What Can You Buy with $120,000?
Samsung’s 105-inch curved Ultra HD TV.
This house at 126 N 38, Omaha NE 68131
One tall coffee from Starbucks every single day for the next 184 years
These days, most commerce can be tracked with a level of precision that old school marketers might dismiss as voodoo magic, but it’s not always easy. The good old Nielsen Ratings are great example of the struggle against obsolescence. When TV first became popular, advertising rates depended on paper diaries filled out by viewers every time they watched something, Eventually Nielsen developed a box that electronically spied on your TV habits.
Advertisers began demanding more information about specific audiences, so the "personal people meter" was devised. It required each viewer to enter their demographic data into the box, then log in each time they sat down to a TV show. You can already see how inaccurate all these collection methods are. Nielsen's goal now is to move to more passive systems while figuring out how to include online viewership, TiVo-ed programs, Video-on-Demand, Netflix, and a dozen other means of content delivery that advertisers are interested in.
Exactly how much revenue is each of your marketing channels generating? If you are the slightest bit hazy on the effectiveness of past campaigns, you're probably wasting money. Return on Investment counts, especially in marketing! So stop budgeting for methods you think MIGHT work, but you're not sure.
How's Your Website doing?
How are the conversion stats on your main website? If the goal of your site isn't necessarily lead generation, what does it do, and how are you measuring it? Most business owners expect their main site to generate some kind of traffic into sales which means it can always improve.
Does your site have calls to action on every page? Is it clear and focused? Logically arranged with a sales funnel in mind? Is it graphically pleasing and arranged with the human brain in mind? Branded well and consistently?
Now let's take a long look into the present. What follows are budget items that your competitors have been funding for a while now, and quite possibly why they are above of you on the first Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page). To reiterate, these are budget categories that are standard for the marketing budget that is serious about taking advantage of the opportunities bestowed on us by a virtual online world.
What to Start Budgeting For
Search Engines have one job: Return the BEST possible results to the searcher. How would you do that if you were deciding who gets top billing on the returns page? Yes- you would examine the CONTENT of the site, looking for recent, fresh articles, relevance to the search term, information that is helpful to the visitor, and the number of links to and from the site. Google and other search engine robots use way more criteria than these. By far, online marketing experts will tell you that content is the way to Google's heart. Budget for:
- Blogging. Either by current employees, or outsource it.
- Offers like e-books, white papers, product reviews,
- Website text- make sure it is perfect, tested, edited, graphically designed, and sprinkled with the right keywords. An example of a good keyword would be: Lead generation Savannah GA
- Landing pages- Simple and direct, with an action that takes them toward a sale.
Also, there are a whole lot of other areas to consider. Content is volume one of an encyclopedia of online marketing necessities. As you grow into ti, you need to consider…
Search engine optimization- There's a lot to this, since algorithms and markets change rapidly. Using a keyword that everyone else is using won't get you noticed.
Conversion rate optimization- Finding out what messages perform best, when and with whom.
Multivariate testing- always testing alternatives in a contest of the fittest. The easy editability of online content makes this a no-brainer.
Front end web design- making your content not only read well, but look good on screen
Ebooks, whitepapers, infographics- visual communication has changed a lot in the past 10 years. With the onset of tablets and phones, a whole lot of reading is done on screens instead of 8 1/2 by 11 paper. Here's an article on Design from our blog
Backend web development- This where serious customization and problem solving takes place. Code-writers and tinkerers can make a website do miracles.
Web and Mobile applications- if it doesn't look good on a phone screen, or connect a user with you in one tap or click, visitors are gone to the next competitor who does have app-based content.
Business systems integration
Automation can really make your marketing hum. Make all your customer data transparent and instant, accessible to everyone and integrated with HR, Finance, Production and more.
Social media expertise
Join conversations online with people who love you AND hate you. Find ways to win over skeptics and reward good customers. And best of all generate leads with regular posts. In many larger companies there is an entire department managing this, and in many more medium companies there's at least one person who handles it.
Social media monitoring - listening and responding to conversations that are pertinent to your business - is key to knowing your customers and knowing how to make and keep them happy.
Community management & growth
Interacting with your best customers and creating an environment that is favorable to relationships is the key to sustaining positive customer interactions for your business.
Social customer support
The faster you respond to a customer complaint on social media, the more heroic you are. Stories about rapid and truly helpful customer service travel across the internet like wildfire.
Now, what would it cost to hire a team of experienced marketers who think like natives in the jungle of digital communication? A team that could take care of all the above in a coordinated and under-budget fashion?
You could start small, with a plan for growth. Spend to get found, first of all. That means applying resources to the goal of increasing the flow of quality leads by moving into their environments. SEO analytics and a focus on content can get you started.
However, the smart money might be on hiring a web marketing company to do all this for you, or a kind of hybrid where you might add a project manager to work with outside vendors to get it done.
Now, what can you get for $120,000?
You could hire two people to get you started with at least three blog posts per week, create and deploy landing pages and offers, researching keywords for all your clients and locations, reviewing analytics data and staying on top of your social media activity.
Plus, your new marketers need to invest time in maintaining strategic alignment with sales and executive functions, creating a favorable environment for inbound marketing to flourish.
Don’t underestimate the amount of training it will take to get new employees up to speed. It is a steep learning curve to become an expert in inbound marketing methodology, new software platforms, search engine optimization best practices and conversion rate optimization.
Also, you may have a difficult time finding the best people, since they tend to gravitate toward agencies that consult or perform inbound marketing duties for a clientele.
OR $120,000 per year can replace some of your outdated marketing projects and buy you a partnership with an inbound marketing agency that can deliver immediate results such as:
- Quicker time to see ROI - There's no need to search for, hire and train your in-house people
- Technical Expertise begins at a high level in every area of inbound techniques
- Broad Experience drawn from a history of satisfied clients
At United WebWorks we take the idea of partnership seriously. If you are ready for that conversion / sales trend line to stay in "up" mode over the long haul, we're ready to help. Lead Generation Savannah GA is what we do!