In my opinion, putting your marketing budget completely in short-term, quick return strategies is a non-sustainable marketing strategy overall. If you have no long-term residual strategies, if all you’re doing is working leads that you’re paying for today, you’re going to end up in a poor situation where you’re constantly scrambling for leads and at risk of not having enough. You will have invested tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars into leads with no real long-term benefit from that investment. Unless you are aggressively closing a substantial amount of premium on those leads you are buying, and then using those clients to get referrals (which is part of a long-term strategy), then you have already reaped any reward to be gained from your investment with no real long-term benefit. So you've got to have a solid short-term strategy to get leads now, and a solid long-term strategy to educate prospects over the long haul to generate leads on a residual basis. Your ultimate goal is to not have to pay directly for every lead you're receiving.
When you stay consistent with a monthly budget you get to a place where you can start to establish benchmarks of what products are successful or not successful. You can always scale your budget up or down, but you’re doing so in a measured fashion, not just throwing money on a wall and seeing what sticks. You don’t just try buying £5,000 in Facebook ads, and when you don’t see a return within a few weeks you hit pause on Facebook and dump another chunk of change into a different product for a different amount of time. If you don’t have a budget then you don’t have a strategy. You’ve got a scattered approach where you just start trying stuff - TV, radio, billboards, direct mail, live transfers, Facebook leads, aged Facebook leads - it’s like trying to hit a moving target. It’s very difficult to actually track what the heck is going on in comparing the results you’re getting with the different products - there’s too many variables. Your budget gives you a strategy and dictates your pace of optimization and growth.
A budget also takes the pressure and the stress off of laying out cash without enough runway. Everybody wants to think that marketing is as simple as spending a buck and getting £4 back. Absolutely, you want to reach a benchmark of “x” return on ad spend, you want to have a good number to shoot for that is scalable. But you’re not going to get there day one, week one or even month one. Sometimes it takes as much as two, three, or eight months to optimize a campaign to get to the point where you're seeing 4x, 6x, or 12x return on investment. And even then, results can continue to vary. You have to resist the temptation to keep moving your marketing dollars around. You have to maintain discipline and consistency - that's the key with marketing. A lot of people fail in business and specifically in marketing because they don't understand this particular concept. It's super obnoxious to work with people that refuse to give you a specific budget. You either need a daily, weekly or a monthly budget. If you don't have that, you’ve got to figure it out.
If you’re wanting to create web content to educate the users in order to get ranked organically on Google, then you have to have a fairly substantial budget to invest in this long-term strategy. You’re investing today into content and then reaping the reward of lead generation over time, as opposed to paying today for clicks on Google or paying for views on Facebook. But if your budget isn’t big enough to do long-term marketing, there’s no sense even going down that road because your budget doesn’t support it. Don’t waste your money on half-baked content marketing - your current appetite is for leads today, so put your budget towards that and you can add content marketing to your strategy once you have the budget for it.
On the flip side, if you have a healthy budget, let's just say £5,000 a month, it would be unwise to spend all of that money on short-term marketing strategies like Google and Facebook paid traffic. You should take some of that budget and invest in content marketing and build an informative website that will educate your audience. This will begin to generate organic traffic for free rather than only getting a lead by having to pay every time someone clicks on your ad. If you're trying to build a business and think about what's best for the long-term, and you have enough budget, then content marketing and investing in your website and good content will be the best return on investment over time compared to anything else you'll do. You're investing today into content to have a residual uptick in traffic and leads over time.