Four States Small Business Blog

Brett James

Recent Posts

7 Ways to Use Your Marketing Budget Wisely

Posted by Brett James on September 12, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Marketing is the lifeblood of any business, and it's the bridge that connects your products or services to your target audience. However, in today's competitive business landscape, it's not just about spending money on marketing; it's about using your marketing budget wisely to achieve maximum results. In this blog, we'll explore strategies and tips on how to make the most of your marketing budget and get the best return on investment.

1. Set Clear Goals

Before allocating your marketing budget, you need to establish clear, measurable goals. These goals should align with your overall business objectives. Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads, or boost sales? Having well-defined goals will help you allocate your budget more effectively, as each goal may require different marketing channels and tactics.

2. Analyze Past Performance

Reviewing your past marketing campaigns can provide valuable insights. Analyze which strategies and channels yielded the best results and which ones fell short. This data can help you make informed decisions when planning your budget allocation. It allows you to invest more in what works and avoid wasting money on ineffective strategies.

3. Prioritize Your Target Audience

Not all marketing channels and tactics will be equally effective for reaching your target audience. Understanding your audience's preferences, behaviors, and demographics is essential. Invest in research to create detailed buyer personas, and then allocate your budget to channels and strategies that are most likely to reach and engage your ideal customers.

4. Diversify Your Marketing Mix

While focusing on your core strategies is essential, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Diversifying your marketing mix can help you reach a broader audience and mitigate risks. Consider allocating your budget across various channels, such as content marketing, digital display advertising, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and SEO. This way, you can hedge against changes in the marketing landscape or algorithm updates that may impact one channel.

5. Leverage Data and Analytics

Utilize marketing analytics such as   Google Search Console to track traffic to your business website and gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Additionally, monitoring traffic stats for your website can help you make informed decisions about what kinds of content to produce moving forward. 

6. Invest in Content Marketing

Content marketing is a cost-effective strategy that can yield significant long-term benefits. Producing high-quality, valuable content engages your audience and improves your search engine rankings, driving organic traffic. Allocate a portion of your budget to content creation, including blog posts, videos, or audio content such as podcasts. 

7. Monitor Your ROI

Regularly evaluate your marketing ROI to ensure you're getting the best results from your budget. Calculate the return on investment for each campaign and channel and adjust your budget allocation accordingly. Over time this approach will help refine your marketing strategy and maximize your budget's impact over time.

Build an Effective Marketing Plan

Zimmer Marketing has been busy helping businesses transform into powerful local brands with multi-channel marketing campaigns. We can help you determine the right marketing blend for your needs and ensure your brand has a consistent message that resonates with your audience and drives growth.

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Topics: Integrated Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing, Advertising

4 Steps for Creating a Compelling Value Proposition for Your Business

Posted by Brett James on July 11, 2023 at 7:30 AM
In today's competitive marketplace, your businesses must have a clear and compelling value proposition that sets you apart from competition. A value proposition defines the unique benefits that your company offers to potential customers, and it plays a significant role in attracting and retaining customers. This week, we will discuss five essential steps to help you create a compelling value proposition for your business.

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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Branding

The Status of Print Media Advertising in 2023

Posted by Brett James on June 20, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Advertising in print media has long been an important marketing channel for American businesses of all sizes. But this has been especially true for smaller, local businesses. The access to local audiences plugged into their communities that local newspapers offer is an excellent opportunity for affordable advertising. But with the rise of digital publications, what is the status of print media, and what are some advertising alternatives? In today's blog, we will look at the condition of print media in America and offer some advertising alternatives to diversify your marketing budget and secure your business's growth into the future. 

Print Media in 2023

For companies that have depended on print advertising in local newspapers and magazines, there is good news and bad news. Let's start with the good: The downfall of print media in the United States has not been as precipitous as the worst predictors have warned. That brings us to the bad news. The trend of declining print media, and by extension, advertising opportunities, continues.   "Total estimated weekday circulation of U.S. daily newspapers was 55.8 million in 2000 and dropped to 24.2 million by 2020,"  according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

While the around 20 million people still receiving newspapers can still be reached with newspaper advertising, the last two decades have nonetheless seen the national audience shrink by half. Those with access to stable internet connections, and especially those with smartphones, prefer receiving news and entertainment via various forms of digital media. The remaining audience for traditional print media tends to be older, more rural, and more involved in their local community.

Diversify Your Marketing Media

Depending on the demographics of the audience you are trying to reach with your advertising, print media may still be an important part of your marketing plan. However, print advertising cannot reach anywhere near as many readers as it used to. Now is the time to add in other marketing media to grow the reach of your branding message.

Advertising Alternatives to Print Media

There are many alternatives to traditional print advertising that we could talk about. But for the sake of simplicity, we'll cover four options that can help you enhance your marketing mix in light of the decline in print media.

Radio Advertising

Radio stands out as a particularly good alternative for businesses that historically depend on local print advertising. Production and advertising costs are low compared to other media, and it reaches regional audiences with the added benefit of audience segmentation based on station formats. Radio continues to boast high numbers of listeners. 

Digital Display Ads

Digital Display Ads can be shown across hundreds of websites while only appearing in front of people matching the characteristics you've identified in your target audience. This is often a useful option if you're trying to reach people getting their news online, whom you may have once reached with newspaper advertising.

Organic Search Strategy

An organic search strategy focuses on ranking your business website high in search engines for keywords relevant to your products and services. Typically this is done with regular topical blogging designed to serve the needs of your audience members. Time is key with this marketing method, as building up your website's competitiveness can take a while. But it is well worth the wait for those businesses that stick with it. 

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is like the 'fast version' of an organic search strategy and is often abbreviated as "SEM." With this method, you pay search engines to run ads on your strategic keywords. It is more expensive than organic, but you can begin driving traffic to your website immediately. Businesses with many competitors often use SEM when an organic strategy would be more difficult and time-consuming. 

Revamp Your Marketing Strategy

If you're interested in exploring other marketing options to reduce reliance on print advertising, please reach out to a marketing consultant at Zimmer Marketing. We've helped dozens of local businesses create marketing and branding plans to accelerate growth and secure market share. We would love to help your business, too!

Contact Zimmer Marketing
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Topics: Integrated Marketing, Radio Advertising, Marketing Strategy, Marketing ROI, Digital Marketing, Advertising

Growing Your Business Online: Post About Projects

Posted by Brett James on April 25, 2023 at 7:00 AM
As more and more business is done online daily, building a competitive website is increasingly important. For the next three weeks, we'll examine some excellent content strategies to improve your website for potential customers and move up on the search results page for strategically important keywords. In our first installment, we will talk about the value of posting about completed projects for service businesses.

Businesses That Should Post About Projects

Generally speaking, service businesses such as roofers and landscapers benefit most from posting about completed projects. Here are some types of companies that can and should promote their business by sharing completed project details:
  • Homebuilders
  • Car Detailers
  • Clothing Designers
  • Home Decor Creators
  • HVAC Installers
  • Landscapers
  • Gardeners
  • Roofers
  • Event Venues
  • Caterers
Other types of businesses can also benefit from posting about projects, too. For example, a restaurant may want to post about the creation of a new menu item. Getting creative typically pays off!

5 Tips for Creating Project Posts

It can be a challenge to start writing. So let's look at some tips for crafting project completion posts to boost online engagement and search engine optimization. 

1. Get Customer Consent

If you're a service business, such as a car dealer, be sure you have customer permission to use pictures of their property, their name, or any other identifying information. Consider offering incentives to customers who agree to be used in your promotional materials and blog.   

2. Ask for Reviews

High-quality reviews are essential to the success of small businesses, especially online. Project completion posts are much more effective if your customer is willing to write a review for you to include in your blog. Again, consider offering incentives, such as discounts, coupons, or small gifts, to customers that agree to take some time to write a quality review. 

3. Use Multiple Quality Photos

Nearly all smartphones can take quality photos suitable for your website. So, when you're on the job site, take pictures at the start, throughout, and at completion. If possible, avoid taking dark pictures; more light is almost always better.  

4. Know Your Keywords

When writing about a project, remember that you're not merely writing for human audiences. Search engines are incredibly important for your business. Know what keywords and phrases your potential customers are using, and write your post to satisfy the search intent of those terms. A great way to start is by finding questions people ask Google and answering them directly in your post.

5. Use Social Media

Social media can be an important tool for drawing traffic to your website. Be sure to post about each new project blog on your social accounts, but make sure it's just a teaser. Consider putting in a short quotation from the post and a single picture, and encourage your followers to see more on your website.

Get Started

You've got everything you need to start creating quality content for your website, and there's no time to lose. Websites that go without regular updates appear defunct to search engines and are unlikely to show up often in search results, so it's important always to be broadening the content on your website. If you can do that and engage the curiosity of web visitors, you're in the sweet spot!

Blogging Services by Zimmer Marketing

You've got a business to run. That's why we offer complete blogging packages at Zimmer Marketing. Our team of experienced web writers can help you create content to lift your website on the search results page and bring in more leads!

Learn More About Zimmer Marketing Web Services
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Improve Your Radio Advertising with BrandsFormation

Posted by Brett James on February 7, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Local radio is one of the most powerful tools small businesses can leverage to advertise their products and services. It's cost-effective, broad-reach, and the broadcast area of a given station is often consistent with the region the business serves. On top of that, the format of radio stations does a good job of sorting people by interests, age groups, gender, or other group characteristics, making it easy for businesses to advertise their products to valuable target audiences. So, why do some companies struggle to get the most out of their radio advertising? The answer usually boils down to branding, or rather the lack of branding. 

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Topics: Radio Advertising, BrandsFormation, Branding

The Power of Running 3 Radio Ads Per Day

Posted by Brett James on January 17, 2023 at 7:00 AM
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Topics: Radio Advertising, Marketing Strategy, BrandsFormation, Branding

Website Not Generating Sales? Check Your Calls to Action

Posted by Brett James on November 8, 2022 at 9:49 AM
A business website is one of the most critical components of a thriving company. It can help people find your physical location, buy online, or help you gather the valuable contact information of potential customers. And driving all of this is the humble call to action. Frequently abbreviated as CTA, your website's calls to action will greatly determine your success online. So, it's important to get them right. 

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Topics: Website Design

4 Ways to Build a Long-Term Marketing Strategy

Posted by Brett James on October 18, 2022 at 7:00 AM
As we move into the holiday season and, ultimately, the new year, now is a great time to take stock of your business and marketing goals. Whether this is your first time marketing your business or you've been at it for many years, annual vision casting and planning is a necessary and rewarding event. To aid in the process, we want to offer some tips to get you started on your marketing strategy creation or renewal. 

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Topics: Integrated Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Marketing ROI, Branding

Ad-Based Streaming Continues to Grow In 2022

Posted by Brett James on September 27, 2022 at 7:00 AM
As shifts away from traditional viewing habits continue, we wanted to check in on recent trends in the streaming market. For small businesses, it's a constant effort to look for advertising platforms that offer the best value for marketing budgets. Ad-based streaming services are some of the more attractive options currently available. So how are ad-based streaming services fairing in 2022?

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Topics: Marketing ROI, Digital Marketing

Get Clarity on Your Business Growth Plan at BrandKamp Fall 2022

Posted by Brett James on September 13, 2022 at 7:00 AM
In a difficult business environment, it is more essential than ever to have a solid branding plan. Branding allows you, as a small business owner, to take control of your messaging to maintain steady growth even during tight and uncertain economic conditions. That's why Zimmer Marketing is hosting BrandKamp this fall.

Save the Date
Tuesday, October 4th
Time: 11:30 am
Where: Joplin Holiday Inn

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Topics: Small Business Resources, Marketing Strategy, BrandsFormation, Digital Marketing, Branding