Commerce Signals estimates that 40% of all media spend is wasted and some marketers believe that at least 26% of their budgets is wasted (Source: MediaPost). Even John Wanamaker, a marketing expert, said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”
Marketing may feel like a money hole. We spend all this time and money on ads and content, yet we don’t always see the highest return on investment. However, marketing doesn’t have to be this expensive. Ivana Taylor only spends $17 a day on her marketing strategies and she doesn’t waste any of it.
In the last episode with Ivana, we discussed preparing for positive and negative tectonic shifts, marketing, and selling to an established audience. In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss how to choose the best marketing strategy for your business that will help you get the best ROI.
How to Market Your Business For $17 a Day: 3 Marketing Strategies
Ivana only spends $17 a day on marketing. To do this, she said it all comes down to doubling down and staying focused. She recommends we pick one of three basic marketing strategies: content marketing, direct marketing, and paid advertising, and then stick with it. Once we know what our strategy is, we know where to spend our money.
“Just decide. Save your money into a bucket and double down,” Ivana said. “I’m a big believer in focusing and doubling down. When you do that, 80% of the [garbage] goes away.”
In the beginning, we may want to test a couple of different strategies to find what works best for us. As soon as we know what works, we should put all of our time, energy, and money into that one strategy.
Content marketing focuses on educating our customers through online material such as newsletters, social media posts, blogs, videos, etc. This content doesn’t directly promote our products or services; instead, it is intended to inform and spark interest.
While a lot of content can be involved in direct marketing, it is used in different ways for different purposes. For example, we may use the content in our newsletters to pitch our health consulting services. That’s direct marketing. Content marketing focuses on educating our customers. Our newsletter may include 10 healthy recipes or free marketing tips. The key is that we are giving out content to provide value, not to win a sale. This strategy often works the best in the long run as it helps direct our customers down a marketing funnel that eventually leads to a sale.
Ivana chose to use a content marketing strategy for her business. She explained, “If I’m running a content marketing strategy, . . . I make money by generating traffic, through ad revenue, and sponsored content; I make money through content.”
In addition to ad revenue, content marketing shows our customers what our brand offers. We show them we have something of value to offer them. If potential customers find value in that content, they often visit our website and eventually buy our products or services.
The direct marketing strategy relies on contacting customers about our products or services without a middleman or third party. This involves pitching our brand directly to our customers.
If we’ve chosen a direct marketing strategy, we may decide to create a webinar to sell something. Instead of creating a webinar to educate our customers (content marketing), we use our webinar to pitch our brand (direct marketing).
Referral marketing falls under direct marketing. “Referrals are really just a matter of having conversations,” Ivana said. “I had a rule that I had to make three referral conversations a day. . . . I promise you that is your fastest path to cash—referral marketing. Direct marketing is your fastest path to cash.”
Paid advertising is self explanatory. We pay for ad space. This could mean paying for advertisements on a billboard, paying for ads on Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc., or paying influencers to advertise our products for us. This can be a great option for those who don’t want to sell, don’t have the time, or those who aren’t the best at selling. It can work especially well for niche businesses that have a very specific target audience.
“It’s as if every marketing thing we do is so that you don’t have to advertise, and that’s stupid,” Ivana said. She believes businesses often waste their time and money trying to avoid paid advertising at all costs, but end up spending more effort in the long run.
Many entrepreneurs will invest thousands of dollars into a course on something like “How to Build Your Email List”, but they won’t retain or even consume any of the information. Why would we waste our money on a course we’re probably not going to use just to avoid paid advertising? We could take the same amount of money, consult a Google expert, invest in some Google ads, and see results from them with minimal effort on our part.
How to Know Which Strategy to Use
Choosing what strategy to use comes down to knowing what we have to offer, and how much money and time we have. Content marketing takes a lot of time, but may not be as expensive right off the bat. Paid advertising often takes a lot of money, but doesn’t take as much time. Direct marketing is the fastest path to cash, but it may not be the best strategy to scale a business. Knowing our resources and goals is important in determining what marketing strategy we should use.
“You have to sit down and do the numbers. Build your ideal offer, then you can splinter off of that offer and do something much cheaper or you can make it more expensive,” Ivana said.
“Really think your strategy through.”
If we chose content marketing as our strategy, we’d need to break it down into tactics. Maybe we need to focus on building our email list. Maybe we should put together a virtual summit or a quiz. Marketing plans often look like a strategy with two or three different tactics at first. Once we test those strategies, we can find the one that works the best for us, then double down and focus on that one tactic until we have enough time to branch out.
One we start to get our content out there and build an audience, then we can choose our tools carefully.
Ivana spends $500 a month on different tools to help her with her content marketing strategy. That comes down to about $17 a day. This is where all of her marketing budget goes towards.
“Take the time to figure things out. Go on the demos, learn how the tools work, and make an intelligent decision so that you choose the right tool for the job,” Ivana said. Different tools can be a great way to spend our marketing money, but we have to make sure we find the ones that help us the most. This takes time testing each tool, signing up for the 30-day free trial, to make sure it will work for us, before commiting to paying for it.
This is the same process Ivana used to narrow down the tools she uses for her content marketing strategy. Since she needs to create content, she found tools to help her improve her content.
Here are four of the tools she uses: SEMrush, Phrase, Surfer SEO, and Conversion AI. Each of these tools help her create better content. For example, Phrase helps her optizmie her written content by providing headline suggestions while SEMrush helps her find the best keywords to use. Conversion AI will scan the internet and write foundational content for you, so if you’re struggling with writer’s block, it can help give you a great starting point.
Finding the right tools is really important as we don’t want to be wasting money on tools that we don’t end up using.
Thank you so much Ivana for sharing your stories and insights with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
- Basic marketing strategies fall into content marketing, direct marketing, and paid advertising. We should choose one of these strategies to focus and double down on.
- Choosing what strategy to use comes down to knowing what we have to offer, and how much money and time we have.
- We should take the time to think our strategy through before we begin implementing anything. We should research a few different tactics and compare costs with our budget.
- To find the right tools for our strategies, we should go on the demos and learn how the tools work before making an intelligent decision.
Connect with Ivana
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