How Much Should You Spend On A Pay-Per-Click Advertising Campaign?

Running a business is really hard work, and even for those of you out there who have multiple businesses, the work does not necessarily get easier. Not only are you dealing with the day-to-day operations of what your industry is, but you are also navigating the 21st century in terms of spreading the word about your business, and this will undoubtedly include a pay-per-click advertising campaign.

As companies have begun to understand what it means to be relevant players in the online advertising game, being able to know how best to drive traffic to their website is critical for success. Moreover, not only is the initial push of traffic vital, but there is a need to understand what it takes to maintain a static ad campaign. In today’s world of online advertising and marketing, clicks are what it is all about. There’s just one problem – how exactly does a business’s advertising budget factor into funding a successful pay-per-click advertising campaign?

The truth is that all businesses struggle with making sure their advertising budget is efficiently spent and that there is a worthwhile return on investment. Thus, the question comes up about the amount of money that should be spent when it comes to a pay-per-click advertising campaign.

Here are a few things to consider:

Determination of Goals – What’s it all about for your business? Numbers of leads or sales per ad dollars? Knowing what you want & what means the most to your business is the best guide.

Find Out Where You Can Save Money – Advertising experts note that only about 25% of small businesses are active in their PPC accounts. Getting your hands a little dirty may actually save you money because you’re taking the time to see where issues have arisen & trying to nip them in the bud before they become problems.

Factor in Room for Errors or Changes – Advertising budgets need some room to maneuver so that changes can be made when necessary. A dynamic advertising plan is always vital for any business because standing still without financial wiggle room means you get left behind.

Have An Actual Budget From Which to Work – Perhaps the most important part of any pay-per-click advertising campaign, businesses need to have a budget from the beginning. This lets you know how much you can spend & allocate funds for changes that may come up.

As with most things pertaining to advertising and marketing, determining a specific dollar amount to be spend on your business’s per-per-click advertising campaign is not an exact science. Full disclosure: there are a number of websites that provide their versions of equations to give you a ballpark figure, but again, it’s all an estimation. In the end, knowing what best works for your company’s advertising dollars is teaming up with a killer advertising agency that can get a handle on your business, understand your needs, and help you put together a plan to make every advertising dollar work for you.

The Truth About Menu Boards

Digital Menu Boards are utilized in less than 20% of restaurants in overall nation. The other 80% are needlessly missing out on some incredibly easy and effective ways to increase the bottom line.

What’s today’s special?

Over half of restaurant customers look to menu boards specifically to find out what’s on special. But incredibly, almost half the time the very information that these eager customers were looking for, literally with their money in their hands, was nowhere to be found! For the 80%, it’s easy to see why. Imagine how difficult it would be to change static chalkboard signage every time you change your special. For owners of digital display systems, what’s on your display can be changed at the touch of a button, with the changes automatically reflected in your POS system, too.

This disadvantage is especially crushing if your major target consumers are younger. The Millennials, perhaps the most important demographic for QSR establishments, are less set in their ways about everything, including the food that they eat. They are looking for new food experiences and your meal specials are prime candidates. Why would you want to miss this opportunity?

One picture is worth 1000 words:

QSR customers are in a hurry. They won’t take a time to read lengthy explanations. That’s why pictures are essential, especially if you’re promoting a new menu item. A tantalizing vision of your latest promotional special, in all its mouthwatering glory in living color, will have your customers reaching for their wallets far faster than any verbal description. While posting great pictures is as easy as a few taps on a keyboard for operators boasting digital display systems, it will present much more of a challenge for those still stuck with chalkboard or painted signage.

Greater control with digital signage:

For franchises or other types of multi-site operators, what customers see on menu boards can be centrally controlled. A new limited time offer and new pricing can be made to appear at all your locations, whether they are on the other side of town, or on the other side of the continent. And, if you’re spending millions on advertising that great new blockbuster offer on the web and on TV, you want to make sure that what your hungry, eager customers see on your menu signs is in sync with the expectations that you spent so much time, effort and money in creating.

The Experience Economy: Why I Can’t Sell My China

My husband and I are on a quest to downsize and get rid of “stuff” that serves no purpose in our lives. This includes our two sets of beautiful Wedgwood china that we lovingly chose many years ago. But, to our dismay, no one wants it. Not even our sons. And it’s not just me. My friends who share a few gray hairs are experiencing the same.

It turns out the world has changed dramatically since our young days of hedonistic consumerism. And it’s probably changed forever. What’s going on? Consider the following:

According to Business Insider, millennial home ownership is at an all-time low. In fact, according to Trulia, 71% of millennials surveyed regret the purchase in the first place. They simply don’t like the debt, and they regret investing money into a permanent home. Furthermore, they are moving to smaller urban spaces that do not allow for the “collection of stuff.” In other words, “things” don’t matter.
The obsession with Tiny Houses. I can count at least four television shows that promote this streamlined type of living. Personally, I’m obsessed with the idea. According to a ValueInsured survey, millennials are not investing in large homes. And even more surprising, it’s the baby boomers who are more likely to purchase lower-priced homes.

What’s going on? People (not just millennials) are moving toward collecting experiences over things. The “Experience Economy” values more time with family and more money to travel, as well as more time and money to experience all that life might offer. Something other than things. In fact, one could argue that we are a society looking to simplify, even moving toward a minimalist lifestyle. What’s even more telling is the fact that our digital world takes the place of stuff we needed in the past (storage for CDs, for example).

Recently, I was sitting around a C-level roundtable discussing this very topic, and one gentleman even claimed that the move toward “experiences” is for social bragging rights. You’ve seen it – pictures of food, concerts, vacations, etc. – all over social media. Whatever the reason, the Experience Economy is here.

So, if you are a brand like Road Scholar, you are in pretty good shape. But what about the rest of you? Brands that listen to consumers and find opportunities among their evolving wants and needs, rather than in spite of them, are the ones winning today. Consider Nordstrom and their “tiny store” model that offers experiences over shopping. Or Bonobos, who has created a unique retail experience in which you cannot walk out the door with merchandise. Or even ThirstyNest who offers personalized wine gifts to newlyweds who are interested in creating memories over filling up a china cabinet.

So, with smaller living spaces and fewer dollars being spent on things, what’s a brand to do? Ask yourself the following three questions:

How do my products create an experience or enrich the lives of my customers? If you sell puzzles, shouldn’t you really be selling family time, allowing loved ones to gather together and enjoy each other? If it’s a pair of shoes, are they comfortable enough for someone to enjoy the concert they’re attending, or are they lightweight and easy to pack for their next adventure? It’s critical you change the selling benefits of products to reflect how the world has changed.

Are you evolving your product line to reflect the down-sizing of America or the Experience Economy? Are you moving toward products that provide simplicity, efficiency or multi-use? Or, are you developing products that provide unique experiences and allow for social bragging? A word of caution: Just because you have a best-seller today doesn’t mean it will fit into the lifestyle of your customer tomorrow. Evolve!

Have you considered out-of-the-box ideas or shopping experiences with a unique twist that your customer will appreciate? I’m sure there was a time we might have laughed at brands like Bonobos, but who’s laughing now? And didn’t we think continuity programs were dead? Nope. Consider brands like Blue Apron, Birchbox or Stitch Fix that have turned consumerism into a streamlined experience.

Unfortunately, marketing has become more difficult! But, only if you are thinking about selling “things.” People don’t need or want your things anymore. The sharp marketers of tomorrow will be the ones who understand this strange new world we live in and wrap their products into experiences. As for my china? I’m going to change my Letgo description to: the perfect set of breakable dishes for your next Greek gathering.