we run, we are constantly testing new campaign tweaks or new micro campaigns. A good online marketer will never stop testing and hopefully never get stuck in a website traffic plateau.
Don’t Sign Long Term Marketing Contracts
By long term marketing contracts, we mean the initial contracts that are often greater than 6 months. When a company that you are working with for the first time requires you to sign at least a 1 year contract for basic services, then don’t do it. Get them down to at least a 6-month agreement so they can prove what they’re doing is working and be able to show you growth over those first 6 months.