Working with a Tight Budget in Marketing for Manufacturers
All the strategies we’ve discussed might sound overly ambitious, the product of hype surrounding the latest marketing tactics. The very concept of inbound marketing, to traditional marketers, seems like wishful thinking. But the greatest beauty of these digital marketing strategies is that they solve the biggest pain point for most manufacturers: budgetary constraints.
Anyone with a big marketing budget can throw money until they find something that works, but most manufacturers today cannot afford that luxury. Instead, manufacturing marketers are limited to heavily restricted monetary limitations that magnify the significance of each marketing decision and minimize the number of possible campaigns a marketer can pursue.
Fortunately, you can determine the ROI of each channel with relative ease. Consider your average lifetime customer value: if you can, calculate the average amount of revenue an average new customer generates for your company over the course of your entire relationship. Also consider your close ratio, the number of sales you close divided by the number of qualified leads you generate. Multiply these figures together, and you’ll wind up with an “average revenue per lead.” You can use this figure to approximate how many leads you’ll need to generate in order to make your budget worth spending.
A diagram for this formula should go here.
Keep in mind that these strategies are all focused on long-term sustainability and exponential growth. In month one, you might not even come close to hitting your goals, but by month four, you should be consistently meeting them. After a year of running these types of campaigns consistently, your spend will remain constant but your impact and your incoming leads should grow far beyond the original goals you set.
The overhead for that incubatory pilot period is also minimal, especially when compared to traditional advertising strategies, which are showing diminished returns on investment and shorter-term impact. For example, pay-per-click campaigns only require a few hundred dollars a month of ad spending to start showing results, and a basic content marketing and SEO program would only take a post or two per week to start gaining momentum.
Still, from a cost efficiency perspective, your best bet is to work with an agency that has expertise in how these channels work, and how they work together. Consolidating your campaigns with a single representative will:
· Ensure that your cross-media campaign is consistent and aligned with your brand and overarching goals
· Give you access to analytics and metrics that you otherwise might not be able to measure
· Provide a specific gauge of your return on investment
· Save you money in the long run, since you won’t need to do any additional hiring or training
If you’re interested in more details on how working with an agency can give you the greatest return on your investment, skip to the back of the book—we’re happy to give you the rundown.
If you’re not interested in working with an agency, but you want to get started right away for the least possible cost, there are some free first steps you can take:
· Clean up your website as much as possible. Make sure your messaging is concise, clear, and aligned with your brand voice. Delete any unnecessary pages.
· Claim your social media profiles. If you haven’t already, at least capture the big three and start posting when you can—Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Start writing. Post a new blog once a week. Even if you don’t have time to generate your own topics, you can “newsjack” “latest basics news“by reporting a recent industry development and adding your own spin to it.
· Set up Google Analytics and Google AdWords. Install an Analytics tracking code on your site and start watching your traffic numbers regularly. On Google AdWords, take advantage of their keyword planner to look at PPC keyword options and plan a campaign.
These first steps will give you some starting momentum on your new digital marketing strategy without spending much time or money. When you’re ready to step things up to a more aggressive level, you can make a more significant investment.
Catering to the new customer is a give-and-take process, and it’s important to reiterate that you won’t see results overnight. But countless manufacturers have already taken advantage of the new marketing era to great success, and now you have the opportunity to surpass your competition. Don’t miss your chance to evolve into a modern marketing master and start that stream of leads flowing.