How to Achieve Bespoke Marketing Results With an Off the Rack Budget
Every business owner craves a custom marketing solution that yields excellent results, but cost often proves to be the impediment between intention and implementation. Fortunately, that doesn't have to be the case; effective marketing can be affordable for any business.
It’s generally accepted that the easiest and quickest way to appear first in Google's rankings is to purchase top ranking in a Google AdWords pay-per-click campaign. This is an effective way of achieving immediate results, and we use it with clients who are new to digital marketing. However if done improperly, it can prove to be more of a liability than an asset (e.g expensive and ineffective). PPC advertising is just a tool that's only as effective as the craftsperson using it.
That’s not to say that AdWords doesn’t have a place in a comprehensive marketing strategy. But it should be considered a jumpstart for your marketing engine rather than a sustainable fuel source. Savvy marketing professionals use AdWords to quickly achieve top rankings for their customers, then use those same search terms to build the foundation of a successful content marketing strategy that doesn’t increase in cost with each click.
Unfortunately in my experience, it’s clear that not everyone understands this. Oftentimes, a so-called "professional" both starts and stops their work merely by using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. This results in a shotgun approach to what should be a surgical procedure: doing the right research to select the right keywords for your business.
I recall a couple of especially disturbing cases where serious deficits in AdWords practices were made abundantly clear:
- A travel agency who hired us had spent tens of thousands of dollars over six months with their former pay per click advertising management provider. He inherited an unmanageable and ineffective campaign with a ridiculously-bloated (wait for it) 3,500-item keyword list.
- In another case, a prior provider had used the client’s brand name several dozen times in their PPC campaign, when they already held the top organic spot for each of those terms. Moreover, they set every keyword as a “phrase match,” which limited the campaign’s exposure for relevant searches. Within three hours of gaining access to this campaign, we saved the customer $27,000/year by eliminating the expensive chaff.
Bottom line: the objective of a sound digital marketing strategy should ultimately involve moving customers away from paying for every single click on AdWords, towards dominating in Google's organic search results where the clicks are free, and the perceived credibility is far higher.
Once a content marketing campaign achieves the results of elevating a particular search term to the first page of Google’s organic search, that keyword gets paused in the PPC campaign and the money they used to pay for each click stays in the bank.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well…in theory, it is.
But, as I mentioned at the top, the successful execution of “theory,” whether it’s an ad campaign or a tax return (yes, accountants can be creative too), depends entirely on the skill and experience of the practitioner. Digital marketing is no different. Whomever you hire needs to be able to demonstrate a consistent record of effective results in their customers’ marketing campaigns.
Once you've identified the team that best fits your needs for PPC advertising management, SEO, and content marketing, you're well on your way to achieving bespoke marketing results…with an ‘off the rack’ budget.