Something I do almost every day is have conversations with clients about how to get the most out of their marketing. And I’ve noticed that when it comes to investing in the tactics that they are hesitant, especially now with the massive changes caused by COVID-19.
Many business owners are feeling uncertain and trust me, I get it. As an entrepreneur, I’m experiencing the same challenges you all are in managing my business in the current environment of uncertainty. I’ve had to really look at all of my expenses, all of the investments I’m making into my business, and truly evaluate the effectiveness of each initiative. This is not easy work, but hey - if it was easy, everyone would do it.
When I look into the future of my business, some of my beliefs must remain true. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. This mantra has stuck with me for years, and today is no different. It’s become more challenging to grow, but more important than ever. It’s important to note at this point, growth doesn’t have to mean simply revenue increase. In the world we’re in, that may be impossible in the short term. Growth to me, means running our businesses better, more efficient, more profitable than ever. That means we have to check ourselves and start to make better and more sound business decisions.
When I look at this necessity to continue to grow my business, digital marketing is as safe an investment as any other available. Our customers are online more than ever, utilizing social media platforms more than ever, consuming more video than ever. How can we not be where they are?
Marketing An Investment or Expense?
Many business owners treat marketing as an expense that needs to be managed, similar to a utility bill or their car insurance. But marketing is so much more than a payment you need to make every month. My mission is to inform as many business owners as possible on the importance of treating marketing as an investment into your business that should yield a profitable ROI - even in a COVID-19 world.
An investment is simply a cost with an expectation of return. When marketing is done well and you’ve given your plan enough budget and time to earn results, your business will have been given the essential components to grow. That being said, just like any investment, you have to understand what you are investing in. It still has to be the right choice for you. You have to build the right plan with the right team. But if you don’t give your plan enough budget it won’t produce the results you’re looking for in your business.
During COVID-19, so many businesses have completely stopped all marketing efforts. When businesses drastically reduce their budget to save in the short term, their stream of customers will dwindle, making it harder for their business to rebound in the long term.
I’m not saying that you need to be careless with your budget, especially since navigating your finances will be very different today than it was a year ago. But you still need to be strategic which is what I address in the next section.
How Much Should You Be Investing?
The key here is to use a very logical approach to filling up your schedule to help the maximum amount of customers while adhering to safety restrictions. Based on your capacity today, what is the maximum number of homeowners you can service?
For example, if you have 10 open spots available each week, and each customer is worth $500 dollars if you fill all the spots you will have a $5,000 increase in revenue each week. Now ask yourself how much you are willing to spend to get that extra $5,000 per week in revenue.
But, be mindful that understanding the right amount of budget to spend doesn’t happen overnight. To start, invest a number that you are comfortable spending. However, make sure the amount is high enough that you will collect enough data to make future decisions. Over time, you can begin to see what channels are working well for your business and which ones aren’t.
The data will start to populate, and you can start reallocating your marketing budget to whatever is getting to the highest return on your investment, whether that’s Facebook ads or through Google search ads. You can pick the right platform to achieve the best results. And as your capacity to help more customers increases, you can increase your budget to ensure you can continually keep your schedule full and your business as profitable as possible.
Why Digital Marketing Is Your Safest Bet
Digital Marketing has now completely changed how you can invest in your advertising. Traditional marketing has always been about buying space, whether that’s on a billboard or a 30-second ad on a TV screen. This results in high budgets Buying space with no guaranteed performance is a potential disaster for a company trying to make the most of a limited budget.
With digital marketing, you have the ability to tailor your ads to be placed in front of your exact target audience. Digital marketing ads can be targeted based on geographic area, age, occupation, and gender, making it much more likely that someone will click on your ad and be interested in your service. This yields a larger return on your marketing budget.
You can also launch digital marketing on a pay-per-performance model (pay-per-click). You only pay for the people who actually click on your ad and are taken to your website. Gone are the days where you have to pay upfront and hope it works - now you only have to pay for performance.
By using the highly specific targeting elements and the pay-per-performance models, your return on investment will increase, the effectiveness of your marketing will increase, and you can start filling up your schedule again without breaking the bank. I know it can still be nerve-wracking to start spending money again based on what we are all going through this year. But start small and strategically. The other most important element to your marketing success is working with a team you trust. Feel free to reach out to us for any of your marketing inquiries. Or you can download one of the many free resources we have created to help business owners get back on their feet.