Make the Most Out of Your Marketing Dollars

    [This guest post was written by Savannah Marie.]

    Nowadays, there are so many different ways to use your marketing dollars. It’s no longer just a choice between online versus print ads. Each medium can provide an array of options for you to choose from. Print can include ad space, as well as direct mailing and brochures, while online marketing may range from pay-per-click ads to organic marketing to content marketing and social media. Really, the marketing opportunities are endless.

    Determine where your marketing dollars would be most beneficial.

    How you divvy up your marketing budget with all of these available options depends on what your goals are, as well as what niche or industry you’re working in. For example, new companies need to teach potential customers that they exist by building brand awareness. Meanwhile, established businesses need to come up with new leads. After determining the current goal for your marketing efforts, figure out exactly how much you can afford to spend in terms of a yearly budget. Next, it’s all about deciding how to get the most bang for your buck. In other words, determining which marketing tactics will result in the highest conversion rates.

    Engage Potential Clients

    In the cyber world that we live in, it’s easy for a potential customer to click away from your website and on to the next one. The longer you get your clients to stay on your website, the better the chances they’ll either make a purchase or at least inquire about your products and services. That means, from the get go, you want to invest in a website that engages people by including an eye-catching and enticing homepage.

    Also determine what your clients are looking for and tailor your marketing efforts and website to those needs. This can be done by polling your clients—through social media or emailed surveys/newsletters—to learn what they’re looking for in your industry. After collecting this data, gear your marketing efforts to demonstrate how you can meet those needs.

    Focus Your Marketing Efforts 

    Focus your marketing efforts where it counts!

    Too many options can be paralyzing, and that not only applies to how many options you offer clients, but also to how many marketing tactics you use. At the same time, one print ad won’t drive traffic to your website. Rather, a potential customer needs to see your name again and again before they’re fully engaged and ready to make a purchase or inquiry.

    A combination of print ads and online ads may work, particularly if you’re a retailer who’s offering a special limited-time discount. Meanwhile, a travel agency may see marketing success with a combination of blog posts about travel as well as photos on social media about their trips. Come up with a specific plan and budget for each of your marketing efforts.

    Measure What’s Working

    After you’ve implemented ads, started a blog or built a Facebook page, start measuring what’s working best. Google Analytics is a wonderful way to measure traffic to your website, as well as what pages people are spending the most time on. KISSmetrics is another site that will help you analyze what you can do better. It provides information about your customers, such as what devices they’re using, how long they’ve been researching you, as well as how they found you in the first place. Additionally, CrazyEgg is a website that allows you to see how people are interacting with your site. If you choose to use resources like KISSmetrics and CrazyEgg, be sure to factor that cost into your marketing budget.

    In terms of social media sites, measure how fans are interacting with your content by using tools like Facebook analytics, Twitter analytics and Pinterest analytics. By seeing how customers are engaging with your social media content, you can assess what’s working, and what’s not.

    Build Customer Loyalty

    While it’s always important to look for new customers, don’t overlook your current customer base. In fact, encouraging past customers to be repeat customers should be a part of just about any marketing strategy. That’s because by building loyalty you are encouraging clients to be brand advocates. To do this effectively, make sure to reward repeat customers for their loyalty. You can do this simply by sending them a coupon or a special promotional code that they can use on a future purchase.

    Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or intimidating. As long as you keep an eye on whether or not your marketing efforts are paying off, you can always reassess and reformulate the way you trying to reach customers until you build a successful campaign.

    Savannah Marie is a marketing and PR specialist and editor of her blog, Mixios. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+

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