At the time of writing this, the coronavirus pandemic is sweeping the world. Businesses are closing, some on the brink of collapse. Other businesses have quickly adapted to working from home.
There’s no doubt that the current climate is going to be tough on businesses across the world. Cash flow will understandably become an issue, leaving businesses no choice but to re-strategise and refocus.
As you begin to refocus your efforts, one thing that will undoubtedly come up is marketing, and your marketing efforts thus far. Questions like “have we done enough?” and “what do we need to do now to get results?” will likely come up in conversation. There might even be the inclination to cut marketing altogether.
Public service announcement: That’s one of the worst decisions that can be made in your business. As we’ll talk about, marketing is all the more crucial to businesses right now, but we recognise that there might be limitations holding you back.
So, in this blog post, we’re going to cover the minimum marketing you need to do to get leads and sales through the door.
NOTE: We’ve written this blog post in light of the coronavirus pandemic, though the principles of minimum marketing can easily be applied to any businesses who are either facing financial struggles, or simply starting out with little-to-no budget..
Before we talk about minimum marketing, it’s important to talk about the “how” and “why” marketing is important. Generally speaking, when a business is facing financial trouble, the first department that gets cut is marketing.
But with the rapid change in buyer behaviour, and the move towards research-based consumerism, marketing is almost always the department that can have the greatest impact. Yes, sales departments are as important, but the line between the two has become more and more blurred over time.
Check out They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan for more on this subject. We agree with his argument that you shouldn’t cut your marketing person, team or budget when times are tough. As we’ll talk about now, there’s a minimum marketing you can still be doing to get results.
In order to commit to the ongoing marketing to generate leads and results, you have to at least have the right marketing foundations in place.
So, it goes without saying that the core marketing foundation you need is a website. Without a website, you don’t have a single platform for building trust with your target audience, which compromises the user experience. A website gives your consumers a place of truth, somewhere they can digest information at their own leisure and make their own buying decisions.
If you don’t already have a website in place, you have the option of building your own website or having a professionally-developed website done for you. There are pros and cons to each, which you can read more about in this blog post.
The question remains: “What minimum marketing do I need to keep doing in order to get results?” and the answer is this: Blog writing, and where possible, Google Ads. Let’s look at each of those in more detail.
To quote Marcus Sheridan, “content marketing is simply the act of teaching and problem solving to earn buyer trust.”
Content marketing has become truly powerful, as it allows you to become a trusted authority figure for your target audience, one that provides helpful and engaging content to help your consumers make an informed and educated buying decision.
We’re avid believers in content marketing, especially throughout the entire sales funnel, which is why we advocate it as a minimum marketing strategy.
To get started, we recommend downloading our whitepaper The Marketing BLUEPRINTTM in order to build a bank of content topics that you can begin writing. From there, we recommend at a minimum you commit to writing and publishing one blog post a week.
For the best traction possible, committing to at least two to three blog articles a week will help your business really hit the ground running and maximise your brand’s viewership. Don’t forget to share any blog posts you write on social media in order to get more eyes on your content.
The other element of minimum marketing to consider is Google Ads. These are an effective way to drive quality traffic to your website.
Google Ads are also great for newly launched sites; a new website needs to generate traffic quickly, so Google Ads can be an effective way to start building an online footprint, and influence any eventual SEO you might undertake.
The other advantage of using Google Ads is the provable return-on-investment. We love how you can directly see how much money you’ve spent on your ads, and the money you’ve got in return, which are great for businesses just starting out and/or businesses concerned about their marketing ROI.
In terms of budget, we recommend a minimum of £300 a month paid to Google. However, we’ve seen some amazing results from budgets of £500 to £1000 a month, but it all depends on how quickly you want to move and see results.
We acknowledge that times can get tough for businesses. Whether you’ve been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, or your business is simply facing uncertain times and your budget is restricted, there’s always room for the minimum marketing.
We’re confident that this can get results in the form of leads and sales. If you’re stuck, get in touch with us for some direction and support, and we’ll steer your marketing in the right direction.