Are you spending your marketing money effectively? Are you getting the biggest bang for your buck? To answer this question you have to understand what the goal of your marketing campaign actually is. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to happen among the potential customers in your market as a result of your marketing campaign? Thankfully the answers to these questions are not that complicated. All marketing campaigns can be reduced to one of two basic goals.
The first of these two marketing campaign goals is to increase awareness of your business in your target market. This is an appropriate marketing campaign goal for new businesses or businesses expanding into new markets. For businesses at this stage of development, the thing you most want and need is to be known in your target market. You need to build impressions. Impressions are your metric for success. Studies have shown that it takes a minimum of 7 impressions to convert a potential customer into a paying customer. Customers need to feel like they trust your business before they feel like they can spend money with your business. They do not trust things they do not know. Awareness campaigns break down these walls. They build impressions, build trust, and increase recognition of your business so, for example, when a customer thinks, “I feel like a whole grain bagel with basil cream cheese,” they think to try out your new bakery.
In the digital world, a marketing campaign with the goal of increasing awareness typically takes the forms of search engine optimization (SEO), social media posts, and/or digital PR, which are together referred to in the industry as “content marketing.” The good news is that most of these types of marketing can be done on the cheap, making building awareness easy on the bottom line.
SEO builds your business website’s performance in search results, so that you appear higher in the results, thereby appearing more trustworthy. There are many tools out there for enhancing your SEO, some are free, and all are effective to an extent. See the Lift Media Group blog entitled “SEO Best Practices” for some ideas on how to start down the path of enhancing the performance of your website. Social media campaigns increase impressions, and can be more directly targeted for people in your target demographic than other forms of marketing. Social media is a powerful marketing tool, but it works best to increase awareness. Unfortunately, due to its effectiveness, it can also be the most expensive form of marketing for building awareness if you decide to start “boosting” your social media posts. Boost your posts sparingly, but post often. Digital PR gets information about your business out to the press, so that this information spreads where you want it to spread, and your potential customers hear about your business from a source they already trust. Billboards and posters and print advertisements can also be used for awareness campaigns with good results.
Now that you have built a market presence through awareness marketing campaigns, it is time to encourage the customers in your market to spend their money with your business. Therefore, the second of the two goals of a marketing campaign is to prompt action or engagement among your current and potential customers. Increased sales are the metric for your success, but beware that sales have to increase enough to cover the cost of your marketing campaign or it will not be successful. This is the kind of campaign in which promotions, coupons, and specials come into the equation. You want to incentivize your customers. Give them a reason to come give you their money.
There are three forms of digital marketing that generally fall under marketing campaigns with the goal of prompting action. These are paid search ads, digital display ads (also social media ads), and email marketing. Every single one of these forms of marketing will cost you money, so be careful to choose your promotions and your market strategically.
Paid search ads are ads that appear at the top of search results and mimic the appearance of organically generated search results. While SEO is close to free, paid search ads, naturally, come at a cost. Each time a customer clicks on the paid search result, your company pays a fee to the search engine (pay per click, PPC). These fees range in price based on the popularity of the search keywords that generated your advertisement.
Digital display ads are images, or sometimes videos, that are displayed on websites for a fee. Each time the image appears on the website, your business pays the fee (pay per impression, CPM). These fees are often paid in advance, or you can set up a time frame and pay for however many impressions occurred during that period. Social media display ads are very effective and allow you to target your display ads specifically to the market of your desire. However, as previously mentioned, social media advertising can be very expensive.
Lastly, email marketing is very useful to prompt action. With the email lists you have generated, hopefully as a result of previous awareness campaigns, you can easily and relatively cheaply shoot promotions out to those who most want to see them. As was explained in a previous Lift Media Group blog post, email marketing has the highest ROI of any form of marketing, and is a much cheaper form of marketing than the other two on this list. In addition to these forms of digital marketing, TV ads, radio ads, direct mailers, and other forms of print ads have traditionally been successful.
In order to best spend your money on your marketing, figure out what your goal is. If you want to build your market presence as a new or expanding business, use a marketing campaign with the goal of increasing awareness. SEO, social media posts, and digital PR, posters, and flyers work really well for these types of campaigns. If you want to increase your sales among your market, use a marketing campaign with the goal of prompting action or engagement. Paid search ads, display ads, TV ads, radio ads, print ads, and especially email marketing are all very effective for achieving this goal. As long as you keep your goal in mind, and track your metrics accordingly, your marketing dollars should go much further.
- Posted by Lift Media Group