When it comes to marketing, how do you balance your short-term strategy versus the long-term? This is a challenge we face every day for ourselves and our clients. I think it’s a challenge that anyone who manages a marketing budget who needs to drive growth faces as well.
Here’s my two cents on this important matter…
First, let’s quickly define what a short-term versus a long-term marketing tactic is.
A short-term tactic is anything you can implement immediately to drive a result.
Short-term tactics are usually advertising-based these days. You can also include email marketing if you already have an email database and sharing on social media if you have an engaged audience, except for Facebook of course which doesn’t have any organic reach these days.
A long-term tactic is anything that requires an investment of time in exchange for growth opportunities that are not available using short-term tactics. This includes increasing your email database, implementing a content marketing strategy, launching a YouTube series, growing organic rankings, building up your social media following, partnership marketing, etc.
Long-term also includes optimizing the conversion of your website, so you get more out of your advertising spend. Long-term tactics are the key to ongoing sustained growth because they reduce your reliance on advertising as the key to growth.
Short-term tactics are key to ensure your short-term business requirements are being met. The best approach is a combination of both.
I commonly us short-term tactics like Facebook ads and YouTube ads to generate inquiries and build up our email database.
Then we use long-term tactics of content marketing (video, blogs, etc.) and email marketing to build a relationship with our audience so they consider us when they’re in the market to buy.
How should you allocate your budget between short and long-term tactics?
It’s all about what you need — right now.
There’s no point investing in the long-term if you don’t have enough new business coming through the door to pay your staff and overheads. So, start there. Figure out what you need on a monthly basis to sustain your business requirements — from a lead or sales perspective — and then focus on generating that volume of business for as small an investment as possible.
This usually includes running advertising campaigns to landing pages if you’re a service-based business, or shopping ads if you’re an e-commerce business. Facebook ads can be quite cost-effective for both.
From there, I’d focus on building up your email database because it means you can drive traffic to your website on demand.
Invest in content marketing because not only does it generate organic traffic from Google but the right content would drive a lot of customers through your business as well as growing your online footprint through your readers sharing it with their social network.
What you should really be considering is how to build a growth machine, a marketing system that’s designed to deliver new customers to your business on a monthly basis which can grow each and every month.
No matter what, you need to be measuring your performance. But you don’t need to measure everything. Here are the numbers I’d be tracking…
The key to growing a business fast is to get the most out of your marketing budget each and every month, and that requires both short and long-term marketing tactics.