As a business owner in a small to mid-size organization, your priority is driving traffic and sales to your business. You know a solid marketing strategy is necessary to achieve the growth you want. But, how can you be sure that money you budget for marketing will yield the revenue results you need?
Today, we’ve got a primer for how to allocate your marketing dollars wisely and nimbly for increased traffic to both your website and your doorstep (if you own a brick-and-mortar.)
Romain Berg is a full-service marketing agency. We back up our traffic claims with hard data, so you know precisely what you’re paying for. We don’t succeed unless you do, and we love delivering results, not hype.
Fill out our contact form today, and we’ll partner with you to increase your traffic and your conversions, reliably, for outsourced marketing you can trust.
Use the right tools for the job
Many well-intentioned owners have a basic knowledge of digital marketing practices. They may have created a rudimentary buyer persona or two and set up a couple of social media business pages.
These owners may also be posting a few Instagram photos or writing a few blog posts when time allows. Their websites are functional and give them scheduling, registration, or a purchase page online.
Though this foundation is undoubtedly necessary, it’s far from optimal. Carefully choosing the shape and scope of your sales funnel and the tools to help you fill it at every layer is the first trick of good marketing.
Start with an optimized website
81% of retail shoppers search or research products online before purchase. And, because B2B buyers are also humans, their professional purchasing behaviors mirror consumer behaviors to a high degree.
When your website shows at the top of Google search results, it’s an automatic win. And, do you have the time to stay on top of changing search algorithms, keyword structure, and placement, or content structure and creation? (Hint, that’s how you stay relevant in consumer and B2B searches.)
If you’re like most owners, the answer is a hard “no.” You’re likely busy servicing your clients, staying on top of inventory, building your brand offline, networking, or other elements of the operation.
Hiring a trusted digital marketing firm to build or optimize your website is your first reliable ROI in digital marketing.
Regardless of who you choose for website build-out or optimization, be sure the following is true:
- Your web designer uses a platform you or another service provider can easily edit later, like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace.
- You can access your site metrics and analytics with a few button-clicks on your own.
- You can understand the basics of your site metrics and when to course-correct if your traffic and click-thru data under-perform.
- You have access to update content on your own if you choose.
- You have full ownership of and access to your site after it’s built and published.
- Your design is simple, polished, and creates an outstanding user experience.
Even though you’ll have a digital presence outside your site on social media or a simple landing page, your URL is still where people will get to know you and what you’re about. Further, if your business makes things to sell, your website will likely be where many or most of your transactions occur.
Researching your industry and company keywords and placing them strategically on your web pages is essential for landing a high search rank. If you have an in-house webmaster or marketing team, you can still benefit from an outside perspective and leading-edge agency tools on your site for keyword placement and algorithm updates.
Which leads us to our second high-ROI outsourced digital marketing service: Search Engine Optimization.
Search Engine Optimization is, at its foundation, about keywords. However, SEO is a fluid, ever-changing game of strategy as well. If your business is not yet at a point where you can hire a dedicated in-house team or person to win this game, you’ll need to outsource your SEO.
Outsourcing your SEO to a reputable firm provides the following:
- Regular keyword research on your industry, as well as your competitors.
- Long-tail keyword research relevant to your brand.
- Periodic keyword adjustment relative to changing Google algorithms.
- It’s no longer enough to load your website or blog content indiscriminately with keywords. Google penalizes sites that do this. Instead, your content must continually present keywords in conversational, natural language, blending in other words and phrases that indicate careful composition and integrity of intent.
- Link-building: the more you link your content with other reputable sites, the higher your search rank.
- Mobile optimization: Google penalizes sites that aren’t fully visible and usable on all mobile devices.
- Consistent, compelling content across all your channels, including website, social media, and offline.
Outsourcing your SEO also means that you’ll have the advantage of all the (expensive) software tools agencies use to do the work of keyword research without having to commit the extra dollars to ownership. In other words, use only what you need, when you need it most.
Further, it is the job of a marketing agency to stay current on all the latest search engine rules and changes–a thing that would take you away from productively serving your clients and customers. After all, you’re most productive when you’re doing what you love most, which is probably not digital marketing, #amiright?
How long does it take to see digital marketing results?
This is the best question ever. We have a couple of answers for you. Think of effective digital marketing as a crockpot meal. Sure, you can microwave a few chunks of beef and some veggies, but you’ll likely come out with an inedible mess.
For the best flavor, you have to start with quality ingredients, the right temperature, and enough time for all the flavor essences to blend and begin influencing each other. You also have to periodically taste your creation to make sure the result will be what you intended to produce, and you don’t overcook the meat.
Your end goal is not so much search ranking (although it’s still relevant), it’s growing an engaged audience, generating leads, and driving sales.
So, for both improved search rank and sales conversions, your DFY (Done For You) digital marketing may take four to six months.
Check out this article by Forbes.com. They provide a superior breakdown on how to manage your expectations when you outsource your digital marketing.
In our slow-cooker analogy, months 1-4 are all about placing ingredients in the pot. You’ll begin with website audits, keyword research, on-page SEO changes and upgrades, and content creation.
Months five and six are about social media and continued content creation as you keep defining and refining your audience, your brand voice, and your calls to action.
Even as you’re building your digital marketing foundation, an agency worth their–ahem– salt, will give you monthly updates on your traffic metrics. You’ll see how each measure performs after you roll it out.
Six months and counting
Once your traffic has reached 5000 or more, you can choose to employ Conversion Rate Optimization tactics or launch other digital marketing initiatives customized to your brand.
Finally, with sound digital marketing strategy, your traffic should continue to increase as the seasons roll past.
On the flip side, just like when you leave your crockpot unattended, your marketing stew can lose flavor, texture, and satisfaction if you attempt to “set it and forget it.”
To stay “delicious” to your audience, you’ll need to research and execute ways to keep them coming back to the table for more of your tasty products or services.
We wish there were an easy way to answer this question. There isn’t. Because digital marketing services are so varied and expansive, it’s like walking into a realtor’s office and asking, “how much for a new house this week?”
What we recommend when setting your marketing budget is this:
- If you haven’t yet launched your business, build about 12% of your desired first-year revenue into your business plan for marketing.
- Define your marketing needs by the project, and get several quotes from regional firms so you can compare fees and project inclusions for your best value option. Project examples include:
- Set aside a monthly dollar amount for PPC and Social Media ads, content creation, and other services. Your agency should provide you with several monthly retainer price points and the services included. You can make a decision now based on current revenue, and expand your monthly services later as your traffic and sales increase.
- View the cost of outsourcing digital marketing as hiring a low-risk, high-reward extension of your team. When you do your research and demand data on results, your investment will pay off.
What about organic traffic?
Organic traffic is a critical part of your overall marketing strategy and works best in conjunction with paid traffic.
The downside is that organic traffic takes longer to result in higher search rankings. The upside is, it’s free.
Using a blend of sharing, referrals, and reviews increases your following on social media and often increases your website traffic and engagement as well.
Working with an agency can help you track both your paid and organic traffic and craft content and calls-to-action to keep both inbound pathways running optimally.
Outsource your digital marketing with Romain Berg
When you’re ready for focused strategy and reliable metrics on your website traffic and conversions, Romain Berg’s team of experts is here to help. We’ll grow your audience, increase your traffic, and pave the way to convert your visitors into loyal customers.
Fill out our contact form today, and together we’ll launch a powerful digital marketing partnership that delivers results, not hype.