Wolf Rock marketing director, Jo Downie, talks to Business Cornwall about spending your marketing budget wisely.
It’s of course important to get a good return when spending money on marketing, but how do you know what is most effective for your business? Being a full service agency we know that a good mix of marketing initiatives drives better results, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all. A communications strategy is key to inform you where to invest your budget. Spreading yourself too thin will just dilute your brand and give you a scatter gun approach which is impossible to measure. Focus on what is achievable, spend time finding out where your customers are and, if money is tight, just do a few things really well.
For many clients, it’s a struggle to keep on top of the five main social media channels, even with in-house support so much time is spent time putting up random content and then not even engaging with at it again for another week or month. Was that time well spent? If you’re resource poor, pick one or two of the channels that you know your customers are using and concentrate on building good social engagement there. Using social media as part of your communication plan will need a advertising budget to actually get results, it’s no longer ‘free marketing’ as it once was perceived to be. It’s important to really think about what you are actually posting, when you are posting it, and how your fans will be receiving it. Most likely this will be via a mobile device, so keeping posts short and easy to read will get better responses. To get traction for your brand value, or to convert fans into customers via social media, it has to be a fully integrated part of your business in order to be worth the time and money.
Online or offline? There really is no either or approach to marketing these days. People may still value something tangible that they can hold over an email but ultimately the two should be intrinsically linked. Print can be expensive but much more effective for your brand; packaging has to work hard in a shop regardless of its physical location and if your strategy includes PR then the legacy that online articles leave behind are worth their weight in SEO gold! There are some golden rules though – don’t invest heavily in digital advertising if your website is not kept in tip-top shape. Don’t invest in printed advertising without a great looking advert (which may need fantastic photography). Don’t make a video and just put it on YouTube!
If you’re looking for consistent growth for your business, none of the above really matters unless you have your brand clearly defined in the first place. That is the most important thing you can spend your time and money on and without it your customers will be just as confused as you are.
Wolf Rock is a full service marketing agency specialising in tourism, lifestyle and food and drink brands.