8 Ways you’re wasting your marketing budget (and what you can do about it)

Maximise revenue with minimal spend. How? By revisiting your marketing budget and avoiding common pitfalls.

By Robert Kramers

Published on January 21, 2019

Marketing budgetBest intentions don’t amount to much if you’re pouring your budget down the drain. Smarter spending? It’s surprisingly simple. Here’s how…

Here’s the bottom line:

Marketing isn’t about creating the funniest campaign.

The flashest website.

Or the most cinematic video advert.

So, what is marketing about?

It’s all about maximising revenue with minimal spend.

Moving into 2019, marketing budgets are predicted to remain static. That’s why it’s more important now than ever to ensure your marketing spend is achieving maximum return. That means not wasting a single cent!

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of areas where expenditure is squandered.

If any of these sound familiar, read on and find out how you could be better utilising your marketing budget to get more bang for your buck, and generate more leads, enquiries, and sales as a result.

To start, you’re probably…

1. Creating one-off content

Consider this scenario.

You’ve just hit ‘Publish’ on a blog post for your website.

Sitting back and rubbing your hands together…you shout ‘Job done!’.

If this sounds familiar, you’re wasting an opportunity.

Content marketing is an essential and valuable element of online marketing, but your content must work hard for you. Then you can focus on creating quality content, rather than churning out lots of low quality content that’s simply seen as spam.

Here’s how:

  • Market your content! Share it on your social media channels, include an excerpt and link in your newsletter, and reach out to influencers that might be interested.
  • Repurpose content into different forms to reach new audiences.
    • Turn that blog post into a downloadable guide.
    • Use it as the basis for a podcast.
    • Transform it into video using an online video editor or create an infographic.
  • Make content shareable. If your audience can easily share your content, they’ll help you spread it organically.

2. Relying on generalists or amateurs

Inexperienced marketers could cost you time and moneyYou wouldn’t hire an office junior to file your tax return, would you?

So why would you let them loose on your online marketing?!

In today’s world, SEO, online advertising, and content marketing are specialist skills. Not to mention the increasingly complicated tools and dashboards used to manage them that are evolving all the time.

In order to get the best return on your dollar, you need an expert in these areas.

Take Google Adwords, for example.

Choosing the wrong setting could result in your business wasting a lot of money.

Perhaps you or your current advertising agency don’t understand the difference between keywords and search terms, how bidding strategies work, or haven’t included negative keywords. These are all rookie mistakes that attract the wrong search traffic, wasting your advertising spend in the process.

Maximise your return by ensuring your online marketing partner:

  • Holds current Google and Facebook (BluePrint) certifications or similar accreditation.
  • Can report on the work they’re doing and highlight the results.
  • Has a long track record of satisfied customers and clients.

3. Spending too much on traditional advertising

The verdict is in:

Traditional forms of advertising are expensive, and results are difficult to track.

It’s simply a matter of placing your advert, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best.

Year on year, savvy businesses who recognise this trend are increasing their online advertising spend and decreasing advertising in print, TV, and radio.

Joining them and optimising your website to capture and nurture search traffic along with online advertising opportunities like Google and Facebook or email marketing is cost-effective and delivers tangible, measurable results when they’re set up and optimised for success.

4. Focusing too much on ‘brand awareness’

Don't spend too much time or money on brand awareness onlyChances are you’re spending time and money trying to get your brand in front of a lot of people.

The only problem is, a lot of these people likely don’t want or need what it is you’re offering.

This is a textbook case of wasted marketing spend!

There is a smarter way.

Instead of a blanket approach, focus your marketing dollar on those people you know are your typical customers, or who are ready to buy – and are – searching for your product or service.

Google and Facebook advertising campaigns, for example, can be targeted to reach the right audience, whether it’s through matching search terms, demographics, or buying behaviours.

Both platforms also offer retargeting to really turbo-charge your sales conversion results. When a visitor to your website leaves without purchasing, remarketing campaigns display your ads on either Facebook or Google to remind them of your product or service.

5. Ignoring your analytics

Do you feel as though you’re drowning in data?

Or maybe you haven’t even looked at the stats.

Either way, it’s time to take another look at your reporting systems.

One of the biggest benefits of online marketing is the ability to track a whole load of metrics that can help you identify – and remedy – any issues as well as make improvements on your sales conversions.

At a glance, you can easily determine whether an ad campaign was profitable, or not.

Having this knowledge on-hand saves you from investing in a campaign that’s not working.

Google Analytics provides invaluable metrics from your website traffic and both Google and Facebook offer comprehensive reporting on advertising campaigns. It’s worth spending some time determining which metrics are most helpful for your business – with the goal of boosting sales conversions and tracking revenue to cost ratios – and creating customised reports to reflect this specific data.

6. Sticking with just one campaign

Concentrating on just the one campaign can be costlyOffering discounts, re-wording your offer, or changing images can increase conversions.

But you won’t know unless you test different versions of your marketing offer.

This is the only way to maximise your return with a campaign that hits the sweet spot!

Online marketing gives you the opportunity to test your marketing offers with split testing, so you can compare an advert, landing page or email with, say, a different heading against the original. Incremental improvements and optimisations can offer increasingly higher sales for your marketing spend.

7. Leaving the customer buying journey to chance

Does your Google AdWords advert send traffic to your homepage?

If so, does it offer a nudge to take an action like sign up or make a purchase?

If not you’re wasting your advertising spend.

Here’s the thing:

Customers typically follow a pathway on their journey to buying your products or services. In marketing speak it’s called a ‘sales funnel. This is where your customers discovers you exist, and then continue on through the stages of interest before they finally make a decision and purchase.

In order to maximise sales, your customer needs to move along this journey smoothly.

Any hiccups along the way, and they’ll exit the sales funnel.

What’s worse, they’re more than likely to end up in your competitor’s sales funnel instead!

Mapping out this journey to ensure your customer doesn’t fall through the cracks is vital. This includes ensuring you’re capturing their data, retaining their interest, and keeping your brand top of mind for when they reach the decision stage – and then making the sales process hassle-free.

8. Letting your website become outdated

Keep your website optimised and up-to-dateIs your website the sales powerhouse it has the potential to be?

If your website hasn’t had an overhaul in a few years, chances are it’s time for an update.

At a minimum your site should be optimised to attract organic search traffic, otherwise you’re leaving money on the table.

You see, when people are searching for a product or service, they’re generally looking to buy. These are the customers you want to attract to your site – and they don’t cost a cent!

Remember to test your website frequently. Are all the links and landing pages working correctly? Are there any glitches in the final stages of purchase? Can the process be streamlined further?

Importantly, your website should load quickly and be easy to read and navigate on a mobile device. If not, your audience will click away, losing you potential sales.

Rock your revenue to marketing cost ratio

With just a few smart adjustments to your marketing, you can be rest assured you’re making more solid sales for less marketing buck.

If you’re thinking these are great ideas your business would love to implement, but don’t have the time or expertise, book a strategy call with the team at Found for more guidance.

Robert Kramers

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    Get Your Business Found

    Ready to go where your customers are?

    75% of people never scroll past Google's first page. If you're ready to get found where they're looking, get in touch and find out how we can grow your business and drive more traffic, leads, & sales with search marketing.

    Let’s Talk