The Internet is Affordable
The internet has made it incredibly cost-effective to market any business, simply because of how fast and efficiently you are able to reach your target audience.
It [the internet] has created a world where small businesses can compete on the same playing field as major corporations, if they are able to out-skill them using digital marketing – a few examples to follow.
A small insurance agency can outrank a direct writer on Google for coverages they want to sell.
A start-up tech company can use LinkedIn to gain access to, network with, large prospects to pitch their product.
A boutique home decor shop can let everyone within a 15-mile radius know they just opened up using Facebook and Instagram targeted ads.
This is all made possible because companies no longer need to hire a full-time employee to manage their marketing. Marketing agencies and contractors are the perfect supplement for businesses on a budget.
How Affordable is it?
The answer to this question hinges on what you want your level of involvement to be. We find that most business owners want to spend time running their business, rather than worrying what goes out on Facebook.
Below we break down some MVP (Minimal Viable Product) digital marketing options that we recommend to any agent, or business owner for that matter, looking to ramp up their digital game.
Here Are Some Options
This is the #1 recommendation we provide to any local business regardless of their size – it also happens to be the most inexpensive.
Google reviews are free for everyone – Google does not charge you for them. Your customers won’t require compensation for leaving one. And… they are highly effective!
Google reviews help rank on Google in your town, and surrounding towns, for the product or service you sell locally. If it’s insurance, when someone searches “Insurance agent near me” or “plumber insurance in San Diego”, Google reviews play a MAJOR role in who appears on the map.
We believe that Facebook ads are the most underutilized marketing tool on the planet for two reasons.
- They are so hyper-targeted that you can get in front of anyone you want.
- They are far more affordable than Google pay per click ads – for example, one PPC click on google can cost 20 bucks, while 10,000 impressions on Facebook can cost five dollars.
You can run all sorts of Facebook ads – selfie videos, fun pictures from a holiday party, targeted sales content – if you can name it, there’s a strategy for it.
To successfully run Facebook ads you need to consider these four factors:
- The Creative: What will your ad look like? Will it be video or picture? What is its purpose?
- The Target Audience: What towns am I targeting? Which industries am I targeting? What income level am I targeting?
- Ad Spend: How much can I budget to spend? How many impressions do I want? How many views do I want? How fast do I want everyone in the area to see my message?
- Management: Who’s going to make sure our ads are running effectively? Who will maintain and optimize our campaigns?
I’m a Small Business… What Should My Budget Be?
We work with agents ranging from 2 person teams, all the way up to agents with 8 offices and recommend the same formula for them all.
Start small, buy in, then expand accordingly.
In the end, a larger marketing budget simply means you move faster – you start ranking on Google faster, your ads reach more people faster, you win more Google reviews in a shooter time frame.
However, moving at the speed of a smaller budget still generates awesome results (especially if you are starting from scratch).
For smaller agents (1-5 person shops):
A marketing budget of $500-$1,000/mo is a sufficient start. This will allow you to jump-start your online marketing, while keeping costs down.
Mid-sized agents (6-20 person shop):
You may be ready to take on more – a ballpark of $1,500 – $3,000/mo is a great starting point.
Large agents (20+ employees):
It comes down to desire – larger agents usually have more flexibility when it comes to budget, so figuring out what their goals are will usually determine where and how much is spent.
We confidently believe any agent can compete effectively on $1,000/mo. That’s a budget that will allow an agent to run Facebook Ads and generate Google reviews.
We have some amazing case studies on agents who have used these programs that we are happy to share with you. As part of our partnership, Jump Suit Group is offering free consultations to all American Agents Alliance member agents.
About The Author:
Connor MacNeil is the founder of Jump Suit Group – A digital marketing agency based out of Boston, MA. JSG has partnered with American Agents Alliance to offer member agents consulting and marketing services at an extreme discount.
Jump Suit Group has successfully helped to grow dozens of independent agents across the country and worked with The Big “I”, The North American Insurance Alliance and The New England 1752 Club.