We’ve all heard people say you don’t have to spend money to make money, but that’s not entirely true. While it’s technically possible to launch a marketing campaign for free, you won’t see big returns until you start spending some cash.
If you’re not inclined to spend money on marketing, your hesitation might be rooted in the fear of spending money on the wrong thing. For example, spending your SEO budget on the wrong things can tank your search engine rankings. Also, PPC ads that direct people to confusing landing pages is a waste of money even when your ads are perfectly targeted. If you haven’t hired a professional to build out your landing pages, even the perfect PPC ad will fail.
Perhaps the roadblock is the current marketing culture. Marketing used to be a professional field full of seasoned experts. Today, marketing is a DIY project anyone can learn online for free. At least, that’s what people think.
You can’t learn marketing for free online
Despite catchy headlines and ads, you can’t learn professional marketing strategies online for free. You can learn basic marketing tasks and systems as taught by other self-learned marketers. However, strategies that make those tasks and systems work are reserved for professionals. For instance, you can learn how to use an email marketing system and make use of all the features but you won’t find advanced email marketing strategies revealed online for free.
Professional marketers have spent their entire careers learning what they know and would never reveal their secrets for free. You might come across people who sell courses that will help you start from scratch, but what you find online is unlikely to be an advanced strategy.
You have to pay for marketing expertise
There’s no way around it, you must pay for marketing expertise if you want solid marketing results. The best thing you can do for your business is train yourself out of trying to figure out how to perform every task and just hire it out. If you consider yourself a jack of all trades, swallow your pride and consult with a professional marketing agency. You might be able to get multiple departments off the ground in a startup, but you won’t be able to take those departments to a high level of success. That requires individual teams of experts.
Professional marketing teams aren’t as expensive as you might think. For instance, Singapore-based companies like MediaOne provide the same level of expertise as US-based companies, but at a fraction of the cost. A professional marketing agency will handle your online reputation and SEO services. SEO involves more than on-page tweaks. Your SEO efforts need to be streamlined with all other marketing strategies to be effective like content marketing. You’ll get exhausted trying to do everything by yourself.
Word of mouth and organic search aren’t enough
Word of mouth and organic search will only take you so far. A few businesses – like Bakesale Betty – get lucky and don’t have to advertise or even mark their building, but most businesses won’t survive long without an active marketing plan executed with expert strategy.
Marketing is an investment, not a one-time purchase. It’s not a cost; you don’t use it and then watch while it depreciates. Marketing establishes a foundation for a two-way relationship with your customers and target market. Every business needs a healthy two-way relationship with their customers to be successful.
Marketing strategies build bridges
All marketing strategies are like bridges that connect people back to your business. Email marketing provides a recurring bridge to your business and PPC ads are a bridge for new and existing customers to engage with your business. You’ll see a return on your investment when people start crossing those bridges in large numbers. However, you need to build those bridges first and that’s what a professional marketing agency will do for you.
Make your marketing budget non-negotiable
Knowing that a marketing agency can build those essential bridges back to your business, you’ve got a good reason to create a marketing budget. You don’t have to start big, but start somewhere. Contact a marketing agency and find out what packages they offer. You can’t be a self-learned marketer forever. At some point, you’ll need to place your trust in the professionals and see what they can do.