At Empower Marketing we offer excellent value for money by providing agency experience at freelancer rates (someday we'll tell you how we manage this!), but whether you enlist our services or not, here are some top tips to reduce your marketing costs and become more efficient with your campaigns....
#Tip 1 Improve your design brief
Develop a very clear design brief before enlisting the services of a freelancer/agency. Confusion over the brief can lead to many wasted hours and this results in corners being cut if your paying a fixed agency fee, or additional costs if you are paying an hourly rate.
Within your brief try to provide examples of work you do or don't like. For example, an appealing feature on a competitors website, or a style of brochure which could suit your brand.
It’s inevitable there will be changes as the project develops, but if you are writing content for a website or brochure then go through an initial approval process to ensure there are as few changes as possible. Even an additional paragraph added late in a project can take an extra hour of cost if a brochure needs to be reset. These extra costs can easily be avoided with better planning.
#Tip 2 Avoid one-off campaigns
One-off campaigns, such as an advert in a newspaper, very rarely work. The same goes for boosting posts on social media. Ask yourself whether this is really generating sales or is this done on a whim because it’s easy and seems cheap.
You need to achieve buyer confidence - this requires planning and exposure through different marketing channels. On average, potential customers need to be exposed to a product/service 10 times before developing the confidence to buy. Think about the iPad when it first launched. This was a new product that wasn't driven by consumer need. There were TV adverts, classified adverts, PR, reviews, outdoor advertising, a website, resellers and retail shops in most major shopping centre. Obviously there are many other factors to iPad impressive sales stats, but the breadth of communication channels used, meant that the product was impossible for consumers to ignore.
It's even more prevalent with smaller scale businesses, as the room for error is can be tiny. So think carefully about the timing of your campaign and whether you are hitting your target market with your message enough times through enough communication channels.
Instead of wasting time on 'suck it and see campaigns’, save your money and wait until you can plan and implement campaigns properly.
#Tip 3 Maximise good content between agencies and departments
Following on from #Tip 2, you need to maximise the good content you have. Even if you are promoting your business through various marketing channels, ask yourself whether agencies and/or in-house departments are working efficiently together. I've worked in some businesses where marketing, PR and sales teams simply do not communicate! It's a bizarre concept to me and a huge waste of an opportunity.
Each department/agency is chasing after some valuable content to sell, market, post on social media or secure press coverage with.
But if the sales team are sitting on a great case study, the PR consultant could turn this into press coverage, the social media consultant could engage with the client and develop into a series of appealing posts, the seo consultant could use this content for link building and a new blog for the website, and an advertising company could turn this into a series of adverts or feature it in some marketing material.
Not only is this much more time efficient, but it also means your target audience is being exposed to this strong case study through different marketing channels and therefore they are more likely to react positively to it.
#Tip 4 Make your marketing messages clear
Ensure your messages are clear. Many businesses forget that customers don’t have the same background knowledge or experiences as staff who are dealing with that product or service every day. In a culture of swipping through information quickly on phones, tablets and laptops, businesses have milliseconds to make an impact.
Ensure images aren’t misleading and that headline messages are clear for any ‘novice’. Put yourself in your target markets shoes and focus on messages that will meet their needs.
If you don’t, you could be wasting a lot of time and money on expensive websites and advertising campaigns. If your potential customers dont understand, then your conversion rates will be non-existent. Test which messages are appealing to your audience the most. E-Newsletters, social media stats and google analytics all help provide insight into which headlines and which campaigns are ‘speaking’ to your audience the best.
#Tip 5 Ensure time on social media is effective
Social media channels can be effective or a complete waste of time and money! Social media isn’t about getting huge numbers - it’s about engaging with your target audience in order to develop brand loyalty and new sales. I’m afraid that, unless you sell bikinis, all those ‘models’ who follow your business probably aren’t going to turn into valuable clients! Cross check your target market with social media demographics. Ask yourself which platforms will reach your audience the best.
Whether you enlist a social media company or manage the social account yourself, try to alternate the following 4 strategies and don’t miss any out! To begin with, spend 25% of the time on each, although these percentages may change slightly over time as you test and monitor your posts.
- Post free content:
People will follow you if you are providing them with content they find interesting, useful and free! Whether this is a white paper, an instruction video, some top tips (like this article!) or something that will brighten up their day.
- Post social content:
It's called SOCIAL for a reason. People connect with people. Don’t hide behind a logo. Even large businesses like Tesla, Apple and Virgin promote what their CEOs are doing. Post about a new starter, or a team building day, or a charity initiative one of your staff members is doing outside of work. Of course, think carefully about your brands personality and ensure these posts are representative of your business. Posting images of your staff dancing on a bar, moaning about being hungover, or slagging of competitors isn’t the right thing to do!
- Sell, sell, sell
It's an old sales adage but ‘if you dont ask you dont get’. You could have the most engaged following in the world, but you won’t generate any sales if you don’t try to directly sell your products and services! Think about how you can increase sales…offer an exclusive discount on your social media pages and include a clear call to action!
- Engage with others
Don’t just sit on your own profile talking about yourself all day! Follow the social media profiles of clients, partners and thought leaders. Share their interesting content, comment on their posts and endorse something they have achieved. Visit online forums and help others with useful advice. All of this will help demonstrate your expertise in the market and develop your brand personality even further.
These simple tips can help reduce your marketing costs and improve the effectiveness of your campaigns. We would love to know how you get on with implementing these strategies, and if you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact email@example.com
About Empower Marketing
Empower Marketing Ltd is an exciting marketing agency with a proven track record of developing and implementing marketing strategy, graphic design, website development and PR. Our management team are members of CIM, each with over 18 years experience of helping to grow businesses across a range of sectors.
We are passionate about empowering organisations to understand their marketing campaigns. If fact, we prefer to keep a company's marketing budget as cost effective as possible as this makes you more successful with bigger profit margins in the long run. Click here to contact us today