Our marketing firm is rather close with a local accounting firm. By "close", I mean we've known each other for decades, and by "local accounting firm", I mean the most significant accounting firm in the region, handling the accounting functions for businesses both large and small in several surrounding states.
I was thinking about what purpose an accounting firm serves: to provide a business or organization with the tools and expertise required to function properly and in a financially responsible and optimal way. For some businesses, this may mean that the accounting firm needs to be handling everything from bookkeeping and quarterly taxes to 1099's and succession planning. However, there are some businesses that handle some of those functions in-house. With a full-time AP/AR staff, a business certainly wouldn't be looking for bookkeeping help first; instead, such a business may only want to start with help filing taxes and performing third-party audits. Most business owners understand finance from a high level, but are too busy to stay apprised of the ever-changing tax code. And most businesses (yes, even large businesses with immense capacity for payroll) can't financially justify maintaining an entire accounting department in-house that is capable of performing EACH and EVERY accounting task that will arise throughout the year.
The conclusion here is simple - an organization seeks outside help with critical tasks when it recognizes the cost effectiveness of doing so and/or the lack of in-house talent to accomplish the critical tasks. Why is it then, that while the vast majority of business owners see the logic in retaining the services of an accounting firm, while they fail to see the same logic in retaining the services of a marketing firm?
When all is said and done, hiring a marketing firm nearly always is better for a company in terms of managing costs, as well as ensuring optimal performance of marketing budget. It's very common for a company to have either at least one employee dedicated to marketing full time, or to have someone such as an administrative assistant handling marketing in addition to office administrative tasks. The math is pretty simple: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for administrative assistants is $32,410, with a total range between $20,230 and $48,520. Add in benefits (15% of salary) and payment for time not worked, such as sick or vacation days, and the median ends up around $40,000, with a range of $28-56k (just ballparking here). We'll just run with the *employee cost of $40,000.
**A brief side note: remember all that talk about the accounting firm and how businesses hire accounting help because they realize they don't have the in-house talent required to file taxes, etc. as well as the accounting firm can? Well what makes you think that your administrative assistant or that guy that just got his marketing degree have all the skills you need for marketing? How long have they managed marketing? How many millions in Ad spend have they managed? Do they know not only social media, but SEO, PPC, analytics, display advertising, web development and design, and video and graphic design and production? Who knows, maybe they actually know all that stuff at a really high level. Which would then beg the question... why in the world would they accept $40k/yr to do it? Someone with a high aptitude in all of those fields would easily command 6 figures, and frankly, those people are rare... more often than not, digital marketers and marketers in general become experts in one specific field, not all of them. And more often than not, if you opt to have your buddy/brother/neighbor/friend-of-friend make your website, make your video, or "handle" your marketing, you'll quickly recognize how much actual skill they lack. Avoid buyers remorse and use a professional. End of brief side note.**
Circling back to our example, we now have to account for the actual money spent on advertising (such as buying Ad space online, on TV, or on radio, for example). The SBA (Small Business Administration) recommends that businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenues spend 7-8% of gross revenue on advertising. A CMO survey published by the American Marketing Association and Duke University, showed that companies with less than $25 million in revenue spent an average of 11% on marketing, and $25-$99 million in revenue spent an average of 9% on marketing. So, a business with a million in revenue will spend somewhere around $70k on advertising in a year. A $5 million revenue business will spend around $400k. A $25 million revenue business will spend around $2.25 million in marketing. Simply based on even the low end, a million dollar revenue business with a single lowly employee managing the marketing, you're already over $100,000 in cost for marketing (compensation package + advertising cost).
The smaller clients we have (single location with maybe a handful of employees), never break into the 6 figures range in their budget with us. So what does that tell you? For less than the cost of having an inadequately trained employee who might not even stick around for more than a few years (25-34 yr old workers average 3.2 yrs in a job - yeah, we haven't even discussed the cost of employee turnover, which is about 40% of the annual salary of a position) plus the cost of advertising, our clients not only get their marketing managed by experts, but our clients have access to not one person, but an entire team comprised of experts in an array of fields. Literally, a client is deciding whether to spend more on one person who knows they're in over their head, or spend less on a team of all-stars. Needless to say, it's a pretty easy decision.
Here are a few case studies, to illustrate our fit in a variety of situations:
A car dealer with a very full staff and budget retained our services. They had at the time a minimal marketing presence and an automated PPC campaign. In lieu of hiring a full time marketing manager, we were brought in to fix the PPC account, of which we discovered approximately 99% waste, and establish a marketing presence. They're making at least $6-10 for every $1 spent on marketing now, setting sales goals regularly.
A university department with a full marketing staff retained us for SEO, video, and digital advertising help. Enrollment is up and the marketing paid for itself several times over, while the university avoided adding a position in the wake of a hiring freeze being lifted.
A retailer (brick and mortar store) with a full sales staff retained us to establish a presence online with video. The retailer is now expanding and is shifting even more responsibilities to our firm.
A civic leader responsible for promoting community events is always incredibly busy, so we were retained to take care of everything. Now she has time to cultivate important relationships and partnerships that bring people from near and far to the community, while we handle literally everything from a marketing standpoint for her, saving her from needing to add a full-time position, for a fraction of the cost that that would've been.
An engineer wanted to retain us for SEO help for his one man operation. We analyzed his website and it's performance, along with the rest of his online presence, and determined that all was well. In this situation, we simply gave him a few ideas for incremental improvement and left without taking a cent (we don't recommend unnecessary surgery).
An attorney couldn't find an administrative assistant that was capable of handling marketing as well (not surprising, as those unicorns don't exist). We were brought in to handle the marketing efforts for less than the cost of a few months of employee salary.
The ultimate indication of whether it's justifiable to hire outside marketing help is money. ROI. Profit. Does performance improve with outside help? Not always. Just like with anything else, there's bad Ad agencies out there. We've seen businesses get fleeced too many times by agencies trying to push one go-to product to everyone, essentially trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, forgetting that every business is different and needs a unique approach to optimize their marketing efforts. However, with digital (online) marketing, everything is trackable. There is a wealth of analyic tools out there that allow us to track the impact of every little thing we do. With this ability, we can not only be transparent in our efforts, but we can continually refine and improve our work. This is how we consistently get 500-800% better traffic from our online marketing efforts versus ALL other online marketers in the world.
I rely on numbers and hard data to make decisions. It could be assumed that most businesspeople would say the same; they'd say that if the numbers indicate that they should do something, they will. However, what's more common is businesspeople simply doing what they understand. If they've been advertising in the same magazine for 20 years, and they have a strong indication that online Ads would significantly increase their ROI, they'll often just stay the course and continue the magazine advertising. Because of this risk-averse mindset, which is completely understandable (I'd never invest in something I don't understand, just like Warren Buffett, nor would I ever want anybody to do so), many businesses literally leave money on the table. With this in mind, I wrote this brief analysis to help get your mind thinking a little more of the financial impact of your marketing decisions. We're happy to personally talk with you more about your specific situation to help you decide what would be best for you to do, so feel free to reach out to us today.
About us: Level 11 Online Marketing is a fast growing digital advertising agency that is becoming known for disrupting the status quo. We specialize in digital advertising, video production, SEO, SEM, advanced analytics, custom web solutions via website design & implementation, social media strategies and conversion optimization. Headquartered in Utah, you will find Level 11 team members throughout Utah, Nebraska, Arizona, California, Idaho, and Colorado. We have the best creative minds in the industry backed up by the most talented software developers and video production teams, resulting in powerful, efficient advertising campaigns.
If you have questions, comment here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Search Engine Optimization - or SEO for short - is the process of improving your website for better search engine results, allowing customers and future customers to find your site faster. Implementing good SEO practices onto your site doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process. A process that takes trial and error.
Although the process works best through trial and error, there is no need to try something we all know doesn’t work. Today we are sharing with you the six steps to successfully implementing smart SEO practices onto your site.
#1 Web Analytics & Insight
Begin by setting up web analytics. These analytic reports will help give you insight into your traffic, the most popular content on your site and may even explain your customers buying behavior. This knowledge will help you strategically frame your SEO strategy.
Based off of your analytics and strategy, begin selecting a few keywords to populate your site with. These keywords should be chosen based on relevance, search volume and competition. The purpose of them is to begin driving traffic to your site and to improve your page content.
Your website has many SEO-friendly features that allows you to keep your content updated and relevant. Some of these on-page elements are keywords, alt tags, anchor text and formatting.
Is your site user and mobile friendly? Does it provide your customers with the features necessary? If your customers can’t find what they are looking for or feel overwhelmed when entering your site, they are more than likely going to do business elsewhere.
Your SEO results will be directly impacted by what Google thinks of your website. Search is sacred to Google, so Google will keep you off the search results page if your site isn't optimized for the device someone is searching from. You will also be penalized for "spammy" content (over-use of keywords, etc), and for having bad coding on your website (all the behind-the-scenes architecture that only nerds like us really notice). We have a really awesome tool to quickly "grade" your website for SEO so you can figure out where you can make improvements.
#6 Site Optimization
This is where trial and error come in. Improving your website's SEO takes time and strategy. You must continually be tweaking your strategy. You simply cannot walk away after reaching this final step.
As you go through these steps, you will begin to have a better understanding of your target audience and what your customers really need and want. Your strategy will evolve and as a result, you will begin to see better search engine results.
Thanks so much for coming to LEVEL 11 Online Marketing to learn more about the awesome world of digital marketing! LEVEL 11 Online Marketing is the exclusive online marketer for businesses and brands of all sizes across the country, providing an array of services that have led to clients' revenues increasing by millions of dollars.
If you have questions, comment here or email us at email@example.com today!
Today is the birthday of the man himself, John Wayne. As a legend of the silver screen, The Duke was equally known for his grit as well as his spoken word. Few actors have the timeless quotability of America's Cowboy, and there's so many classic quotes that apply perfectly to business and online marketing in general. Here, we'll reminisce on 11 of John Wayne's greatest quotes! Happy birthday, John!
TOP 11 JOHN WAYNE QUOTES (ABOUT ONLINE MARKETING!)
1 - "That'll be the day." — Ethan Edwards in "The Searchers" (1956)
Yeah, it may be hard to imagine how some of the crazy, complex, new ways of marketing can help you grow your business. But as our clients can testify, we take online marketing to a new level, where you finally see that return on investment you've always dreamed of from your marketing budget, and you no longer have to put off your goals 'til "someday."
2 - "Well, there are some things a man just can't run away from." — Ringo Kid in "Stagecoach" (1939)
Believe it or not, this internet thing is here to stay, and it's time to stop being threatened by it and start treating it like an asset - a true full-time salesman. Unless you're optimizing your online presence and using all the awesome tools available to market your business, you're missing out on huge growth opportunities.
3 - "Young fella, if you’re looking; for trouble I’ll accommodate ya." — "True Grit" (1969)
Face it, your competition would love to win every head-to-head battle against you. There are so many battlegrounds online - websites, social media platforms, search engines, etc. - so there's immediate need to have someone working for you that can not only go toe-to-toe with your competition, but who has the expertise to win for you every single time.
4 - "Whoa, take 'er easy there, Pilgrim." — Tom Doniphon in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962)
We often see businesses who really overdo it. Success comes with consistency and a high degree of excellence in execution, and those who try to run a marathon on day one will undoubtedly burn out quickly with nothing to show for their effort. We take a methodical approach that will best serve your business in the short term as well as the long term.
5 - "Where I come from we don't shoot horses when they get ornery; we tame 'em." — John Drury in "Ride Him, Cowboy" (1932)
There's no doubt you've had marketing blunders in the past, or you feel like there's a challenge in marketing your business that you can't quite get your arms around. What we want to do is saddle up and help you get the control that you need to not only avoid wasting your precious marketing dollars, but making the most of the ever-evolving opportunities that online marketing can offer businesses of all sizes.
6 - "Slap some bacon on a biscuit and let's go! We're burnin' daylight!" — Wil Anderson in "The Cowboys" (1972)
The answer to the question of when a business should be marketing, is YES! There are things that you can do by yourself today to grow your bottom line tomorrow. And of course there are tons of things we can do to help you get your business where you want it to go. Procrastinating your online marketing leads to costly missed opportunities - string together enough "I'll-do-it-tomorrows", and you'll just be left with a lot of empty yesterdays.
7 - "All battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be someplace else." — Captain Rockwell "Rock" Torrey in "In Harm’s Way" (1965)
We get it - most people have put off tackling their digital marketing so long, simply because they don't understand it or are scared of losing precious time and money. Our personal, consultative approach will give you instant confidence and will get your mind spinning with all the awesome things you can do to grow your business.
8 - "Don’t say it's a fine morning, or I'll shoot ya." — George Washington "G.W." McLintock in "McLintock!" (1963)
Your audience is looking for a specific message, and simply putting your finger in the wind won't be enough to determine which direction things are going. There's so much data available to make online marketing incredibly efficient that you never have to worry about whether you're getting the right message to the right audience. There's a reason typical online advertisements only get 2-4% of the clicks that ours get - we put your brand in front of your ideal audience and communicate the perfect message to them. That makes your new potential customers happy, and that makes you more money!
9 - "Hey, stupid! Where do you think you're going? Get back there with the herd, you muttonhead!" — John Wyatt in "Westward Ho" (1935)
Being analytical and precise is the only way to begin marketing. Deviating from your goals, or not having goals in the first place, will leave you in no-man's-land and will cause disarray in your overall branding. Know what you want to do before you start doing it, and if adjustments need to be made along the way, you'll already have a goal that's worth striving towards, making your marketing efforts far more efficient.
10 - "You left a boy out there to do a man's job!" — Cole Thornton in "El Dorado" (1966)
Here's some shameless self-promotion... we're the best at what we do. Abraham Lincoln once said "whatever you are, be a good one", and we are the best dang strategic marketers anywhere. From local businesses to national brands, our team has seen it all, and our experience is what leads us to cleaning up the messes that other marketers cause (messes that lose businesses thousands of dollars). The long-term success is certainly not child's play, so it pays big time to bring in the heavy hitters.
11 - "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday." —Interview (1971)
Effective, aggressive marketing requires vision and agility. A "set-it-and-forget-it" mentality is what causes many failures in marketing. Don't fall into the failed line of thinking that your past success will lead you to future success. WHAT GOT YOU HERE WON'T GET YOU THERE. If you're not learning from the past and improving in the future by taking advantage of new tools and techniques, past failures and marketing blunders will simply be sunk cost. Let's turn the past into an investment, and take all the data and knowledge available to us, combine it with our years of experience, and take your business to an entirely new level. Level 11 Online Marketing is the best tool you can find to make the most of tomorrow.
Thank you so much for coming to LEVEL 11 Online Marketing to learn more about us and how we can help you succeed in growing your business through the awesome world of digital marketing! Questions? Comment below or click on the contact tab.