3 Ways to Scale Your Marketing
One of the hardest parts about marketing in any organization is that there are literally an unlimited number of things you can do to promote a business. And no organization – from the largest in the world to the smallest small business – can do everything. So, what the great marketing companies will do in this case is take advantage of scale.
What does that mean?
Scale in the marketing sense derives from the economic concept of economies of scale, which is defined as the proportionate savings in cost gained by an increased level of production. In other words, the more you produce, the more your cost per item potentially goes down because incrementally you don’t expend the same resources to produce widget 1 as you do widget 5,000.
Similarly, on the marketing side, scale implies the ability to maximize your marketing performance using a finite set of resources (or maximizing performance improvement with each additional activity while only marginally increasing your resource allocation). The bottom line: When you scale, you try to get the biggest bang for your “marketing” buck. Here are three ways to do it well:
No. 1: Scaling Your Content
Depending on the industry and the type of business, marketing content can take a long time to produce – whether that’s writing a blog, drafting a whitepaper, creating a video, recording a podcast, or even developing social media posts. Many small businesses already start out having limited time. So, scaling your efforts, in this case, makes the most sense.
What does this entail?
Basically, the art of scaling content involves looking to find topics that resonate with audiences. So, for example, if you have a blog on Topic A that does better than Topic B, it probably makes sense that Topic A resonates better than Topic B. The way you scale that content would mean you produce the same content (on Topic A) but in a different format, let’s say a video or a podcast, or even turn that into a whitepaper. After all, if a blog was successful, it’s likely that your video or a whitepaper (using the same content) would also be similarly successful. And because you don’t have to develop new ideas for the new content (it’s simply repackaging content in another format), you’ll likely be able to create it more quickly with less effort. Hence, your content production becomes a lot more efficient (and effective).
No. 2: Scaling Your Ads
You’ll certainly hear a lot of “so-called” gurus talk about the benefits of ad scaling in Google, Facebook or other potential advertising platforms. The term is really just a fancy way of suggesting different ways to maximize your return on ad spend (ROAS), certainly an important measure of any advertising performance.
So, how do you scale when it comes to ads?
There are a few ways that we would recommend taking a look at, but it will certainly depend on the circumstances you start out with:
- Spend more money on media. This may seem like the opposite approach of what you might initially think, but oftentimes companies don’t spend enough money to reach the audiences to get a decent baseline of performance. This is true of both Google and Facebook, for example, as there are minimums you probably need to spend to get the type of impression share or reach, you’d ideally want. Then, if you’re getting a decent return on ad spend for any existing ads, it certainly makes sense to pump up the spending on those particular ones that are performing well.
- Optimize your budget on top performing campaigns, ad groups or creatives. One thing smart agencies do is constantly look at performance. Typically, campaigns are broken down into different ad groups, which have different creatives. If those agencies notice that any particular set of those is doing really well, they will likely move money toward the high-performers and shift money from the lower-performers (campaigns, ad groups or creatives). Or they may even stop spending on the latter to avoid wasted spend.
- Reuse winning ads in other campaigns. Perhaps a video ad you created did well in YouTube. You might try running it on Facebook later or even re-using it in another campaign on the same platform. Either way, it’s likely you didn’t reach audiences with enough frequency where they would get tired of seeing it.
- A/B test creatives, copy, or offers. We often say you don’t always have to set up a formal A/B test of one creative versus another. It might be you simply run a couple different versions of an ad over a similar duration or even the same time and see which one does better in terms of the conversions you’re monitoring. The “test” here could apply to a lot areas – the image/video used, the call-to-action button or even testing a particular offer. If you do perform a test, however, make sure to only test one thing at a time as you’ll want to keep other elements consistent.
- Monitor your ad frequency. Studies have shown that, after a certain point, the more an ad is shown to a viewer, the less likely they are to take action on it, hence the cost per acquisition rises when a viewer gets bored of seeing a particular ad over and over. When is that point? There’s no hard and fast rule here but if you consider that it takes anywhere from 8 to 12 touch points (and these are likely different touch points of the brand from different creatives) to make a sale, then it’s likely you’ll want to keep any single ad frequency between 2 and 4.
No. 3: Scaling Your Channels (a.k.a Coordinating Activities)
What does it mean to scale your channels? First, let’s explain this one by discussing the opposite of scale – and that is creating silos for your marketing. Too often we see small businesses who don’t coordinate their marketing activities – their social media does one thing, their email marketing does another, and their paid media does something else. Much of that has to do with the fact that each of those areas are really different specialties and the same individual rarely runs all three.
Why is that bad?
What happens, in this case, is that the marketing lacks consistency, and may even end up where the marketing in one channel work at odds with something in another area. A better way to organize marketing is certainly a.) To put together a marketing plan that better coordinates activities in each channel and defines what stage of the buyer journey that channel is generally contributing to. So, every channel understands its role in bringing about success; b.) Create crossovers activities that contribute to the success of each channel. For example, how can the content you create help your social media succeed? How can your social media boost your acquisition efforts? How can your email or ads help you hone in on those who already know your brand or who you’ve acquired? In that way, each channel can contribute to another channel’s success. And, in doing so, you’ll be able to scale all your marketing activities, making each of them more effective and better performing.
Scaling is a concept that can save a small business time and money. So, we hope this blog has been helpful to get you moving in the right direction. If you need more help with your marketing or simply feel you don’t have enough bandwidth to take on all that you need to do, feel free to contact us for a free consultation. Our mission is to help you excel in digital marketing.