This blog article is called Keep the Change.  We’re going to talk about setting an advertising budget, making changes to your advertising, and having consistent presence with your audience.  First, we’re going to talk about being consistent with your budget. The question we often get is, “How much should we be spending in advertising? How much should our marketing budget be?” The rule of thumb is between 5-10% of your projected gross revenue. So, for example, if you project to do $60,000 in the first quarter, you should set an advertising budget between $3,000-$6,000. You should also update your budget every quarter based on projections. So, if you have a growth pattern of 10 or 20%, you take that into account and make changes to your marketing budget so it stays consistent with that growth.

Next, we’re going to talk about how to reach out to your audience. We need to pick a strategy. A common marketing strategy is using AdWords and Facebook offers with a strong Call to Action. Well, maybe you’re running a campaign of Google AdWords. When people search for your product or service, you show them an ad that’s very specific, and that ad taked them to a landing page where they can submit a form or buy something. it’s a very direct call to action. Or maybe you’re running a Facebook ad that is targeted toward your demographic audience, so you can have consistency and a call to action for that audience, for that product. Another way to get brand awareness is through YouTube advertising and Facebook video. These allow you to run video that not only creates brand awareness, but also expands on that message through video.

So, now you’ve got your advertising budget set, you’ve got your strategy, the next thing we need to do is A|B test all the time. You want to give each test enough time to determine on what’s working, and then test something else. Let’s talk about a few things you can A|B test:

  • you can run 2 separate ads,

  • you can run ads to 2 separate landing pages, and

  • you can run ads to 2 different audiences

Ideally, you want to run 1 A|B test per week. You don’t want to test more than one thing at a time. This allows you to boil down what’s working, so then you can change it out, test it against something else, or do another A|B test after about a week. Lastly, you want to be consistent. One of the things we at Aftershock Digital tell our customers is, you have to be consistent with your marketing. No knee-jerk reactions. If a couple days go by without a lead, or sales drop a little bit over a short period of time, you don’t need to get up in arms about it—give it some time. That’s why you want to test things for at least a week, so you have enough data to decide whether you need to make a change.

Stay the course for 90 days. Whatever strategy you choose, although you’re going to be A|B testing within that strategy, stick to the same strategy. Make sure you give it enough time to work. It’s not always going to happen in the first week, or the first three weeks, or even the first month. Stick with it until you’ve got frequency with the audience you are working with, and a new budget based on your projections for the next quarter. You must be in front of your audience consistently, and whatever your budget is, stick to it.

Many times, we find that young businesses don’t set a marketing budget, and they don’t realize that—no matter how good or bad things are going—you have to continue to get the message out. Otherwise, how are you going to get new customers? How are you going to attract new business? So, once you set your budget, you need to stay consistent with it. Make changes in the ads themselves, or maybe even the medium or strategy, but continue to have an awareness with your audience so you’re always moving forward.

Thank you so much for tuning in to Aftershock Digital.

Byline: Josh Norris, CEO of Aftershock Digital.

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