In an ideal world your marketing budget would have the same impact on sales, wherever you spent it but unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.

The return on investment can differ hugely across the board with some forms of marketing offering little or no direct return – but that doesn’t mean it’s a waste of money.

There are some things which offer an immediate impact but you should always resist the temptation to put all your eggs in that one basket because as quickly as the success came about it can disappear just as quickly!

According to research by the Wall Street Journal, the average company will allocate just over 10% of their total budget to their marketing expenses over the next 12 months. That is despite the fact that to be successful any business needs to do some elements of marketing – just so people know you exist.

With so many different platforms out there it’s not just where you should be spending your money you need to think about but also where you should be spending your time, after all there are plenty of free options which can help you increase awareness almost immediately.

Local SEO

Local Search Marketing

The days of posting your number in the Yellow Pages and waiting for people to ring are long gone but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take full advantage of all of the various online listings.

Claiming all local online listings and optimising them will help put your business quite literally on the map. Around 72% of consumers who still perform a local search visit businesses within a five mile radius so locality is still vital.

Making sure your listings are all consistent and accurate will show search engines they can trust your business which will help them appear higher up the SEO rankings, so this is a more integrated approach than spending money on a local SEO campaign.

There are so many different options out there, we know it’s easier to get bogged down so here are a few sites to get you started:

  • Google my Business
  • Bing Places for Business,
  • Yahoo
  • Yelp
  • Facebook

Mobile Marketing

Never under estimate the power on mobile phones, after all that is where more than 50% off all web traffic now comes from.

But it’s now not just about having websites that are optimised for use on mobile phones and tablets, there are so many more ways you can make mobile marketing work for you.

For starters though you have to get the basics right so you can move up the google rankings:

Your website though is now just one of many ways you can market to mobile phone users with an app, text messaging and social media chat functionality all now proving more popular than ever.

SMS messaging is nowhere near as popular as it was, following the emergence of WhatsApp, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger but many businesses are still finding success with SMS opt in campaigns.

You can offer rewards for people to join so it means you then have mobile numbers to send out news, offers and direct links.

Because so few people now use text messaging, when you do get a message there’s something of a novelty factor and the opening rate is far higher than that of an email – although there can be a higher cost, especially in the short term.

As you build up an email list it’s unlikely you will be charged by your mailing service – but once you have more than 2,000 recipients signed up you can face monthly charges of more than £20. For the equivalent number of text messages though, you would be looking at £80 per campaign.

You might think you’re late to the party with an app, but the reality is thousands of new ones hit the market every month and the popularity is showing no sign of let up.

In 2017, there were 178 billion app downloads. That number is expected to grow to 205 billion this year, and 258 billion in 2022, which is a huge 45% increase over five years.

Around 80% of all smartphone users use apps every day so do you have something different you can offer your customers?

Just like when you’re building a website you really can spend anything on an app, depending on your developer. But there are also cheaper alternatives with plenty of websites around which let you build your own, without needing to be an experienced coder.

SEO

SEO optimization

You can’t read a single article about how to be successful online without a lengthy discussion about SEO and we’re going to tell you nothing different.

But, despite all the advice a targeted campaign is still rarely top of people’s marketing spend but right now it’s more important than ever to do your homework because things are changing.

If you set up your keywords and have just left them alone, it’s time to revisit them with long-tailed keywords now playing a far bigger part. This element of SEO is only going to grow too as the number of voice searches using Amazon’s Echo, Google Home or Siri? Continues to grow.

Another key area is backlinks, which are quite simply one of the most valuable assets to any website, but how can you get more?

Tools like Ahrefs helps you learn why your competitors rank so high and what you need to do to outrank them, thanks to three powerful SEO tools.

  • Organic traffic research – See what keywords your competitors are ranking for and which pages bring the most traffic from search engines.
  • Backlink checker – See which websites are linking to your competitors’ sites and gauge the quality of their backlink profile.
  • Paid traffic research – Learn whether your competitors are doing paid search advertising and where they funnel their paid traffic.

The site, which offers all new users a seven-day free trial, also lets you do all your backlink research, and the fact the indexes are updated every 15 minutes means you will always be up to date with all the latest information.

If you’re still not comfortable dealing with SEO, let us do it for you.

Influencer Marketing

According to research by Linqia, 39% of marketers plan on increasing their influencer marketing budget in 2019, with the majority planning to spend between $25,000 to $100,000 this year.

Those figures might be scaring you right now but everyone can reap the rewards of influencer marketing whether it’s through social media mentions or valuable link building programmes, all of which can help you hugely grow your brand and website visibility.

If your budget is limited but you are a product-based business then getting influencers on board is easier than you might think as you can send out free products for reviews and competitions which can only be good for you.

social media

Social media

We have talked in great detail about the importance of social media and 2019 is no different except for the fact that to really make a difference on Facebook you are encouraged to spend, as this will dramatically improve your reach and impact.

You can read more on the subject here.

But how do you decide on whether you should spend on Facebook or Google adwords?

For years we have all had the importance of Google AdWords drilled into us but times are changing (in all honesty they have been changing for a long time) so should your spending move with the times too?

Keywords have been the go-to tool since the internet began (well since Google did anyway) as the way to your website found and generate click-throughs but are they still as effective following the launch of social media adverts?

Click here to read more.

Conclusion

There are so many options out there that it’s easy to end up with a scatter gun approach to your marketing. So, take some time out to decide exactly what it is you want to achieve from your marketing and then you need to show conviction in your actions.

Chopping and changing your approach to chase results will have a negative impact in the long run so give everything time before you decide whether it’s working or not.