What you will learn: Why Internet marketing on a shoestring budget is certain to fail.
Who should read this article: Business owners, leaders and marketing managers.
The Problem: Million Dollar Expectations and Hundred Dollar Budgets
If a company invests under $1,000 per month in Internet marketing and expects meaningful results, it will be sorely disappointed.
Low budget Internet marketing works only if a company has minimal expectations. If your only goal is to have a minimal Internet presence to gain credibility with people who already know about you – by all means, spend pennies. A basic company website, a Facebook page and perhaps a few display ads will give you credibility when someone who knows you is researching your company online.
However, if your Internet marketing goals are more ambitious, rethink your budget – because for most businesses, ambitious goals pay off. Funded appropriately and executed professionally, Internet marketing campaigns generate big results, including:
- Sales lead generation and revenue growth from new channels
- Dramatic increases in qualified website traffic
- Greatly improved brand recognition and brand affinity
- Enhanced position as a thought leader/industry expert
The disappointment comes – and admittedly, bad players in the Internet marketing industry fuel the situation – when companies expect big results on a shoestring budget. Here is why.
What It Takes to Get Internet Marketing Results
An Internet marketing initiative comprised of SEO, PPC, email marketing and/or other campaigns is labor-intensive and requires enormous expertise. Time + Talent = Money = Results. This is the unavoidable equation that drives every Internet marketing campaign.
To give you an idea of the work involved, review this brief list of activities that go into various types of Internet marketing campaigns:
- Keyword research
- Backlink research
- Strategic planning
- Campaign build out
- Landing page strategy
- Responsive website design
- Content creation: text, infographics, video
- Front-end development
- Back-end development
- Tracking setup
- Content marketing
- Campaign management: task coordination and communication
- Analytics and reporting
- Lead validation and reporting
- Mailing list management
- A/B split testing: text, imagery, offers, navigation
- Website improvements
Let’s break it down a bit further.
For SEO, creating offsite articles is virtually indispensable. A typical article requires keyword research, strategic theming, copywriting, editing, publisher outreach and frequently, custom imagery. The cost of a single article is almost sure to be in the $500-$1,000 range – and an SEO campaign that gets meaningful results will most likely need a few articles every month. There goes the budget, and we’ve only tackled one activity, which is not enough to accomplish much of anything.
For PPC, a small media budget means the ad gets clicked perhaps only a handful of times every month. When that’s the case, a company should consider itself lucky to obtain a single conversion. Additionally, a small PPC budget also means the campaign manager does not have time to conduct the analysis and testing that go into a continuously improving, dial-moving campaign.
Success: What Happens with the Right Budget
When companies adequately fund Internet marketing campaigns, great things happen. Here are a few quick examples from our Case Studies portfolio:
- 197% increase in revenue (SEO)
- 324% increase in qualified leads (SEO)
- 162% increase in traffic (SEO)
- 245% increase in conversion rate (PPC)
- 72% decrease in cost per lead (PPC)
- 50% increase in click-through rate (PPC)
These results produced solid ROI – but it didn’t happen overnight, and couldn’t have happened for pennies.
Savvy companies recognize that Internet marketing is like everything else: You get what you pay for.
How Much Is Enough?
If under $1,000 per month is too small a budget, the obvious question is: How much is enough?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the budgeting question. Our approach – one that has served our clients well – is to conduct preliminary research and analysis pertaining to the company’s objectives, viable Internet marketing opportunities and competitive landscape.
If competition is strong and goals are aggressive, our budget recommendations are higher. If competition is moderate and goals are less aggressive, our budget recommendations are lower. In some (rare) cases, we conclude that Internet marketing is not a promising avenue at all, regardless of budget.
Bottom line: Don’t let a bargain-basement package deal lure you into a dead-end Internet marketing campaign. Your hard-earned profits are far too valuable for that!
Contact Straight North to discuss how to get great results from your next Internet marketing campaign.
Call us at 855-883-0011 or request a quote online.