With so many variables for small, medium, and large enterprise business owners to think about from task delegation to ensuring products and services are up to par, customer service being on point, and marketing generating a steady stream of clients, it can be difficult to manage staying on top of funds being allocated correctly, particularly when it comes to where marketing budget is being spent to bring a return on investment.
I’m often surprised at how little attention is paid to where marketing funds are going when I speak to business owners. They’ll spend willy-nilly on magazines, print, billboards, public relations, and have little to show for it in the way of customers. Many prospects whom I meet with almost exclusively get the large majority of their business due to word of mouth referrals and using third party online publications to write paid reviews about them (top 10 lists, etc.).
So what are the best ways to get the best bang for your buck with your advertising dollars?
We know we know, SEM and SEO are two excellent ways to find your niche-targeted audience. But it goes deeper than that. Which times of day are customers converting most? Which SEM Ads and keywords over the past 3-month sample size haven’t brought in a single sale but continue to cost you money? When is the best season to market your business? Are there environmental factors that can affect you?
Let’s break it down:
Which times of day are customers converting?
Using Google tag manager, you can input a code into your website and follow easy to set up instructions on how to track your conversions (or have a specialist do it for you). This’ll give you insight into when conversions are coming in, and most importantly from where.
You can then create a spreadsheet to highlight your leads and what times they came in over a few months sample, and using this begin to only advertise during those hours instead of wasting money around the clock.
Furthermore, you can look at your keywords that have driven in conversions on AdWords over that same time frame, and see which keywords have cost significant amounts, received impressions and clicks, but for some reason whether it’s the ad messaging, the keyword itself, or your landing page haven’t converted as well, and decide whether you need to cut these keywords – helping you to narrow down your budget to the most successful/converting keywords. This is why conversion tracking is really key.
When is the best season to market your business?
Not all marketing is one size fits all; it depends on your business. Just because most businesses receive their 1st quarter marketing budget in January doesn’t necessitate spending it in January. A fitness business won’t need to ramp up until the winter months, people will work out harder to get their summer bodies for vacation time during better weather. A school won’t need to market in the winter, it’ll need to market for it’s summer programs starting in March / April, and for it’s winter programs in the summer. A home renovation business could benefit from the harsh winter climate when people search for emergency home renovations due to sustained weather damage. So understanding the nature of your business and when people are more likely to search for what you offer means that you should know when to ramp up your marketing and when not to.
Additionally, environmental instability such as political unrest can also affect advertising and businesses. Take the recent political unrest in Hong Kong, a local shop may suffer or the subway may close down, but during this time Uber may field more calls and food delivery will be on the rise, so what may not work for some, will work for others.
Given these points, you should now have a better understanding of how to move forward with spending your budget wisely.