With the start of April and the financial year end in sight, you might start hearing your Finance Manager say ‘use it or lose it’ about any unspent budget you are harbouring. If your business has some of its marketing budget to be spent on this basis, here’s a couple of ideas that won’t break the bank but should support your brand and sales and can be done quickly.
Try Google Adwords
It’s amazing how many smaller firms haven’t considered using Google AdWords to support their sales and branding strategies. According to Alan Perkins, boss of digital marketing experts Silverdisc (www.silverdisc.co.uk), something like 96% of businesses worldwide have never tried Google advertising. Why is it so low?
Perhaps one reason is that businesses are easily deterred from giving it a try after reading some of the hundreds of online comments that warn of ‘black holes’ and ‘money pits. In other words, they argue that Google advertising is, in the main, simply throwing good money after bad.
I advise you to ignore these siren voices. Google AdWords allows you to reach the world’s largest potential customer base so the rewards are significant, not least because you can track how many people have clicked through to your site to monitor its effectiveness. And in the era of digital marketing, it’s also well worth learning more about how they work because you will need to get your head around the way the online world drives customer engagement even if you decide not to go ahead.
If you haven’t had time to learn much about it, when buying AdWords, you are entered into an instant auction for ‘key words’ or phrases that might be associated with your brand, goods or services. People who are using Google’s search engine to look for products or services may well be using your ‘ad words’ as their search terms, and if so, they are directed to your website when they click on the search results.
Given the huge reach of Google buying popular key words can be expensive, and there is a good argument for avoiding most of these and finding cheaper ad words or phrases that might actually work better in delivering click throughs to your website.
Limited space here doesn’t allow a deeper explanation, but fortunately there are lots of good videos online that can explain the concept properly then walk you step by step through the setting up of a Google AdWords account. My only word of caution is that you do need to constantly fettle and fine tune your AdWords buying strategy to keep up with web-savvy rivals who have already mastered this because otherwise you do risk investing money for no return.
Freshen up your corporate photography
When was the last time you updated the photos of key executives and managers on your website? If it’s more than five years ago, it’s time for a change.
Senior executives come and go, and or stay and get older, but also fashions change and after the various Covid-19 lockdowns over-formality in terms of corporate dress sense is now seen as stuffy and dated. This means suits, jackets and ties are very much out of fashion and most corporates are adopting a more relaxed dress sense which they want reflected in their corporate images.
If you have tried to keep costs down and are thinking about taking pictures yourself, I would counsel against this. Your shots, no matter good you are at taking shots of friends and family, will look amateurish when compared to the ones taken professionally and that’s mostly down to lighting, backgrounds and ability to get the best out of the subject who get stage fright in the unnaturalness of a photoshoot.
Search online for a professional corporate portrait photographer and check their references and testimonials. But also use your own judgement. Do you like their pictures? Prices vary but around £600 covers half a day’s shoot, but there are costs usually added on top for travel and post production work like photoshop. Shoots booked at the last minute are also likely to cost more.