5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Marketing Budget

Digital marketing

How to Maximize Your Small Business’ Marketing Budget

Smart spending is critical for small businesses, especially when it comes to acquiring new customers. You don’t want to break the bank trying to pursue an idea without having a plan. That is one of the most common reasons why many small businesses don’t make it past the five-year mark.

Optimizing your marketing budget will help you increase profit margins. There are many ways you can do that.

Identify Your Target Audience

It is not uncommon for businesses to spend lots of time, energy, and money marketing their products or services to people who aren’t interested in them. It’s not about convincing people to buy your product, but about catering to those who are looking for the type of product or service you offer. When they want what you have, there is very little convincing involved.

Identifying your target audience is essential to maximize your marketing budget. And even if you feel like you already crossed that off your to-do list a long time ago, it’s not a bad idea to put some time toward perfecting your targeting.

Define a Budget

When it comes to your marketing budget, impulsive decisions are not the best approach. Your budget should align with your goals. What do you want to achieve, short or long-term? Are you looking to grow your business? You might need to build a foundation first and then plan for growth. Or maybe you’re trying to get above the competition.

Understanding your buyer’s journey will also help you have a better idea of how much money you need to put towards your marketing efforts. There is no one-size-fits-all formula to help you define a budget. You can start slowly and build up from there. Make sure you track everything and keep an eye on progress, so you can adjust your budget as your goals change.

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Optimize Your Website

Your website should offer a great user experience for your visitors. It should be seamless, easy to navigate, and find what you need. A site that is not optimized will lead to low conversion rates, reduced visibility in searches, and much more. Focus on user experience and also on SEO.

Did you know that 50% of people who visit the website for a local business is likely to visit their physical store within a day? Well, this is a fact —according to HubSpot, and a significant reason why mobile optimization is so important.

Invest in Branding

Having a strategy to work on your branding can help you bring more attention to your business and optimize your marketing budget. Revenues can increase by 23% thanks to branding.

Content marketing is an excellent option for businesses to build a brand that is solid and that people can relate to without increasing your marketing costs. Providing your audience with transparent and valuable content can have a positive influence on your customers’ buying decisions.

Follow Up on Your Leads

Putting money towards increasing brand awareness is only worth it if you follow up on the leads you obtain from that. Learning to identify when a follower has become a lead is critical so you can take action at the right time and nurture that relationship so that lead can eventually become a customer.

How to Promote Your Online Store

eCommerce sign

Promote Your Online Business with These Tips

Ecommerce changed the game of how goods are marketed and sold and have been especially relevant during the pandemic. It has offered businesses a way to continue providing their products to their customers and keep their operation going.

Did you know that eCommerce contributes to over 1 million products sold daily and that it has increased commerce by 24% since it began? It is a powerful tool that can bring many benefits and opportunities to a business.

Once you jump on the eCommerce wagon, many businesses get stuck, not knowing what they should do to promote their online store. If this has happened to you, here are some tips:

Take Care of Your Website

Think of your website as your online showroom. You can also consider it the virtual face of your business, which is why the design is so important. Make sure your website is user friendly, especially since that’s where all the shopping will happen. Your website should offer solutions to your customers’ problems in an uncomplicated way.

Prioritize the Mobile Experience

The majority of users are active on mobile, so it is essential to cater to that large segment of your audience. Creating desktop-only websites is no longer an option; responsive web development is the way to go so that your site looks good and works well on mobile devices too.

Woman using tablet

Leverage PPC

Ad campaigns are a great way to promote your eCommerce business. For example, Google paid campaigns can help you reach customers based on their search queries. This way, you can target precisely the type of customer that is looking for the products you offer.

Create a Landing Page

Whether the visitors on your website have reached you via organic search results or paid ads, you want to make sure they land on a page that provides them with the information they need to embark on their shopping journey. Create attractive landing pages and consider testing different versions of them (A/B testing) until you find what works best.

Start —or Keep— Blogging

Share valuable information with your audiences through blog posts. Things that will add value to their experience and helps them learn something they weren’t aware of are always welcome. Consider publishing a series of “how-to” articles that provide useful information to your customers and serve as conversation starters to learn more about their needs.

Promoting your eCommerce business is key to growing it. With the right ideas, tools, and technologies, along with the help of a team of professionals in this area, you can take your eCommerce business to new heights.

Using Facebook to Stay Connected with Your Audience During COVID-19

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How Facebook Can Help You Stay Connected

Connection and communication are essential always, but especially during though times like right now. One of the things every small business should do during this pandemic is to keep communicating with their customers through their channels of preference.

We all know Facebook is a robust platform, and during COVID-19, many businesses have turned to it to remain in touch with their customers. Posting, messaging, and going live have made it more accessible.

Here are some simple tips to help you leverage the power of Facebook to stay connected with your audience:

Image courtesy of Facebook for Business

Keep Your Customers Updated

Circumstances are constantly changing these days, and as businesses adapt, many balls are rolling. Your customers will appreciate information about what’s going on. You might have changed the way you take orders from your clients, maybe you set up an online shop, you might be supporting other businesses and your own, and you want to let them know how they can help, or maybe you want to express your gratitude for their loyalty and support throughout this time.

Set up a post with attractive images that convey the feeling of your message. Whatever is on your mind, let them know.

Image courtesy of Facebook for Business

Manage Customer Relationships Through Facebook Messenger

It may be hard to keep up with all the messages you may receive via Facebook Messenger. One great way to manage your relationship with your customers and their expectations are setting up automated responses. You can use it to either redirect your customers to a different channel, let people know you’re trying to catch up or just informing them that you’re not currently open.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Live

It is a tough time to have in-person events, but that doesn’t mean you need to cancel them. Taking your activities online is a fantastic option to avoid losing touch with your customers. Facebook Live provides a real-time broadcasting feature that is great for many things like hosting a Q&A, showcasing your products and services, or do how-to sessions.

You Can Still Use PPC Campaigns During the Pandemic

PPC Campaigns

Smart Strategies to Leverage PPC Campaigns During Covid-19

This global pandemic is real, and we can’t skip it. We are all learning to roll with the punches and make the best out of this situation. Businesses can’t afford to sit back and pretend like nothing’s happening. Instead, we must learn to adapt quickly and find new ways to make things work.

Running PPC campaigns in a time like this might sound crazy, but knowing how to make them work in this scenario is what will make a difference. Here are some PPC tips to help you leverage the power of this marketing method in the middle of a global pandemic.

React Quickly

It is normal to feel hesitant about making marketing moves in moments like this. However, taking too long to react could harm you more than you think. Although you can’t be 100% sure a PPC campaign will work right now, you also can’t be sure it won’t. The risk will likely be worth the reward. You won’t know for sure until you try it. Even if it doesn’t work out, you will gain a better idea of how you should adjust your strategy to get better results.

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Adjust Your Messaging

Any type of content that you produce during this time should be empathetic and sensitive to your audience and potential customers. One of the best ways to market your product or service right now is to focus on how it fits your customer’s current lifestyle and how they may benefit from it. That will help you.

Let Go of What Doesn’t Work

In regular times, even when a campaign is not performing as expected, giving it a chance is encouraged. However, in today’s reality, if your campaign is underperforming, it is best to drop it and move on to the next idea until you find the most cost-effective approach.

Proactively Preparing for After Covid-19

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Is Your Business Ready for a Post COVID-19 Era?

Businesses have been dealing with the shock of Covid-19 and how it has forced them to change the way they do business. Everyone’s been getting busy trying to keep things running as smoothly as possible, given the circumstances. There has been the canceling of promotional campaigns, and the redefining of communication and marketing efforts.

The Starting Approach

As we moved into the unknown in the middle of a pandemic, it was all about managing the crisis and taking emergency measures. Businesses have been trying to be present for their customers during this time, letting them know we are all in this together.

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The initial communication strategy has mainly focused on:

Being Present and Visible

Businesses that have been able to remain open throughout this time let their customers know they’re still around if they require their services.

Informing Customers of Changes in Service

Those who have launched online stores have been promoting them via email marketing campaigns, social media, etc. communicating to their customers any changes in business hours, hygiene protocols, or other measures.

Preparing for the Future

Even if we’re in the middle of the pandemic, we do know this is not going to last forever. Businesses should prepare for what will happen next. There are certain areas that you can start organizing now so that you get a head start on your post-COVID-19 marketing efforts.

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Monitor Results

Keeping a close eye on your current marketing efforts is critical for you to make informed decisions in the future. If you’ve been running PPC campaigns, email marketing campaigns, or any other marketing method —digital or not, be sure to monitor their performance. It will give you a better idea of what has been working and what hasn’t so that you can develop tighter strategies.

Adapt Your Messaging

Continue to create useful content for your audience. If you feel like you need to change your approach, do it, and update your blog, social, and website content to match your new voice.

Prioritize E-Commerce

If you have already started enjoying the benefits of running an e-commerce business, don’t let it falter once the pandemic is over. On the contrary, since you’ve experienced its benefits firsthand, continue to nurture that approach to grow your business. If you haven’t extended your activities to an online shopping platform, take time to analyze it. Companies that can leverage the power of e-commerce for their businesses should give it a try.

How to Approach Business Marketing Post-COVID-19

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Essential Tips to Market Your Business the Right Way During the Pandemic

There is no doubt that business and consumer behavior has changed since the Covid-19 outbreak. Things are constantly changing, and businesses have had to adapt to this situation in more ways than one.

Marketing your business in a time like this is not a simple task. However, by studying the most recent marketing trends, we can see marketers are making very strategic moves, like sending more emails or marketing campaigns, and more customers are reading these emails, compared to a few months ago. For example, according to the COVID-19 Marketing and Sales Benchmark Data by HubSpot, by the end of June, the marketing email open rate was 17% and had increased by 2% within a week. That means it is an excellent time to start promoting your business, even amid Covid-19, as customers and leads are more engaged.

COVID-19 Marketing and Sales Benchmark Data by HubSpot

There are many marketing tips you can follow to support your reopening efforts, but here are two of the most powerful ones.

Let Your Customers Know How You Take Care of Them and Your Staff

Give your customers peace of mind by communicating what you’re doing to prevent the spread in your business. Let them know you’re complying with the established safety protocols, highlight changes in your hours of operation, and any new service you might be promoting, like curbside pickup service. Let them know all of the details, so they will have no reason to second-guess their decision to visit your business. Leverage your digital marketing channels —like your website and social media accounts— to share this information.

Create a Community and Relate to Your Customers

It has been a tough time for everyone. Your customers have had challenges, and so have you. Don’t be afraid to be honest about your struggles with your customers. You can empathize with each other during this difficult time. Those customers that value your business products and services that you offer will have your back and appreciate your vulnerability.

Stay away from generic marketing messages. Instead, let them know we’re all in this together and help them understand how your business —via your products and services— can support them during this time.

Email Marketing Campaigns That Can Support Your Reopening Efforts

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3 Post Business Reopening Email Marketing Campaign Ideas

During the past four months, your customers and prospects have mostly been at home —like almost everyone else. That’s why online shopping has increased significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Ecommerce businesses have provided customers with an easy way to satisfy their shopping needs without having to leave their homes. Do you know what else has increased during this time? Email engagement.

The marketing email open rate have consistently been increasing since the pandemic started, as well as the number of marketing contacts. This tells us it is a good time to invest in email marketing campaigns.  Here are some email marketing campaign ideas that can support your business reopening efforts.

Welcome Series

Many businesses have experienced an increase in web traffic during this crisis, which can lead to new subscribers. Making them feel welcome is vital. That can be a four-message series to help you engage with those new subscribers.

You can include things like:

  • Thank you note for their interest in your business and their support during this time
  • Sanitization measures
  • Changes in physical locations or office hours
  • Potential inventory limitations
  • Shipping delays
  • Discounts and promotions
  • Details on your rewards programs, if any
  • Relevant content they may appreciate (links to blog posts with tips, how-to’s, etc.)
Man checking email on smart phone

Post-Purchase Campaign

Triggered emails tend to perform better than promotional emails. This series should also have three or four messages. Allow a couple of weeks to go by post-purchase before triggering an email. Focus on promoting products or services. Feel free to recommends products for their next purchase based on their last purchase. Personalized emails will have a more significant impact than generic ones.

Reengagement Series

This campaign is to improve your email list health. It is crucial to identify subscribers that aren’t engaged because they are no longer interested in your product or service. Low open rates will lower your engagement metrics. For this series, send out three to four messages.

  1. Try offering a monetary incentive, like a discount on specific products or maybe a voucher they can exchange on their next purchase.
  2. After about a week from the first email, send them a friendly reminder.
  3. If the subscriber is still inactive, increase your incentive and let them know in the subject line. If the user becomes active, you can now move them to the active subscriber list.
  4. Change up the subject line for something that will catch their eye. Something like, “Is this the end?”.  Include a form to update their communication preferences, so they can change the type of content they would like to receive, as well as the frequency. If, after this point, the subscriber is still inactive, move them to a separate list of subscribers, you can email less frequently. For example, you might want to email them only on select dates like Black Friday or other holidays.

Marketing Tips for a Successful Business Reopening

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Using Marketing as a Tool to Support Your Business Reopening Efforts

The Covid-19 emergency, like any other pandemic, is unpredictable. We’ve experienced many ups and downs since this all began. Although the cases in Colorado remain elevated, there is a reopening plan in place, and businesses are slowly starting to open their doors to their customers again.

It will take some time before every business is back to operating as they usually did before Covid-19, but being well-prepared for this phase is more than worth it. Adjusting your marketing strategy is essential. Here are some marketing tips to help you during the reopening period.

Communicate Your Reopening Guidelines

Even though the lockdown measures are less strict these days, everyone should comply with specific guidelines. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued a list of best practices for businesses to follow to ensure worker and customer protection.

Share these precautionary measures with your customers. Post them on your website and share them on your social media accounts to ensure it reaches a large portion of your customers before they stop by for a visit. Also, make sure you print those guidelines and put them up in strategic places of your store or office —like the entrance, so they are available to everyone.

Be Consistent Across Your Business Pages

If you have an online presence, all your business pages must be up to date with the same information. If you’ve made changes to your office hours, location, or phone number recently, be sure to share them across the different channels, like your Google My Business —very important, your website, and all your social media profiles.

Your customers should have access to accurate information about your business when they look for you online. Any misleading or confusing information can cost you money.

Digital marketing

Announce Your Reopening

Digital marketing campaigns are an excellent way to let your customers know about your reopening. Resort to email marketing to break the news to your customers more directly, get creative with social media posts, or run a PPC campaign to draw more attention to your business.

Consider Organizing a Promotional Offer

Considering having a promotional offer when you reopen —maybe send a discount code by email, put certain products on sale, or have a “buy one, get one free” type of offer. Incentives can help you get more customers through the door.

How Digital Marketing Has Helped Businesses Survive the Pandemic

Digital marketing

These are definitely “interesting times.” The last four months have been a roller coaster in every way. Businesses have had to make some significant changes to survive these tough times.

Digital marketing has taken a whole new meaning during this pandemic. More and more people have started to realize that digital marketing entails a wide variety of marketing methods that can help businesses remain relevant, even during times like this.

By embracing digital marketing, many businesses have changed the way they do business. Right now, digital transactions are much more affluent than during the holidays. Digital sales have grown by 18% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019. Traffic has increased by 13% in the same period.

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Going Digital Has Saved Businesses

Being an entrepreneur is about solving problems. This skill has been tested a lot during this pandemic. Entrepreneurs have found new ways to keep their businesses going, from changing their business model to selling their products in the digital space.

Going digital has made a significant impact on many businesses. During this crisis, the consumer needed to change the way they shopped for products and services, while companies needed to change the way they got those products and services to their consumers. That communication could no longer be face to face, but it could certainly be digital.

Many small businesses didn’t have an online platform before Covid-19, and now they do. Although going digital seemed feasible for product-based companies, service-based companies could also use it to their advantage by offering online consultations or digitally communicating with their clients.

Rethinking marketing strategies has paid off and will continue to do so, as long as these strategies align with the circumstances, needs of the customer, and business goals.

Preparing for a New Phase of the Pandemic

Economic Reopening

We’ve been dealing with a lot of changes in the past four months. When Covid-19 started spreading all over the world, every country had to take action to try to contain the spread. Before we knew it, we were all in quarantine, businesses had to shut down, and it all seemed like a lot to handle.

During that period, when restrictions were more severe, businesses that could no longer operate at their offices or stores had to find a different way to be productive. Remote work became the perfect alternative for many companies in this situation.

Economic Reopening

Is Your Colorado Business Ready to Reopen?

We are entering a different phase now. Small business owners are faced with new challenges as their states are slowly starting to lower some of the restrictions, and businesses can reopen. In Colorado, critical companies have remained open since this all began, but non-critical businesses are now accessible with restrictions. But what does that mean?

Is your business prepared to hit the ground running during an economic recovery phase? Building a financial recovery plan should be a priority for all business owners. So far, this situation has behaved like a moving target, so it’s wise to be prepared and consider all options—touch base with your team before getting started. Check-in on them and show your support; this will make them feel cared for and valued. Get together to brainstorm and come up with ideas on how to help your business survive and thrive during this time.

An economic recovery plan may include safety guidelines for your employees and customers, an update to your work-from-home protocol, clear goals for the next three months, potential changes to your business model, new ideas or opportunities you may want to pursue, a cybersecurity plan, an updated marketing plan including digital marketing and content marketing, among other things.

Let’s get ready for the next phase together. We will get through this.