Are you ready to start your business? Or do you already have one that is struggling to make a profit? The pandemic has impacted small businesses immensely, but your business can thrive with the right marketing plan and a wise budget.
With marketing leaders worldwide promising amazing results if you take their classes or use their tools, it can be confusing to navigate the waters. Should you do it all on your own, or should you trust a marketing agency to do the work for you? Whatever decision you make, it’s essential to have a budget before you begin.
How Much Money Should You Spend on Marketing?
We’ll be honest; you probably won’t like our answer. The truth is…it depends.
Marketing helps you create new revenue, engage new and old customers, and establish yourself as a player in your industry. Between 8-12% of your income should go to marketing. But what if you don’t have income yet?
It’s important to note that your budget for marketing will be higher before you launch versus after you launch. Your business is unknown, and the money you spend at the forefront of the launch will go towards four unique goals.
- Stand out from the competition: Who are your competitors? Are they local or across the world? Once you figure that out, you’ll want to do everything you can to differentiate yourself from them.
- Build your unique voice on the market: The way you talk to your target audience and how you are perceived online is your unique brand voice. Customers build trust with brands when they have consistent positive and engaging interactions with them.
- Find your customers: The most crucial part of marketing is finding your customers where they already are. Before you launch, you can grow your email lists, social media followers, and traction through ads to establish a customer group.
- Equip the business with a quality online presence and visual elements: Before you launch, you’ll need a website, an online marketplace, social media accounts, and more. The more professional these look, the better. Graphic design, photos, and videos can help buff up your online presence and build trust with your customers.
Should You Hire a Marketing Agency or Handle It Internally?
Marketing your small business is definitely something you can do on your own….but we can’t promise you’ll have good results. Many tools exist to let you do it on your own: Canva to create graphics, social media platforms to reach your audience, stock image sites to share photos, the list goes on. These tools are great, but without the right skill set and ability to think about the strategy, the time you put in could be all for nothing.
What other options do you have? Hire a marketing agency! Marketers each have unique skill sets that make them valuable agency employees. Graphic designers, copywriters, paid media specialists, market researchers, and photographers all come together to work on your account to provide you with the best results possible.
Clear Function Tip: Don’t underestimate the value of good design. Often taken for granted, graphic design can elevate the professionalism of your marketing collateral. Your visual identity is something that your customers will become familiar with – don’t miss out on a great marketing opportunity with poor design.
What To Look For When Hiring an Agency
The biggest thing to look at when hiring a marketing agency is their previous work. Visit their website and read their case studies. See if they have worked with industries similar to yours. There are often unspoken rules between industries and if they already know these then you’ll spend less time prepping them on the front end.
Set up an intro meeting to hear from the agency leadership team. Describe your wants and concerns for marketing and listen to the plan they propose. Agencies vary in size and cost, meeting with several can help you find the perfect fit for your business.
Invest in Paid Marketing
Paid marketing is a great way to increase your profit margin quickly and effectively. Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, and Google are just a few of the platforms that allow for paid media campaigns. Large ad campaigns can be effective, but the day-to-day ongoing campaigns are also important to invest in.
Large campaigns can be a great way to make a splash. New videos, graphics, ads with multiple versions of copy all play a part in a large, strategic campaign. They help you to reach new segments of customers but can also be rather expensive.
Day-to-day campaigns that focus on one to two ads meant to target your local audience often see better targeting results. The data from long-term campaigns lets you see how your business is performing in different target markets. With that data, you can begin to understand your audience better and easily make changes.
Are You Ready To Market Your Business?
Whether your business is brand new or you’ve tried out marketing on your own and it hasn’t been successful, Clear Function can help. Our dedicated team of marketing experts can evaluate your business plan and come up with a complete marketing strategy. Contact us today to get started!