While I certainly love to shop, I hate wasting money on things that have no purpose. Especially when it comes to business. While there is a time and place for spend on marketing, it’s important to look at how your business might be leaking money, energy and time (which also costs) on marketing that’s not hitting the spot.
We work with small business owners who can create a robust marketing strategy with some elbow grease and fifty to one hundred dollars a month in Facebook ad spend. We also work with clients who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Where ever you sit on the budget spectrum, every dollar, and hour spent on marketing should count
Here’s seven common leaks you might need to plug
- How narrow is your arrow?
I seriously considered popping this last, as while it’s the biggest reason spend is wasted, it’s the hardest one to fix, and leads you to ask yourself some big questions. Are you targeting as narrow a group as possible? Is the messaging, your images, the core offers you share going to a small group? If you are casting your net wide and trying to get everyone interested, you are going to waste time and money getting the leads and sales you want.
- You can’t always get what you want
I know you need to sell what you do. But you don’t want every post, every email, every single thing they hear from you to be SELL SELL SELL. The days of naive audiences who will read a sales ad/ post and then just take action are long gone. You need to play the long game, which means adding value, identifying with your audience, sharing content they want to engage with, respond to and interact with. It’s the long game of enticing them closer, in your social media posts, blog and emails.
- It’s what they need that matters
When we spend time in our marketing talking about how awesome we are, we’re just that annoying person at a party who’s always talking about themselves. Instead of talking about all your bells and whistles of cool features, talk to them about what they’ll get out of working with you (or buying your products). How will it make them feel? How will it answer their needs? How will they stay happy that they spent money with you? If your marketing messages are always about you, it’s going to become a very lonely party you’ve got.
- Tell us what happens next
Whether you are running print ads, or digital ads, you need to make what you need them to do next obvious. Do you want them to go to your website? Call you? Don’t assume they’ll know – tell them. Our brains act best with clear and simple instructions. While large budgets can afford “awareness” type ads that don’t have a call to action, you don’t need that. Tell them what the next step in the journey is.
- Don’t let them slip away from you
I see so many businesses out there who do a lot of work to get people to their website, either with google adwords, or SEO. On average only about three percent of people coming to your website will make a decision to get in contact with you, or buy from you. Once they are gone, you need to have retargeted ads and systems set up to remind them to come back and never forget you again. Otherwise you are just the warm up act for your competitors
- Filling the pockets of Facebook and Google
Facebook and Google’s advertising systems can be highly effective. But, if your paid digital advertising only consists of boosting on Facebook (you write a post and then a little suggestion to make it a sponsored post appears and you click yes), or using Adwords Express (super easy to set up, but not able to reduce costs by removing all the weird combinations of words people used to find you and then click on an ad) you are losing money every month. Either learn how to use they tools better, or get an expert to set it all up. It will save you in the long run!
- Who knows where they came from?
Understanding what type of marketing gets you the best kinds of customers, helps you decide where your time and money can come from. If in doubt, cut it out and see- does it make a difference? It’s not always the volume of enquiries. It’s the quality of them. While marketing well is about having a variety of different types of marketing working together, some platforms or places to spend money will have a greater positive growth aspect than others.
Once you’ve been able to plug all the places your budget is leaking, you can then move budget and resources into the areas that work best for you as a business, to see more growth long term