If you’re doing business in 2021, you know about online marketing.
By this I mean, you know what it is, and what is included… which is pretty much everything from twitter to instagram, youtube to facebook, mailchimp to google… the list is endless.
And, there’s a good chance you’ve at least dipped your toe in the murky waters….
…and been bitten.
Running online marketing campaigns can be a very quick way of making a small fortune…. but only if you start off with a big one.
If you have a website and a credit card you can be advertising in minutes. Google, facebook and others make it very easy. There are a whole series of automated steps which the system will run you through to get you started.
You’ll spend the €500 or €1,000 you decided to invest – and once that money is gone you sit back and try to make sense of what just happened.
The alternative is to use an online marketing agency.
SPOILER ALERT : We are biased… but perhaps with good reason. Here’s why:
1. This is what we do.
All the obstacles you will face and have to overcome, we have faced already.
In the case of Google Ads, for example, there are some critical settings that are essentially “hidden” from the default account view.
Without addressing these settings your advertising campaigns will fail. That might sound like a broad blanket statement – and it is. But it is based upon numerous examples of accounts that we have audited. These settings represent leaks that allow the budget to escape into areas where the return is low or even non-existent.
As an example, the advanced location settings will allow your ads to be shown outside of your geo-target area if left at the default setting.
Equally, keywords that Google propose might appear sound, but in fact the nuances of user search means that a particular keyword will trigger a swathe of irrelevant website visits.
Nobody tells you this – least of all Google. You discover this the hard way.
2.There is a network of platforms that work together to enable marketing optimisation.
In addition to the main online marketing platforms such as Google and facebook ads, there are extensions and other platforms that need to be configured if you are to stand a chance of generating a return on your investment.
Google Analytics is a must. Google Search Console is highly recommended – but there is much more. You’ll need to set up your facebook pixels and Google audiences to be able to take advantage of remarketing.
Beyond these, you’ll want to set up an emailing platform and your social media accounts. Oh, and you’re probably going to need a series of landing pages to squeeze the most out of your traffic. And don’t forget Google My Business. Need call tracking too… of course you do.
3. It takes time – planning and execution.
For many companies online marketing is managed by a department. With graphic designers, copywriters, account managers and strategists… and a manager to liaise between them and the rest of the company!
Smaller business owners often think that they can manage this themselves. If you are one of them, read this next line carefully:
It is significantly more work than one imagines. And it requires a range of skills which the average business owner simply doesn’t have. You are good at what you do – so do that.
4. Online marketing is inviting.
We all have a facebook account, and like the regular drinker who thinks he could run a bar, many believe they can communicate effectively with their online customers.
But, like the regular drinker, life on the other side of the bar is very, very different.
“I love eating in fancy restaurants” does not translate into “I could open a fancy restaurant and be successful”. How many times have we seen that scenario crash and burn?
As a guide, we charge 20% of ad spend to manage an account. That means we need to outperform a business owner running their own online marketing with 80% of the budget. Those are odds we are more than happy to take.
Why? Because we know how to avoid wasting money. Through both planning and execution.
5. And it’s never ending.
Online marketing operates within a constantly changing environment. Competitors come and go, change tactics, cheat… and you need to respond.
Google and facebook move the goalposts… and just when you figured out the new position, they move them again.
Your customers start to request more and different things from you.
And your own business changes and grows.
Being able to identify these changes and adapt accordingly will keep your online marketing on point and effective. Too often businesses set and forget their online marketing only to revisit months (or sometimes, years) later only to discover that either nothing is happening (by for the best option – at least the money hasn’t been spent) or that the money has found an easy outlet and is running away freely without any control.
A good online marketing agency will be monitoring your campaigns daily, weekly and monthly with a series of checks and optimisations to ensure that things stay on track.
6. And then we test.
To prevent campaigns becoming stale and to discover new avenues of untapped business we also test. And test. And then test some more. Keywords, ad copy, landing pages, demographics, platforms, devices, etc.
Through a solid testing regime testing we can shave cents off costs and add percentage points to performance.
7. We know when to do nothing.
When you manage online marketing campaigns the hardest thing to do is nothing.
There is always a temptation to justify your position and chase the latest shiny new object – this technique you read about on some marketing guru’s blog, or this magical new management platform that automates everything in your ad accounts – but there is no substitute for hands on, human management that relies on the twin pillars of understanding the ad platforms and understanding your business.
When we work with clients, we learn everything we can about how they serve their customer’s needs. The buying cycles, the objections, the benefits, their competition. The further we can get into their and their customer’s heads the more effective we can be.
To arrange a discussion about your online marketing, simply contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. Even if you don’t choose to work with us, it is extremely rare for us not to identify an area where we can see the potential for immediate improvement in your online marketing activity. Aren’t you even a little bit curious to know what we would identify a leak in your current strategy?