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5 proven strategies to overcome your toughest marketing hurdles

5 proven strategies to overcome your toughest marketing hurdles

The confusion around profitable marketing strategies is a huge challenge for small businesses. And without knowing where to start, too many business owners find their budget is drained faster than a bunch of teenagers can empty a fridge.

Scan through the 5 biggest challenges we hear business owners talking about – if you can relate, pick the solution that will move your business forward and let us know how it goes!

 1. Establishing the ideal digital marketing budget

Challenge: Allocating the right amount for marketing.

Solution:

  1. Look at what it costs you to get your product to your client (cost of goods sold).
  1. Find out what the industry benchmarks are to achieve a sale, in terms of what people pay for a referral, or cost per sale in terms of ad spend in your online ad accounts. 
  1. Make sure your product is priced at a point that will cover your cost of goods sold, your ad spend, and some profit (note: some brands will run their first sale to a customer at a loss if they know they can make money on the back end. Most of our clients need to make money out of the gate, though.)
  1. Allocate enough volume in ad spend to sell enough to also cover your agency or media buyer’s fee. Think about how much capacity you have in terms of stock or fulfilment, and plan to spend enough on ads to fill that capacity. (note: do ensure you carry enough stock. Nothing hits the returns on an ad account harder than running ads to an “out of stock” product page.)

2. Building a profitable marketing blueprint

Challenge: Overwhelm, anyone? It’s no wonder, with shiny tools and tactics being pushed at you every time you glance at your social feeds.

We constantly have business owners come to us who have switched gears so often that nothing’s doing what it should. They’re not up to speed on what it costs them to bring a lead or sale in the door, and often are not even sure what they’re spending each month.

Solution:

  1. Decide what you want to achieve. For most of our clients, it’s sales. 
  1. Think about the most natural pathway a person will follow from first hearing about your brand, to purchasing, and then becoming a repeat purchaser (hint: it’s always messier in reality, but a simple path to purchase is extremely useful to build a campaign on). Do they need to watch a video first? Or will they see your product for the first time and jump at it? Do they need to be given more information over a period of time to build trust? As an example, Jo looked at a course for 9 years before buying! And on the flip side, Jo has sold $2,500 event tickets to spontaneous buyers on Facebook, from a single lead ad …
  1. Decide what you can afford to pay for a new client. Sure, think about the first time they buy from you, but also factor in the revenue that client brings you with upsells and cross sells, over the time they buy from your company.
  1. Look at what it has cost you in the past (use the numbers in your ad account) and think about how you can make the message clearer, through your written and visual creative, to bring that cost-per-acquisition down.
  1. Remember that it doesn’t all have to happen through your paid ads. You can retarget both in paid ads, but also on email and SMS if you are collecting those details from people who started to check out but did not complete their purchase.

3. Validating your product-market fit

Challenge: Finding out whether people actually want or need what you are selling.

Solution: Run a test for a minimum viable product. Some business owners will even test with a mockup in their ad, then when people purchase, the brand will refund their money or let them know delivery was delayed a little … it is a clever approach as long as the buyer isn’t being disadvantaged. 

You could run a survey, but the answers people give in a survey compared to the action they take with their wallet can be completely different. If you run a survey, include some kind of commitment to see what action people really will take.

challenge finding out what people actually want

Run a Kickstarter campaign to see if there’s uptake, or launch on ProductHunt to test the reaction.

Many business owners simply start by having a marketing campaign built, launching it, giving it a few weeks and then analysing the results. The beauty of this is that even though it costs in ad spend, it’s likely they make sales in week one, and they also have exact data on cost-per-acquisition of a new customer, that is right for their brand. Buying data gives you a powerful asset.

4. Transforming web traffic into sales

Challenge: Getting enough of the right kind of traffic, so that people buy.

Solution:

  1. First, make sure your website is set up to provide a fast loading time, an easy way for visitors to find what they need, and that your policies (returns, shipping etc) are visible and well-articulated. You’d be surprised, for instance, how many people look at the refund policy before they purchase.
  1. On your product and service pages, check that you clearly describe what people will get. For clothing, include clear size guides. For kids’ products, show how durable they are and how easy they are to clean. 
  1. Include as many payment options as you can: card, PayPal, Afterpay or Klarna, etc.
  1. Make sure your tracking is correctly set up for each digital platform you use: Meta’s pixel, Google, Pinterest and LinkedIn tags, for example. You want to measure when people View Product, AddtoCart, InitiateCheckout and Purchase.
  1. Check your font size is large enough for anyone to read – smaller font size usually impacts conversion rates. 
  1. Use heatmap software such as HotJar so that you can evaluate how visitors behave on your site – where do they spend the most time? Where does the traffic drop off? That means you have the information you need to strengthen the weak points.

5. Mastering consistent social media content production

Challenge: Regularly crafting compelling social media content can be a daunting task, especially for lean teams.

Solution: Batch your content creation. For instance, when you film a longer-form video, it can be sliced into shorts. You can film sections of a video, wearing the same outfit, so that you can stitch together different hooks, core messages and calls to action. That lets you test combinations and iterate off the winners.

batch content to solve the hurdle of regular posting

When you write a blog, it can be sliced up to create a bunch of social media posts.

Automate your content posting. We use SEMRush, but you can also post for free from Meta’s setup for Facebook and Instagram, and look at software such as Buffer or Hootsuite for alternatives.

At the same time, keep room for on-the-spot content. Don’t be afraid to make a video or send a tweet when relevant events are unfolding if what you have to say is on-brand.

Marketing is one of those things that every single brand could be “doing better”, so don’t be discouraged by that feeling. Instead, create a system that serves your brand and your team, as well as your audience. Keep consistency at the forefront and you’ll find the method that suits you best.

If you’d like to have a professional setup to run your marketing in-house, ask us about our All-in-one Business Marketing Kit or purchase that here. We’ll set it up AND road-test it for two weeks so that you can rest assured the system works, then we’ll show you how to run it yourself.

For ongoing marketing support, ask us about what will be the best fit for your goals. Leave your details via this form so we can prepare for your free strategy call.