Realize that ‘the beauty that exists is almost every piece of data is measurable’ when budgeting to power digital marketing efforts
Bryan Joseph, DC, has been CEO/President of The Wellness Connection in O’Fallon, Missouri for the past 15 years. He took time to answer questions about budgeting to power digital marketing efforts to bring in new patients, raise a practice’s visibility and more.
Part I of this interview is available here.
To power digital marketing efforts, how should a budget be allotted?
Where you decide to allocate your budget is again going to depend on your goal, purpose, and desired return on investment (ROI). The beauty that exists with digital marketing is almost every piece of data is measurable. This is huge if you pay attention to it and know what the data is telling you.
Unlike non-digital efforts, another huge benefit of digital marketing is that you can run very small “tests” to determine what’s working and keep tweaking and optimizing them without spending much money to find a strong conversion to your liking. Once you have a strong conversion tested out, you can gradually add more ad spend (money) to ramp it up and watch it work!
I like to start small and get a feel for how something is producing before throwing my entire budget at it to power digital marketing efforts and hope it works out. This ensures a much safer and efficient use of the money you’ve allocated toward marketing. Let’s face it, most practices have a relatively small budget to work with, so why waste any of it if it can be avoided?
How can chiropractors determine what is working and what isn’t?
Some digital marketing efforts can be assessed more quickly than others. For example, if you are to begin a digital content strategy to improve brand awareness such as a podcast or blog, you may have a longer timeframe to assess whether it’s serving a purpose or not. Content strategies that stack up and help with the SEO of your website may take months if not years to see the fruits of the efforts.
While on the other end, if you run a promotion spotlighting a specific product or service for a limited time with a clear call to action, you will be able to assess its effectiveness in a much quicker timeframe. Overall, it’s important to keep your eyes on your data and evaluate what’s working or not working at least once a month.
If something isn’t working, what are the options?
If you have given a digital marketing campaign an honest effort and aren’t happy with the results, then it’s time to innovate your strategy. Sometimes it can be a small change to the headline or the picture to power your digital marketing efforts that makes it go from a zero to hero.
Avoid throwing more money into the process when you aren’t seeing good results at a small budget. It’s rare that more money is the answer as opposed to revising your strategy. Typically, any good marketing agency you use should already know this and will be constantly trying to improve your results. If not, it’s time to find someone else to help you.
Don’t be afraid to ask the marketing agency questions about what typical results to expect, what the average acquisition costs are, how much others are budgeting toward their campaigns, and what they’re seeing. Ask for references and reach out to others to get the real experiences.
What are mistakes to avoid early on when figuring out digital marketing budgets?
By far, the biggest mistake made is a lack of monitoring and managing your efforts. It’s never a one-and-done mentality that produces great results. Too many DCs hire marketing companies and then never pay attention to the results until months go by and money is short.
Another mistake made commonly is signing long-term contracts with any type of marketing efforts. You should never have to be tied down to a marketing campaign that’s not producing your desired goals. Try to avoid any commitments that go beyond three months. If you’re not happy with what you’re seeing after three months, then it may be time to look for another option.
What’s a good take-away for DCs wading into digital marketing?
Marketing is a game! It can be really fun to play and is rewarding once you begin to figure out the rules.
Most of us didn’t decide to become doctors of chiropractic to have to become marketers, but if you own a business it’s a vital skill to develop and understand. There are lots of great resources out there, but most of all, try and find someone that is doing what you want to be doing and learn from them.