How to build a cost-effective marketing funnel with single-payment marketing strategies
Just to clarify, by single-payment marketing strategies we mean that you pay the money for your marketing up front, as opposed to paying ongoing fees. In other words, you can “buy” a marketing resource outright and let it work for you indefinitely.
This is huge because the most important aspect of marketing is cost effectiveness. You need marketing that is going to bring in the most qualified leads per every dollar you invest. TV ads, for example, might get you the most impressions. But does the upside justify the cost? How many of those impressions become leads? How many of those leads become sales?
Traditional advertising (think billboards, print ads, TV and radio commercials) all have a recurring cost. There is a place for recurring-cost advertising, but the more leads you can generate with single-payment advertising, the less you have to rely on strategies that come with a monthly bill.
Below, we’ve covered several basic fixed cost strategies. Many of our customers are already doing most of these things. If you aren’t, we recommend them. We explain why they’re important below.
1. Vehicle branding
This is an obvious one for service companies like contractors, but businesses of all types can benefit from it. You already have a vehicle. Just add some decals. Think of it as a rolling billboard, raising awareness of your brand and services. You pay for the decals once, and every time you drive somewhere you’re getting countless eyeballs on your messaging.
This is a big deal for local businesses, because owners do most of their driving where their qualified leads are --- in their service area.
When it comes to vehicle branding, keep it short and sweet. Use it as a lead-in to phone conversations and your website. All you really need is a noticeable logo, company name, website address, and phone number. At most, you can add a small slogan that identifies company values or cultures. But you don’t want to anything that takes more than a couple seconds to read and comprehend.
2. Branded apparel
This one is huge, because you can get the public to advertise for you. Even better, you might get your loyal customers to pay you for the privilege. The modest profits a company makes off branded apparel will offset other marketing costs.
Branded apparel is highly effective marketing, too. As we say often, the best form of marketing is Word-of-mouth; the word of a trusted friend/coworker/neighbor/family member is the most credible form of endorsement. The people wearing your brand don’t even have to open their mouth to say that they trust your company. They’re already saying it to everybody they meet by wearing your brand.
This is pretty simple. If you can put a sign out by the road in front of your business, do it. Signs are a relatively low cost, and the number of impressions you get is the exact number of people that drive down your road on any given day.
It very well could be that those people are already being serviced by a competitor, and don’t know you exist because they haven’t shopped around. Or, maybe, they know you exist and just need a reminder that they haven’t gotten around to checking you out yet. If you put your phone number and website address on the sign, they won’t even have to get off their daily driving route to give you a look.
Some good places for signs are:
-other businesses you’re friendly with, especially ones that are related to what you do
-In front of homes of people you know, or the homes of satisfied customers who give you permission
(you can offer a small discount off your services for hosting a sign in their yard)
-Any roadside where it’s legal-In front of your own business or home
Every well-run website will need a little maintenance here and there, but a website is largely covered with an upfront payment. There’s a cost to building it out, but once you pay for it, it’s yours. From that point on, you can scale it up as you need, and maintain it at minimal cost. It will sit there forever if you want it to, doing its job day in and day out, around the clock.
5. Blogging and resource pages
This is kind of a sub-category of websites, but it’s worthy of its own description. By resource pages, we mean one-time page buildouts that you put on your website to provide value to your customers.
Blog entries are resource pages, technically speaking. The key distinction is that blogging is on going. This might sound like a recurring cost at first, but once you publish a blog post, it’s up there as long as you need it to be. Basically, you’re buying every single post at a set price.
With every new page you add to your website, each page becomes more effective at what it’s supposed to do. More pages, higher word counts, more traffic. On top of that, your pages will start to link to each other, which help you get users to visit more of your web pages and spend more time on your site...which is great for authority.
The marketing needs of every business are different, but if there was a generic funnel that we prescribed as the default for every local business, all five of these strategies would be on there.
The rest of your marketing can be built around these strategies. Along with a deliberate focus on strengthening your word-of-mouth marketing, hey are the basis of a productive and highly cost-effective marketing machine.
Recurring cost strategies, such as print ads, billboards, display ads and Pay-per-click, can be added in as needed. We use PPC for specific campaigns, or to boost traffic when a website is in its infancy. But the backbone of the funnel for local businesses can be single-payment strategies.