How local businesses can improve ROI on ad spend

There’s really a variety of reasons why it is difficult for local business marketing to make a profit on social platforms. The biggest thing that I’ve seen over the last eight years in my work with local businesses is, “number one they have a more limited budget. Even the larger local companies tend to just spend a little less than a similar-sized”.

Online business in terms of their Facebook and Instagram ads, you need to make sure that every single dollar being put into your marketing is producing a Return On Investment. This gives people the confidence to spend more and increase the budget typically. There’s also a little bit less in terms of support staff.

You really have to work extra hard to make yourself stand out.

Show them why they should come to you or buy from you especially when they may be able to do it a little bit easier with an online company. There is also definitely a lack of training in the online marketing space that’s really specific to local businesses. That’s obviously what I hope to talk to you about today.

One of the biggest problems that I see is the disconnect between sales that are actually happening in the business and the online marketing statistics. Most people could not tell you, “Hey let’s take a look at our ads manager account.” Okay, how did that translate into real sales?

Most likely they would have no idea and that’s what we really want to overcome. Hopefully, all of you guys will have a much clearer understanding of how you can close the loop on your advertising.

What Determines Return On Investment?

The first thing is to have a plan that actually maximizes your potential for profits. Thus, having an offer that is focused on growing the revenue, not just putting something out that you think looks cool.

We also want to make sure that you have a really easy way to produce content and creativity.

Return On Investment is not just based on the dollars you’re putting into your ad. Spend it based on your time or the time of those that work for you.

Time is money!

Somebody’s putting their effort into these things. If they’re taking way too long, if there’s an easier and faster way to do something; you’re not going to see as strong of a return as you could if you were able to do that same thing a little bit faster and a little bit better.

Finally, we want to get more conversions from our paid ad leads.

Again this is a really big problem marketers are often talking about; the low-cost per leads that they’re getting business owners. Maybe they’re talking about that but sometimes they don’t even know what the cost per lead would be for them. However, that is not what matters.

The only thing that matters is, sales are revenue, is the return on investment.

So if you don’t know how much money was produced from those groups of low-cost leads, you’re missing out on a lot of important data. You could have invested a lot of money into something that produced no real tangible results at all sometimes. This is going to give you the ability to say, “Okay we’ve got a lot of leads but none of them are converting. What’s going wrong here and how can I fix this?”

Different Ways That Can Maximize The Return On Investment:

You need to know your numbers!

This is often overlooked by really everyone that I speak to, but this is going to be the basis of your entire online marketing strategy. You do need that profit.

Profit-Driven Offer.

You also want to have a really effective ad strategy that works, that’s why we’re here to talk about Facebook and Instagram ads.

You want to have a really effective and easy to create content, creative, and conversion as well as a solid tracking method. Hence, knowing your numbers, things like:

    Must have a set budget
    Should have a cost per lead goal,
    Have a cost per acquisition
    imperative goal

All of these things are going to be crucial to establishing how much you can actually pay for a lead.

If your cost per acquisition is going to allow your business to grow then make sure that you’re focusing on the right number. Facebook likes do not pay the bills. There is a place for engagement and engagement style ads but keep these things in mind:

    Stop looking at reach
    Avoid looking at impressions
    Don’t focus on the likes
    Start looking at the numbers that will actually help you grow your business.

These are the things that you really want to focus on. Too many people have no idea what they’re even looking at or what they’re looking for. They don’t even know if their ads are working or if they’re failing and that’s not a good place to be regardless!

If you are the business owner or the marketer, I see this problem in both spaces. There is a set of formulas that you guys are going to want to use to calculate the numbers for your business or for the business of your clients. These are all very important in terms of understanding.

What Strategy Do you Specifically Need to Reach Your Financial Goals?

Hopefully, everybody’s got a snapshot. This is going to be a real-life example of those formulas. If you want to see how that breaks down, definitely take a photo of them. This is the first thing that I would do anytime.

When I am working with our agency clients in my training program, I go through all of these numbers with the students because if you know what it takes to actually acquire a customer, what their lifetime value is going to be for you, you will have a very clear set of guidelines.

This is when my ads stop being profitable for me. If you don’t have this you’re essentially guessing. Maybe you’re asking friends “Hey, do you know what is a good cost per lead in this industry?” Just because they think it’s good doesn’t actually mean it’s good!

Again, it doesn’t actually mean that any of your ads are converting. So, stop pulling numbers out of thin air and really get specific in terms of what a business can afford to pay.

What you should be paying, and if you get X amount of leads for X amount of dollars.

This is the revenue that should be produced based on lifetime value and conversion rates. So, spending very smartly is really important in achieving that maximum ROI.

    Have a dedicated marketing budget that can be anywhere between 5% and 12% of your overall revenue. It really depends on how aggressive you want to be.

    You also want to make sure that you’re dividing your budget between the three different traffic temperatures and the different types of ads.

    You also want to make sure you actually put enough money towards your advertising to see real results.

Too many people want to get into this space. They’re just underspending, and when you do this, you prevent real testing from being done, which is what is really going to allow you to find those winners much sooner. They’re also shutting things off way too quickly because again, they don’t understand the numbers.

    Give things enough money
    Give things enough time

… and when you have the foundation of your financial numbers behind you you’re going to know a lot more of what you should be doing. You will know with 100% certainty when it’s time to throw in the towel on a certain campaign.

Have questions? Drop them below. Want to talk about working together? Visit alliebloydmedia.com/book to schedule a time to talk!

Local Business Ad Strategies: Leveraging Buying Cycles and Awareness Levels

As a local business, your ad strategy won’t be successful (or nearly as successful) if you’re not using the length of the buying cycle and awareness levels to build your ad strategy.

This is what I use to craft the types of ads that we would be shown to a local audience for any industry or any market. The most important thing to think about right off the bat is how long your customer’s buying cycle is.

Short vs Long Buying Cycles for Local Businesses

There are some businesses that have very short buying cycles.

For instance, if you are an emergency restoration and water cleanup company. That’s something that happens and you need someone right away. You’re going to be making a very quick decision about the company that you hire. The strategy that you would need to build around is going to be significantly different than something that takes a long time to think about.

Things that are the higher ticket, they naturally tend to have a longer buying cycle. That’s not always the case but that usually is a pretty good gauge. There are some statistics out there that say that it can take for any business up to two years for someone to make that buying decision.

There’s a small percentage of people that are going to make that decision within the first three months, but there is a much more significant portion that is going to make that purchase over the next two years.

If you don’t know how long it’s taking your audience to make these decisions, you’re not going to have a good plan in place that follows them through the length of the buying cycle. That’s very important if you are a business that it could take someone up to two years to decide. You can’t expect results right away or a return on investment specifically.

You may see results. You may get leads. You may get foot traffic but if you’re looking for an immediate return, you’re not being realistic.

This is a very important thing to know. If you don’t know, you absolutely need to find out. This is also something that’s gonna affect your re-targeting strategy, something that’s going to affect your email strategy and your manual follow-up.

Understanding Awareness Levels for Your Local Business

You must be crystal clear about the overall awareness levels of those making a buying decision.

You’ve got the top of the funnel, which is simply being aware of either a problem or a product.

Then you’re gonna start to develop interest.

It’s going to lead you into the decision-making process and finally, the purchase.

There is no one length of time that people make these decisions. You need to know exactly how long your ideal client is taking if you need to pull past customers. Or simply pull past data on the time that someone reached out to you versus the time that they purchased pull as many of those as you can.

You will start to see a pattern or at bare minimum an average on that. This is what I call the local buying cycle sequence.

Those awareness levels should depend on the content and ads that you’re putting out to your audience and at what time they’re seeing them.

Most businesses never consider that there are people who may need them, but they don’t even know they have a problem. That happens more often than you would think.

You’ve got the problem unaware level, where they don’t yet know there is a problem to solve.

You have the problem aware level – They know they have a problem.

You’ve got a solution aware level – They know there is a solution to their problem.

Then you’ll have YOUR solution aware, meaning they’re aware of your specific business and the solutions you provide.

Then, they’re going to make the decision to purchase.

The goal is for us to funnel people from the top to the bottom and walk them through these different levels via our content and our ads.

Utilizing Traffic Temperatures in Local Marketing

What else can impact your buying cycle sequences?

Traffic Temperatures

Different Approaches to the Traffic Temperatures:

    The types of messaging
    The types of content
    The types of ads

The ads that you’re sending these people are going to be significantly different depending on their traffic temperature.

For the most part, a cold audience is either going to be a problem unaware or problem aware.

Your warm audience tends to be solution aware and your solution aware and finally your hot audience there.

They’ve either already purchased or they’re ready to buy.

Cold traffic, these are the people who don’t know who you are. They’ve never engaged with you. They’re not familiar with you. They have no trust with you.

Then you’ve got your warm audience. These are people who do know who you are. They have engaged with you. There’s already more of a relationship started there.

Your hot audience is going to be someone who has purchased from you in the past. Maybe someone who has reached out and inquired. They could be:

    A past lead
    Anyone who is very close to the business,
    Anyone who is close to making that buying decision as possible.

You could define these slightly differently based on the type of business that you have. But overall that’s how I established the different levels.

The majority of your leads are going to come from warm and hot traffic. The goal has to be to turn cold traffic into warm traffic and so on. We’ve got a much larger audience at the top. We just want to make it smaller and smaller by identifying the best prospects and people who are most interested today.

There you have it. If you simply leverage buying cycles and awareness levels in your advertising, you’ll be lightyears ahead of other local businesses and your advertising will immediately see an improvement in terms of results and ROI.

Have questions? Drop them below. Want to talk about working together? Visit alliebloydmedia.com/local-call to schedule a time to talk!

4 Things Local Business Should Focus On When Using Paid Ads

Why do local business need to leverage social media and more specifically paid ads on social in 2020?

There are a variety of reasons, But number one, you need to be marketing aggressively if you want to stay relevant.

You’re also in a local community where building relationships are very important and I think there’s no better way than social media. You can develop that trust, that sense of credibility and really connect with your audience on a different level.

So how does this apply to you?

Well if you’re reading this, then you are likely a local business owner. Unfortunately there is not a ton of information out there that’s been designed specifically for you.

There’s tons of information for online businesses, e-commerce businesses, coaches. But when it comes to actual local marketing strategy, there’s almost a void in the marketplace.

I want to make sure you have a very clear picture of what you can do to succeed. You also don’t want to become irrelevant in your community. If you have a local business, you’ve worked hard to build that business up.

You want to make sure that you’re going to be for years to come that you are front and center in the minds of the consumers in your community. Maybe what you’re doing right now is working just fine. But you feel like it could be working better potentially what you’re doing is working really well now. But it could stop working so well in the future.

So this is something you should always have in your arsenal when the time is right. I see no better time than right now. This is a great way to do everything your business needs to do to increase your revenue through social media marketing.

You also really have to be aware of the competition in your marketplace. Not only are there other local businesses just like yours in your community. You’re also competing against online or e-commerce businesses in many industries.

There are big corporations that have massive marketing budgets. You’ve got to find a way to stand out. A lot of those big businesses are not doing this type of marketing so it becomes an amazing way to really set yourself apart.

There are things you can focus on to improve your ROI on social, or any marketing platform for your local business.

    Pillar #1 The Right Strategy
    Pillar #1 The Right Offer
    Pillar #3 The Right Content
    Pillar #4 The Follow Up

If you can get these four things right, I can guarantee that you’re gonna see the results that you’re looking for with your paid ads on Facebook, Instagram or even other social media platforms.

Your strategy guides you at every step
Your offer gets your audience excited to convert
Your content builds your audience
Your follow-up converts your leads into customer Continue reading “4 Things Local Business Should Focus On When Using Paid Ads”

Local businesses and Covid-19: How to survive or thrive in uncertain times

covid-19 and local business owners

I hate to jump on the bandwagon here, but my clients, students, friends and referral partners are all anxious about what this “Corona lockdown” means for us.

The good news is that there are things you can do to continue business growth if you keep calm and play your cards right.

Tips for local businesses to weather the Covid-19 storm and come out on the other side:

1. If your local business is a crowded retail location or busy space, have reservation or appointment only options. This will help those who are serious buyers still come with confidence.

2. Be willing to do delivery, in-home consults, or virtual consultations. Remind your prospects that it’s crowds and very close personal contact, not human interaction of all kind, that should be limited.

3. During the Coronavirus outbreak, local businesses should take any possible product sales online for the time being. If you need help with this, let me know. You may have more options than you think.

4. Grow you email list, Nurture your current lists and take the time to develop content and engage with your audience as a group or individually.

5. If you’re hosting in-person events, switch to webinars. We’re doing this with clients of mine for the time being.

6. Showcase product options on social media and give people the opportunity to buy through messages.

7. Send out messages or emails confirming the cleanliness precautions your business is taking and letting them know that it is, in fact, safe to shop/consult/work. It has been repeatedly stated that we do not have to limit human interaction, but groups are discouraged, and social distancing in smaller groups should be observed. If you’re coming into someone’s home, offer to wear gloves and a mask if it makes them feel more comfortable and still allows you to do your job.

8. Create brand awareness by doing community outreach such as donating to food banks for those affected by not being able to work (if you can). Promote the content and build goodwill in your local area. You may get picked up by TV or News outlets and get even more free PR for doing a good deed. Win/Win.

9. Cut out wasted spending. That doesn’t mean sales, marketing, customer service or your people. It means cable in the office, Starbucks, stocked fridge full of snacks, high-end services you never use, etc. If you have UNUSED subscriptions, cancel them. Double down on the things to help you gain more clients and increase revenue. If you wouldn’t want a client to cancel their services with you due to these outside circumstances, don’t cancel on your current commitments. It all comes full circle.

10. Sell gift cards online for full or discounted price. Put together birthday, Christmas or anniversary packages to be used during the year that will be purchased regardless, but collect the cash NOW.​

11. Invest your time in educating yourself in how to emergency proof your business long term if anything like this happens again. You CAN have a local business / online hybrid model or have an online marketing system that can sustain you through any tough time you may have. If you can generate an ROI whenever you need to essentially, it’s worth it.

12. Don’t panic. You will survive this. The more we panic, the less we spend. The less we spend, the worse the economy becomes. Don’t contribute to the problem. Stay safe, but support other local business owners who need you as much as you need them. Come together as the entrepreneur community to support each other in a time of uncertainty!

I hope these tips help. Feel free to reach out if you need someone to explain how to take parts of your business online. I’m happy to help.

If you want to schedule a call to learn how we can help you ensure you’re put in this position moving forward, and that your online marketing is as effective as possible when this is all over, visit alliebloydmedia.com/local-call

All the best,

Allie Bloyd

Need help marketing or taking your business online? Schedule a call with me or my team!

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