Marketing is all about testing the waters, trying new things and working out what methods get you the best return on investment possible. It isn’t surprising then that you want to keep the costs as low as possible. After all, spending more money doesn’t always equate in an increase in sales, which means you could be watching your money disappear before your eyes without the results you are after.
There is however a saying, “You have to spend money to make money”. It is all about being smart with your marketing decisions and tracking your spending. The following 10 steps will help you make the most from your
1) Track and analyze
First thing’s first, there is no way you can tell if your marketing strategies are working unless you actually put the time and effort into tracking and analyzing them. You could find you are pouring countless dollars into marketing efforts that aren’t producing any results.
Perhaps you have set up a Facebook ad campaign that you can see is getting you results, even though you haven’t looked into the actual data. Stop and take a look at it. Then work on it. You may find you can even improve on the results and getting more for your money. Trial and error different types of ads and different audiences. One important thing to do is to never get complacent with your marketing. There is always room for improvement and this is where you will save the dollars and keep the costs down.
Tracking pixels can help make this even
- Facebook pixel: this allows you to retarget ads on Facebook to people who visit your website.
- Google analytics: this provides an overview of your entire site and to see where your visitors are coming from. This will help you understand what campaigns are the most effective.
- External monitoring site, such as Hotjar: you can find a program that works for you and offers an overview of everything you need to know about your website and its visitors.
2) Use proven campaigns from the past
Unless you are just starting out with advertising, you probably have a few proven campaigns, sales copies and offers that you could ‘re-use’ to the same audience. There is no point trying to reinvent the wheel each time you have a new campaign to run, unless the objective is entirely different, of course. It may even be a matter of tweaking and experimenting with past campaigns in order to target your audience as effectively as possible.
Work with what you know and build from there. This will save you both time and money in the marketing process. It doesn’t mean you should never come up with new ideas – instead, capitalize on the old ones that have produced results before spending the budget to try something new.
3) Educate rather than advertise
What do most businesses do out there? They sell, sell, sell, sell. Then they jump on their e-mail list and offer, offer, offer, offer. In fact, open up your Facebook and you will probably find yourself bombarded with sales offers left, right and centre. Think about how you react to them. Do you click through? Or do you find it annoying and scroll past as quickly as possible? This could be your business advertising dollars that you are scrolling past, because no-one likes to be sold to all the time.
Instead, you need to point out what makes your product stand out from the rest and show people why they should buy it. Help them solve a problem they might be having, but most importantly, let them make the decision to buy on their own. Show them why they should and let them come to the conclusion.
We all love buying! Just not being sold to.
This sounds contradictory to the previous point of ‘sticking to what works’, right?
However, in the digital age where things move very fast, you can’t get complacent. You will begin to notice it in the ways that you advertise. What might start out getting you a great return on investment can peter off within about a year as both technology and the market changes.
You still want to stay at the head of the game, and it’s about smart marketing. Never stop exploring new avenues, platforms and offers, just always go back to step 1 and make sure you track the results, so you can work out early on whether it is actually worth the investment.
5) Take a strategic approach
Guessing and checking is likely to see you spending much more on your marketing budget than you intended. The best way to approach any campaign is strategically. Each new campaign is an opportunity to learn from your past mistakes and to grow what works. Take a look over the campaigns that gave you the highest return on investment and focus your energies into them. See if you can improve them over time and get the costs down even further along the way. If a campaign isn’t getting you results, then cut your losses and move on.
Likewise, don’t focus your efforts on areas you know won’t work. If you have an audience of stay-at-home mums, then advertising on LinkedIn isn’t likely to get you far. Think smart to save big.
6) Automate your marketing
Don’t forget that time is money, and the more time you spend on your marketing, the more it is taking you away from other areas of your business. Thanks to technology, marketing is even easier these days. You can automate the majority of your daily tasks, which saves you time and allows you to put your effort into improving the strategy.
7) Make new offers by upselling/cross-selling
Instead of focusing on decreasing the cost of a product you are selling to your audience, you could instead consider increasing the value you are offering to them. For example, if you are selling watches and are starting to feel that the discounted price you are offering through online advertising isn’t covering the costs of delivery, then consider adding complementary products to sell with them instead, such as a case for storing your watch or perhaps some cleaning tools.
Or you could also consider a completely different type of deal. Instead of discount, go for a simple “buy 2, get 1 free”, which can do wonders at increasing your profits (and thus, making your marketing more cost-effective).
8) Put them on “follow-up” sequences so you don’t have to spend on ads
Almost any marketer will stress the importance of a mailing list. Why? Because it is a targeted list that you solely own, sending your message straight to the recipient’s inbox. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Selling a product often involves a nurturing process that can take time. Advertising costs money, emailing is free. It’s a no-brainer when it comes to down to it. At every opportunity, try and collect emails from both customers and potential customers. This will allow you to retarget them in future campaigns with no added costs to you. Winning!
This also works on Facebook messenger. Many people aren’t aware of just how effective this direct form of marketing is. You can create a list (just like with emails) and retarget this group through Facebook. Naturally, we recommend our own tool, simplechatbot.io. If you sign up, you will be the first to get the free training accompanying the software on how to replace your e-mail list with a much more profitable Facebook Messenger list.
9) Double down on the winning strategies, cut down on ‘losers’
Don’t stop collecting data once the sales come in. It’s important that your marketing strategy analyses every single aspect of a campaign. For example, there might be a specific subset of your customers who always complain, request a refund and generate you pretty much no significant revenue. Make note of this, and consider whether it is worth keeping this avenue open or if you should be investing the money in other areas instead.
Always consider the time and effort you are putting into it as well. There could also be marketing channels that are doing ‘okay’, but they are taking your staff’s time to monitor, optimise and maintain.
10) Consider Hiring Experts
While this may come across as the most expensive option of them all, experts may just be the answer. By finding an agency out there that REALLY understands your industry, they may be able to improve your efficiency by 50%.
Think about it. There are agencies out there who have probably worked with 20 businesses just like yours. They have seen from the inside what works for your competitors, and what doesn’t. Besides that, they are experts in specific advertising or marketing strategies, so they are more likely to get the best “bang for your buck”.
You may be spending more money in the short-term, but your return on investment is likely to be much higher.