When Should My Small Business Hire Online Marketing Experts?
Making Tough Decisions:
~ As a small business owner, should I hire a online marketing agency?
~ Where should I advertise to get the most from my marketing dollars?
~ How much of my revenue should I spend on online marketing?
When you started your business you inevitably had to wear many hats; so many at times you probably wondered if you were coming or going. You worried about making sales, generating leads, building your products or services, taking care of your clients, marketing and networking to get your name out, advertising, joining the right associations, etc. What you really wanted to do was buried deep down in the rubble somewhere…You know, the reason you started the business in the first place.
As your hard-work and diligence has paid off, you finally have a little bit of breathing room. You want to get back to the reason you started the business and start handing off some of the daily grind to others. You may not be ready to hire full-time for all of the important roles, but you know if you had the right team the sky could be the limit!
Many companies in your position have moved to outsourcing for their marketing expertise. Growing companies need to have people they can trust and rely on to look out for their business as if they were part of the core leadership team. If marketing is not part of your core competency, you need to find and hire a marketing company that will be an instrumental part of your team. Three quick reasons to get a marketing company on-board now are:
1. Subject Matter Expertise: As a full-service online marketing agency, with a team of experts and resources can support all your online marketing needs (SEO, Pay Per Click, Social Media, Web Design, Reputation Management, etc.). Finding one employee that is an expert in all these areas is rare.
2. Cost Efficiencies: Hiring an online marketing agency is more cost effective and efficient than hiring full-time employee(s). You will have no overhead costs with out-sourcing, like 401K, health insurance, bonus or high salaries.
3. Continual Monitoring: Online marketing changes constantly, you need professionals you can trust, that understand your business strategy and can quickly adjust to trends in the marketplace, keeping you at the forefront of your industry.
By now you see where this article is heading. You need a full-service online marketing company for your own piece of mind and strategic business growth.
Do you have a Marketing Plan? Do you know how much your monthly or annual online marketing budget should be?
Setting A Marketing Budget
For most small businesses the percentage of revenue committed to a online marketing budget is determined by analyzing the industry’s buying power, size of opportunities and the market share you currently have; comparing it to the market share you can or want to obtain.
“…How much money are you willing to invest in your online marketing? How much can you afford? If you are planning on launching a new product or business, you may want to increase your budget figure to as much as 10 percent of your expected gross sales… ” US Small Business Administration
Every industry and company is different, so you should adjust the percentages accordingly, based on your specific business plan. If your company is B2C, you should raise these numbers by 1-3% to see desired results. Most Pharmaceutical and Retail companies spend a significant amount more than the averages. These industries will generally spend around 20% of annual sales on marketing. Where company’s focusing on sales only to a Government or business with a particular niche-market may deduct 1-2% from the above figures.
Surveys show the average Small Business Marketing budget is approximately 5%. If you are not spending at least 5% of your revenue on marketing, you need to evaluate your business plan.
Do You Have a Marketing Plan?
Do you know how you should allocate your marketing dollars? Does it make sense to invest in technology, Yellow Pages, Google Adwords, your website? What kind of ROI are you expecting?
How much do you know about online marketing? The internet needs to be a major part of your plan. After all, when was the last time you used the phone book to find a new local restaurant? Or when was the last time you opened a paper map to plan a road trip? It’s been awhile, huh? Most people use the Internet to find everything and anything they are looking for.
Your Online Marketing plan should have a well balanced mix of online strategies, including:
- A website with great content, easy functionality, keyword rich, and has clearly defined “call to action” buttons and links
- An ongoing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy so your site appears at the top of search engine rankings, and let’s get you ahead of your competition
- Pay Per Click (PPC) strategies for targeted advertising
- Public Relations and email marketing campaigns that appeal to both, prospects and customers.
- A calculated and well planned Social Media presence. (A sound social media strategy increases your brand awareness, monitors brand reputation, engages your consumers, and provides long term benefits never seen before with marketing strategies.)
Because there are hundreds of millions of users engaged and using these websites (Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yelp, Twitter, etc., etc) everyday, leading businesses are finding new revenue streams by using social media and Internet advertising strategies to promote their brand, build rapport with their customers, and prospect for new leads.
So, what have you learned today?
Unless your core-competency is marketing, you need to hire a marketing firm to promote and advertise your company. If you are not spending at least 5% of revenues on marketing, you are not allocating enough of your budget to marketing and getting the word out about how great you are…And last but not least, if the majority of your marketing budget and efforts are not dedicated to Internet Marketing strategies, you are more than likely “behind the times” and not capitalizing on great opportunity to generate new revenue streams.
The team at Conversion Pipeline, are Online Marketing Experts and have the strength in resume to back it up.
Give them a call today to have a customized Online Marketing Roadmap created specifically for your business needs. A Roadmap will provide you with guidance and show you exactly how they can help promote your brand and grow your business on the Internet.
Are You Ready To Generate More Online Leads? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conversion Pipeline – Top Online Marketing Agency