How to Invest Your Marketing Dollars to Stay Ahead of Your Competition
Face the melancholy music, people…money matters, at least in business. The more money your business makes, the more support and technology it can implement to increase efficiency, reduce overhead and compete with greater veracity. But in today’s online marketplace, standards are constantly changing, tactics are ever evolving and the language is sometimes foreign, making investment decisions as confusing as cayenne flavored ice cream. To help you navigate, we’ve got the scoop on which investments are most important to your online success:
#1 Your Website
Your website is the hub from which all online elements orbit. If you let it fizzle out, your online presence will cease to exist. Think sun and earth - no sun and poof! No earth. Don’t let your website become a dying star, include its care at the top of your business budget. That means investing in renovations or rebuilds like:
Re-design & re-branding to better align with target audiences
A mobile site or responsive design
Content Management System (CMS)
#2 Internet Marketing
It would be cool if your website was like a black hole, sucking visitors in left and right! But it’s not (sorry to burst your space bubble). You have to market your online identity to earn visitors. It’s called inbound marketing and it involves identifying a target market and providing them with helpful information that leads them, step-by-step to your website and eventually, to a purchasing decision. Click here
to learn more about this modern-marketing strategy.
Successful online marketing requires that you constantly publish new original content. Again, the idea is to provide useful information to your target audience. Ahem…this means quality written stuff, people. No grade school work allowed!
We’re talking at least two blog posts a week in addition to press releases, newsletters and downloadable items like e-books and whitepapers, all of which must serve a purpose for your audience. This content should be:
Search engine optimized to find the right people
Conversational yet professional in tone
Reflective of your brand
Broken down into an easily digestible layout
Resolving in nature
Eventually, audiences will identify your brand as a trusted authority. They’ll visit your site to self educate and when it’s time to buy, you will be their top pick. Ca-ching!
#4 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Pay-Per-Click (PPC)Advertising
There are two advertising models for inbound marketing:
1.) Organic search engine optimization (SEO): is a tactics-based approach that uses keywords, linking and social sharing to rank on search engine listings. This is a natural, non-paying way to accrue the right visitors to your website.
2.) Pay per Click: uses a purchased ad that appears on the right hand column of a search engine results page. When clicked, the ad will take visitors to your website for more information. This is an unnatural way to generate leads wherein; you pay for the number of clicks you get.
Don’t put all your bills in one basket! Invest in both strategies to cover all the bases. You want to exist in every relevant area to ensure that, no matter where or how your target audience is searching, they find you instead of your competition.
#5 Tracking & Analytics
This cannot be stressed enough. If you aren’t tracking your marketing tactics – you might as well be tossing stacks of cash out the window! This is the trap organizations are frequently falling into right before they proclaim ‘inbound marketing doesn’t work!”
Yes it does. In fact, it’s a measurable science. But success is going to require that you invest time. Track your campaigns. If they aren’t producing the ROI you expect, adapt! There are free tools available to help you, like Google Analytics
with over 80 different types of reports to gain the ultimate birds-eye view of what’s working and what isn’t.
Partner With a Digital Agency
You might have all the motivation in the galaxy to launch an incredible online marketing initiative, but as soon as business picks up, online identities tend to flat line. Your best bet is partnering with a digital agency that can provide everything from website design and development to inbound marketing support. It’s their job to act as your digital financial investor, showing you where marketing money can be invested to produce high ROI.