Avoid Wasting Time & Money
Have you ever tried to explain something and realize the enormity of the task?
In marketing, this is a daily adventure, especially so when it comes to online marketing. Over the last week, I have seen a lot of confusion, so I thought it would be a good subject to tackle with a practical approach.
I get where you are coming from as a business.
You're constantly bombarded with offers and likely pretty numb to someone trying to sell you a magic bullet by now. Hopefully, you've escaped the sinkhole of DIY website builders, freelance websites, and all the other online snares and are ready for something meaningful. If not, you have some costly and time-consuming lessons to learn still.
But being painfully aware that most services are a waste and most service providers are unqualified doesn't give you a solution. Instead, it just reinforces how stuck you are in a marketing quagmire, and rightfully so. Marketing on the Web is overwhelming, and it only gets more complicated the more you travel down the rabbit hole. It's easy to fall for a sales pitch or the desire to do something meaningful for as little as possible.
Consider Google Ads. I've spent entire emails on a tiny, overlooked choice in a maze of options within an enigma of technology.
There are options for text-based ads, Youtube ads, banner ads, Google network ads, Gmail Ads, and a host of combinations. Not to mention, you have to weed out negative keywords (phrases you don't want to pay for) and deal with ineffective placements and check and recheck all the subtle nuances of each campaign. But it doesn't end there. Each campaign must be as targeted. In order words, each product can have a wealth of different ways to advertise within Google, and each product/service should ideally have its own set of ads and method of delivery. And I haven't even mentioned remarketing? Well, you get the point: It's confusing, and you are a sitting duck waiting for a slick presentation or fast-talking salesperson to take away even more of your money.
Not to beat a dead horse, but keep in mind, this is just Google. I've not touched on Facebook Ads, press releases, Twitter, Linkedin, Bing Ads, Yelp, SEO, Podcasting, Email marketing, YouTube, and all the disciplines that support these efforts like funneling, drip campaigns, CTAs, design concepts, and content writing. And as you may have guessed, each one of these options has its mazes, enigmas, and significant opportunity to squander money with no result.
Sound familiar? You are not alone.
As an agency, we typically see the other side of this problem. For example, we may be running an SEO campaign, and the client thinks we should just "run ads on Google for their budget." As you can imagine, the time it takes to set up and manage a "simple" campaign requires much time and, not to mention, a budget.
So, of course, we can't simply "turn on ads" and spend a few dollars without it doing little for a client other than giving a vanity number to the client (which usually equates to nothing tangible).
Oh, there is a give-and-take aspect depending on a client's budget, but there are even ways to build a successful lean campaign versus a fat, ineffective one. But here's the scary part you as a business owner have no idea what's going on.
So what's the answer?
When I talk to new clients, I use "Flavor-Aid" in an analogy (and not the Jim Jones flavor). One package with the right amount of sugar and water is an excellent refresher for the kids, but if you have too much water, it's too diluted, and you don't have enough sugar; it's not sweet enough. But if you don't have enough water or too much sugar, the drink becomes too intense or overly sweet.
The answer to your needs is to spend resources (time and money) where it's most valuable. If you try and stretch your money too far with your marketing resource, things will get diluted because there aren't enough resources to do it well. On the other hand, if you don't do enough, your advertising will be unbalanced, resulting in an ineffective solution. So the trick is to find those critical sources needed to achieve your business goals and do an exceptional job using those specific sources. Did you catch the word "goals" in the last sentence? Goals define the plan, not your business in general. There is a big difference.
But what if you can't afford it?
Then don't do it - because you are likely just paying someone to go through the motions or giving Google and other marketing sources money to put your ads in places that mean nothing. "Meaningful LESS" is worth more than the "appearance of a LOT."
Part of our multi-faceted approach is to consider your business, your demographic, your budget, and a host of other metrics to determine how to make the best plan for your business to reach your goals. If your "Flavor-Aid" is too sweet or overly diluted, we can help you form a plan to get you back in balance while saving you money in the process.