Every dollar counts in a small business’s marketing budget, so we’ve shared 3 ways to cut your marketing costs without sacrificing results.
Nix Your Print Ads
You could say we’re a bit biased here at Belly, being a technology company and all, but small businesses across the nation feel the same way. In a 2013 Belly Merchant Survey, 81% tried print advertising (the most widely used form of advertising), but less than 50% found it to be effective.
Paper isn’t a trackable medium, and it is one of the priciest forms of advertising. When you invest your hard-earned marketing dollars, you should know what your return on that investment is. For this reason, big and small brands alike are shifting their dollars to digital marketing where data reveals what’s working, and just as importantly, what isn’t.
Micro-Localize and Detail Your Digital Ads
In Chicago, we have over 200 neighborhoods that make up the 234 sq. miles of our Windy City. We’re known for our deep dish pizza, and each neighborhood has its own notable pie joint well worth visiting. That said, if I live on the North side of the city, the likelihood that I will travel to the West side for pizza is extremely low. I have tasty options right down the street!
Now let’s pretend I own a deep dish place on the North side of the city, in a neighborhood called Uptown. Being the savvy business owner that I am, I’m already targeting customers online via Google AdWords campaigns. So far, so good.
One common mistake a business owner in this position makes is paying for keywords that are local, but not local enough. For example, “Chicago pizza” is local, but “Uptown pizza” is micro-local, and most likely a less expensive keyword because it is not as popular as "Chicago pizza". Thousands of customers search “Chicago pizza” every day, but I only want to attract those in my immediate area; the customers who have a chance of walking through my doors, placing an order, and returning.
Cut your marketing costs even further by adding product details to your keywords. “Uptown deep dish pizza” is micro-local AND product focused. My specialty is deep dish, so I don’t want to spend marketing dollars to attract thin crust lovers.
Updating my AdWords campaign may result in less ‘leads’, but that’s a great thing when paying per click because it costs you less. Plus, the leads that are generated match my ideal customer profile: Uptown, deep dish, pizza lovers. Now those are customers worth paying for.
Invest in Your Current Customers
New customers are sexy. Existing customers are sexier (and 6 – 8 times cheaper). When considering your marketing costs, ensure that a chunk of your budget is invested in keeping your existing customers. It’s easy to take for granted or forget that 80% of sales come from only 20% of your customers, but losing just one of those customers could mean you have to acquire (and pay to do so) 20 (or many more) new customers.
Hold yourself accountable for tracking and reviewing the results of your new customer acquisition marketing efforts, and cut those that don’t prove to be effective. With those savings, invest in a loyalty program that keeps your existing customers coming back, and more often.