Digital marketing is a smart way to attract new customers and successfully grow your business. But, if you’re new to the world of marketing your business online the wide variety of options can be confusing and a bit overwhelming. Don’t be distracted by the noise. Instead, take some time to investigate and identify where you can get the biggest impact for your business. Use the following tips to ensure your efforts are focused and provide you with value for money.

Goal setting and prioritising

Be smarter with your money by having specific marketing spend goals. Set a performance goal around your priority area and focus your resources on the activities and tactics to achieve it.

You could determine your priority area by identifying a blind spot. Is there a customer type who could spend money on your business but just doesn’t know about it? Direct your marketing focus and resources to reach those high-value customers and sell them your products or services.

After you’ve made good progress in one area, you can expand your marketing efforts to new goals or initiatives.

Budget setting

Set out a marketing budget that achieves worthwhile returns without damaging your bottom line. Your marketing budget might be low and lean – from as little as a few hundred dollars a month for a small business – but be realistic about what it can achieve and how long it will take.

Plan for the future. If you want your business to keep growing, it makes sense that your marketing budget should keep growing too.

Choosing to outsource marketing

Overwhelmed business owners often let opportunities slide away because they feel they lack the time or confidence to achieve effective results with digital marketing. Unfortunately, these missed opportunities could be diminishing the future market share of their business.

It is worth outsourcing some or all of your marketing to break through the cycle of inaction. After working out your goals and what your budget can afford, seek out a suitable marketing agency.

The marketing agency’s digital services could cover the following:

  • Review of marketing needs and goals
  • Devising a marketing strategy
  • Developing your organic social media marketing
  • Advising on a component of paid social media marketing
  • Tracking the results of both organic and paid promotions.
  • Compatibility

To choose the right agency to work with your business, look for the foundations of compatibility:

  • Does their website and other communications show professionalism and indicate they will act responsibly in your interests?
  • Do they have experience in your market niche or your industry?
  • Does their work with other clients suggest they would be a good match for your marketing needs in terms of personality, tone and business style?
  • Does their marketing plan include producing meaningful data (monthly) which your business can use to grow?

Testimonials from other clients can help you assess compatibility and direct your decision making.

Buyer beware

To protect your investment in digital marketing, some due diligence is essential. Be selective about the marketing agencies you approach and definitely examine contracts carefully before signing up for a service. You don’t want to spend money on deficient marketing or a scam company.

Be alert for the following signs, which may be telling you that a flashy new agency spruiking digital marketing services online is an unwise choice:

  • They are unreliable communicators – not getting back to you promptly or evading your key questions are early warning signs.
  • Their offers are too good to be true, such as guaranteeing quick results. Genuine marketing agencies will confirm the reality that results cannot be guaranteed, and sometimes it takes longer to build a sustainable profile.
  • They aren’t transparent about all the costs to the client.
  • They emphasise vanity scores, which can be manipulated rather than the more telling leads and conversion scores.
  • Their communications are ‘buzzword heavy’ rather than meaningful. Their shield of buzzwords might be a cover up for the staff’s actual inexperience. A slick sounding but hollow vibe also doesn’t bode well for the long-term credibility of your own company.
  • The contract’s fine print reveals their agency retains ownership of your assets. You should have access to your analytics and Adwords account and own your marketing materials even if you stop working with that agency.
  • If they are inattentive to client needs, their marketing may lack quality, for example, if they have left typos on their website, social media posts or online offers.
  • The coaching option

If you are interested in marketing your business but know you need external support, then a very productive alternative is to engage a marketing coach.

The advantage of the coach’s role is that it includes training you and your staff, while providing the business marketing strategy.

It could, for example, include setting up a plan for social media posting and tracking results while coaching you on using social media management tools until you become proficient.

Selecting a coach involves similar considerations to choosing a marketing agency – look for good quality standards and compatibility and be alert to the signs of shonkiness. However, the extra requirement from a coaching service is that the coach focuses on building your marketing skills so that you can function independently. This is the twist: a good coach expects that eventually they won’t be needed!

Work with an experienced team

Fortunately, the Realise Business team is adept at stepping in at all levels to meet business marketing requirements. Our team has experience in marketing for a wide range of industries. We can devise a tailored marketing plan for a new business, help a longstanding business carry out a specific marketing project or coach your staff in using the most cost-effective and appropriate digital marketing tools. If you would like to know more, get in touch.