. Jul 26, 2022 . 5 minutes read
So you’ve started a new business, the website is live. Now you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to afford launching your marketing. Here’s a few hints and tips!
You can also watch the Podcast Version of this blog 👇🏻
First things first, identify your budget. Decide what you have to spend, and for how long. It isn't a case of just doing it for a month - you might need up to at least a 6 month plan for your marketing activity to start generating results, and so you need to identify a budget that you can sustain for that period of time.
If that budget is quite small, and you can’t afford an agency at the start, don’t worry - there are things you can do yourself to get your brand out there. You just need to think creatively about where your customers are, and how you can reach them.
If you can find the right influencer that aligns with your brand, they can be absolutely invaluable. Find some micro/ macro influencers with good engagement rates and get in touch with them about a collaboration. They may want a small fee, or they may be happy for you to send your product / provide your service for free/discounted in return for their publicity.
This lends it more towards a lead generation / service led business as opposed to ecommerce (unless you also have a physical store location) but optimising your website and google listing for local SEO is free and is an absolute must for any business looking to get customers from a specific area. All you need to do is create a Google My Business Listing, and get optimising. We’ve got a whole blog on how to do Local SEO to get you started.
Paid marketing is a tricky beast. If you can afford to pay an agency (or even a freelancer) then i’d recommend that in the first instance, but i realise that for some, a monthly agency fee can be too expensive for some businesses in the early days, and so here are a few hints and tips if you are going to try and run paid advertising yourself.
Google Ads isn’t the easiest platform to navigate if you are new to paid advertising. There are online tutorials out there, and there are also certifications/ tests you can take on the google website. I'd recommend visiting the Google Skillshop and having a browse through some of their resources to get yourself familiar with how to run an ad campaign before throwing any money at it. There are lots of factors to consider when running campaigns, and it can be very easy to waste money if you’re not careful.
Running ads on facebook (using the meta business manager platform) also isn’t as easy as you’d think. However, at least with this platform (as opposed to Google) - you can boost posts - which means you can effectively post as you normally would, with the option to boost it to get further reach. This means you can promote things like competitions to people who don’t already follow you. Gaining you more reach that you could get organically.
Just because you’re running paid advertising, doesn’t mean that the sales will start rolling in 5 minutes later. The algorithms need to learn, and collect data. So if you have started running any paid media campaigns (Google, Facebook, TikTok, Youtube etc) you’ll need to give them at least 6-8 weeks before you get enough data to make an informed decision about whether they’re working or not.
These are the key ‘learning’ months for your campaigns. This is where they will need to run and collect all of the data needed to be able to optimise further down the line. This is where you need to be monitoring what is happening with your campaigns, and looking out for what's performing well, and what isn’t - keeping your eye on everything and making changes accordingly.
You should have enough data at this point to start making some more informed decisions on where you’re going to place your money. It might be that you're generating traffic, but not sales - in which case, you potentially need to start looking at making some tweaks to your website to increase conversion rates. It might be that some channels are generating sales, and others aren’t. In which case you can do some more digging as to why this is. It might be that google is working well, but facebook isn’t - which may prompt you to turn off facebook ads - but remember, customers may have seen an ad on facebook, and later returned via google to purchase - so ensure that you’re delving into your google analytics before making any decisions!
When the business starts to turn a profit, it's super easy to get carried away and take the money out, but if you’re looking to build a long term profitable business - there are better ways to ensure growth, and that means reinvesting.
Something we’ve learned from experience, is to alway reinvest as much of the profits back into your brand and your marketing as you possibly can. This ensures continued growth for the business, and you can start to expand into more channels. Smaller brands and startups aren’t able to compete at the same level as the bigger brands, and therefore you need to be more aggressive with your marketing to ensure your brand stays at the forefront of your customers' minds (and eyes). If you’ve reached the point where you’re unsure on where to go next - then this is the point that you might look to bring an agency on board to increase your reach further with a fully integrated approach to your marketing efforts.
To round off the blog, here are a few quick wins for businesses that may help.
Make sure that you are collecting customer reviews for all orders. This could be via Google Reviews, or a paid for service such as Trustpilot/Feefo. Ensure that you are taking all feedback on board and responding accordingly to good and bad reviews.
When you email your customers to leave a review on your Google reviews, ask them to put your main keyword in their review. This can help with your local SEO!
Collect feedback from website users. You can do this using free tools such a Hotjar. This should allow you to view what users are doing in real time on your site. From this, you should be able to see where they are leaving/ potentially why they are leaving - and react accordingly. You can put a little feedback box on when people purchase asking if there is anything they’d like to see changed about the website. It's worth checking out Google Optimize if you do want to run any conversion rate tests on your website, it's free!
Once a customer has checked out, it's always good to ask them if there was anything that nearly stopped them from purchasing. This can provide invaluable feedback and knowledge to help you make changes to the website!
I hope that helps, and if you have any questions about marketing for your new business, then don’t hesitate to get in touch!