Since this story is about a subject that can seem mysterious at times – digital marketing, I decided something mysterious, like the Seven-Per-Cent-Solution, would be a good title.
It’s also a good title because 7% just happens to be the percentage of gross revenue that a small business should spend on marketing. Just ask the SBA.
This, of course, means that if your business is grossing $500,000 per year, a good starting point in determining your marketing budget should probably be around $35,000 annually.
But believe it or not, the Seven-Per-Cent-Solution was already taken! Who knew? 😉
Actually, 7% may be a bit too low anyway. In many cases, 8% is closer to a reasonable starting point.
And even though 7% is considered the starting point, many businesses spend even less. And if there’s one area that a business should not underspend on, it’s definitely marketing.
Equally concerning is that many businesses don’t have a coherent plan for their marketing budget. So the money they do spend is, at best, probably not utilized as well as it could be. And sometimes, it’s almost totally wasted.
One of the major reasons businesses underspend marketing is that many business owners look at marketing as an expense. Which it is. Sort of. (Especially without a coherent marketing plan.)
But you know all those cliches that say it takes money to make money. Well, phrases became cliches because there’s truth to them. And spending money on marketing is definitely one of those cases.
But in reality, marketing done right is a great investment. And establishing a digital marketing budget is a great way to start.
And since I’m the founder of a company with SEO in its name, it would be a good guess that I’m going to talk a bit about search engine optimization (SEO). But I’m not talking about SEO because it’s part of my company’s name.
I’m talking about SEO because, on average, it delivers a 200 – 250% return on investment (ROI). That means for every dollar that a business invests in SEO, they can get $2.50 back. And once a business owner is comfortable with this fact, it becomes much easier for them to write a check.
In general, since SEO offers the best ROI, as a digital marketing agency, we recommend it to almost every business looking to grow its sales.
And since local SEO, particularly the Google Maps Local 3-Pack, can offer even better ROI than “regular” organic SEO, we tend to focus a bit more on local SEO for small business.
Especially helping them by setting up local SEO packages to help them rank in the Google 3-Pack.
We find that SEO for local businesses is a particularly underserved area. And this is often the case for mid-sized businesses as well.
In fact, many local businesses haven’t even claimed their Google My Business listing. Or made any efforts to be ranked in local search or Google Maps.
And as much as I love SEO, there are, of course, other types of digital marketing that are important too.
There’s also a place for pay per click (PPC) advertising, such as Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads).
PPC ads can be a great way to get instant leads and to get new customers quickly, in the time it takes for your SEO campaign to start producing results, which is typically 3 – 6 months.
You can get great results from a well-designed paid ad campaign. But PPC ads can get quite expensive, very quickly. So just like with SEO, they really are best left up to a specialist.
And content marketing, a cousin of SEO, is a great way to generate new business. And it can have a great ROI as well.
Many companies are looking for content marketing solutions. And if your company is one of them, make sure to choose an agency with experience. Because the type and quality of the content that is created is critical to generating interest in your products or services.
And in 2021, it would be borderline negligent not to make sure that a business was taking advantage of the benefits of social media marketing.
Whether you want to regularly post news about your business and industry to increase customer engagement and comfort level.
Or run a Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Instagram Ads, or LinkedIn Ads campaign.
Social media ads can be very effective. But they are not suitable for every business or niche.
So it’s important to work with an agency with enough experience to be capable of pointing you in the right direction. And to set you up for success.
The good news is that if done correctly, social media marketing (SMM) will also result in a significant, positive ROI. So again, it isn’t so much of an expense as it is an investment.
We are in what are probably the most uncertain and difficult times of the last 50 years. But one thing for certain is that people are spending more time than ever on the Internet.
And the best way to reach them is, without a doubt, digital marketing. Online marketing is considerably more effective than traditional marketing. And focusing on digital marketing will increase your chance of success.
So if you want to grow your business in 2021, contact me to ask about digital marketing solutions. And let’s talk about ways we can help your business grow and prosper in 2021 and beyond.