All we need to do is just get it out there!
It is a phrase we hear often from business owners and directors within minutes of our first meeting.
It is not the best way to start a brief.
The ubiquity of the phrase “we just need to get it out there” means that our industry still has a lot to do in educating external stakeholders – business owners, directors, entrepreneurs, and the rest of the world.
Patently, it would be almost impossible for us to do what thousands of well-educated people in marketing, have failed to do, in just one blog post.
Nonetheless, we will do our bit to end the obsession with “just getting it out there”. We’ll start with some theory and then move on to some practical tips you can take to get your business “out there”.
First of all, where exactly is “out there”.
Excluding outer space, ‘out there’ usually implies “I want lots of people to see my brand/product/service/idea”. This could mean television ads, radio ads, print, editorials, posters, billboards, pay per click and paid social media advertisements.
Now, to do all of the above requires pockets as deep as the Mariana Trench (the deepest trench in the world – deeper than Everest is tall). That means for the vast majority, “out there” is a ‘no-go’. There are just too many people and to be frank, the vast majority probably will not give a damn.
So what you should be asking “how can I show my brand/product/service/idea to as many relevant people as I can afford to invest”.
Relevant can refer to people who are likely to take a natural interest in your offering or need your service e.g. if you sell clothes for children under 5’s you’re likely going to need the attention of parents of children under 5 years old. If you are a plumber you need the attention of people with broken kitchen sinks.
The second part of that phrase sees a word not often used to describe marketing “invest”. Typically there is a ‘budget for marketing’ but very few describe marketing as an investment. This is even though marketing is often the only expense on a balance sheet which is specifically allocated to bring in extra revenue.
When was the last time your accountant produced an ROI?
To continue our assault, we shall now focus on “it” part of “get it out there”. What is”it”. This is a harder question to answer but usually, stakeholders/clients mean “it” as some form of communication.
“It” is your story.
This does not just refer to the literal story or message in an advertisement – although ads are extremely important – but also the contextual cues that are exchanged every time your business/brand has an interaction with a customer / potential customer, your branding, tone of voice, digital experience. If your story strongly aligns with an audience you will most likely be able to convince that audience to buy, donate or even vote in your favour.
Now we’ve covered the theory. Let’s look at some practical things you can do, today. All of which largely involve the internet. For businesses not on the FTSE 500, the advent of digital marketing has been a tremendous blessing.
The basics of digital marketing can be broken down into the following: build a platform you can control (a website) deliver traffic to the said platform (advertising, PPC is a good place to start). Find new customers and people likely to be interested in your product or service by leveraging the largest social network on the planet (targeted ads through Facebook). Rinse and repeat.
If your business is already bringing in revenue online and you are familiar with the world of SEO and PPC, you may want to skip to number 3.
1) Get a website.
This is a basic ‘business right’. Company name, registration, business cards, website. This is non-negotiable. If you don’t have a platform to call your own you are missing out on huge value. Instagram pages get hacked and deleted every day, Facebook pages get hacked and deleted every day. A website is a digital asset you will have complete control over.
Also, don’t do it yourself. You will spend an insane amount of time on it. The website does not have to cost tens of thousands of pounds. It has to tick a few basic boxes to serve your business well. Of course, it is in our best interest to advise you to pay potentially thousands of ££’s to an agency to build one, and if you are interested, we’d be happy to help ;o)
That said, your website does not have to cost the earth. That’s why we built ‘Cakecrumbs‘. A website for your business built quickly and cost-effectively, which could, in theory, bring in business almost by itself, with good organic SEO and some starting help from Google Ads.
Speaking of which…
2) Setup Google Ads.
If you are not already running ads on Google than you are likely missing out on ‘low hanging fruit’. Google’s ‘intent-based’ search product is no longer as cheap as it used to be. However, it is a gift. Google Ads allows businesses ‘ads’ to appear before the very eyes of customers who are purposely looking for their product or service.
It is a no brainer. Set up Google Ads yourself or better still, employ an agency to run the ad account for you.
NB: Google Ads is a bit of a beast so you may be better served retaining outside help.
This does not necessarily have to be expensive, generally, you can get up and running with ~ £500, depending on your industry. The price you pay per click (CPC) is partially determined by the competitiveness of keywords. If you have lots of competitors within your industry/sector, you are likely to pay more to get traffic to your website. Google made £116 billion in 2018, largely driven by Google Ads. That is all.
Top tip: If you do employ an agency, make sure you get regular (at least monthly) reports on your Google Ads, conversion tracking is set up and that you maintain full access to the Ad account yourself at all times. We have seen far too many businesses fall at the mercy of their account manager because they failed to maintain ownership of their Google Ads Account.
3) Targeted Social Ads
Okay, your business is doing okay, you can finally afford some bread and wine and your kids are happy because you’ve splashed out on some WiFi so they can watch TikTok videos.
You’ll probably be looking to grow your business even more. Steps 1 and 2, once set up, can be left to look after themselves and will not require too much of your attention.
It is now time to call upon that mildly popular 2.4 billion-user-app, Facebook (other social platforms are of course available, but none can target quite like Facebook can). Facebook is an amazing platform, one could spend a decade extolling the virtues of the powerful targeting tools available, but we’ll save you the lecture.
Instead, let’s focus on what Facebook can do for your business: FIND NEW CUSTOMERS.
You may want to jump into Facebook Ads yourself, but digital marketing agencies live and breathe these tools and will likely bring about the desired results much quicker.
One of our favourite things to do is to create Lookalike Audiences and custom audiences based on your existing website traffic.
This allows us to re-target abandoned baskets, find new audiences and hone in on your ‘ideal customer’. Once we do that we can test different creative within advertisements to find the right combination to produce the desired result (usually sales/leads).
When we set up a ‘Lookalike Audiences’, the Facebooks algorithms identify the common qualities of the people in it (e.g. demographic information or interests). Then we find people who are similar to (or “look like”) them.”
This is the same technology that is said to be influential enough to sway votes.
Typically Facebook requires a source audiences of between 1,000 and 50,000 people either from a Facebook pixel installed on a website or a customer list we can upload to Facebook. If you have a list of over 1000 of your best customers, it is possible to find thousands more just like them.
From there the world is your oyster, go ahead, just get it out there.