With the end of the financial year fast approaching, it’s time to take stock of where your business has been, and where it’s going.
And if you’re reading this, chances are you already know: you’re ready to grow, grow, grow.
Scaling up your marketing efforts allows you to win more customers for your business, year in and year out. However, make no mistake: it isn’t as simple as doubling down on your marketing cost to double your revenue. Scaling too quickly can lead to a host of unforeseen issues, and is one of the key reasons why businesses fail.
So what's the difference between a success story over a statistic?
It’s all about investing your budget to reach your customers where they spend their time — online. But with four billion internet users globally, you need a thoughtful digital marketing strategy to cut through the noise and reach your ideal customers online.
That’s where we come in. In this article, we reveal proven strategies that winning businesses are using to scale their marketing and show you how to apply them to your business.
Why marketing is critical to scaling any business
How to build a robust marketing strategy that supports seamlessness and scalability
How leading online businesses like Canva and THE ICONIC scaled their marketing cost for maximum revenue
Expert tips to help you get ahead
The role marketing plays in scalability
Your marketing efforts do more than bring in new customers. They build your company's awareness amongst your target audience as you grow, as well as helping to promote your products to existing customers — ensuring you don’t suffer from high churn rates as you scale your business.
If you haven’t gathered by now, marketing is essential to scalability. But that doesn’t mean that all of your investments are going to pay off equally.
The 80/20 rule applies to marketing scalability: which means 80% of your growth will be driven by 20% of your efforts.
When you can pinpoint the 20% that are working and double down on those, you can sell more and skyrocket your growth. That’s where online marketing becomes INCREDIBLY useful.
Digital platforms allow you to deep dive into the data and pinpoint precisely what’s working, then adapt your efforts to suit. This means you can scale more efficiently and sustainably, both now AND in the future.
As you’re scaling your business, it’s also important to keep in mind that your marketing efforts don’t work alone.
You need communication to make it work.
If your marketers bring in floods of leads but you don’t have the employees to help sell your product, you’ll lose the race before you’ve started.
Likewise, if your marketers promise a customer the world but your product or operations team doesn’t deliver good on that promise, the customer won’t be happy — and word will quickly get out.
Your marketing tech stack needs to talk to other hires and departments in the business. Rally the various departments in your team and walk through your marketing efforts in as much detail as possible. Put your lead sources, advertising channels, sales/offers, campaigns, and customer journey mapping under the microscope and put particular attention on the points where another department needs to step in to fulfil a promise.
Good communication will help ensure that you have a marketing team, system and process that scales WITH your business. In other words, your employees will be working to deliver value and enable growth, rather than hindering it.
Building a marketing strategy that supports seamlessness and scalability
Scaling a business can’t happen without online marketing.
Maximising your online presence is the key to unlock floods of new customers - all while being able to identify and optimise what’s working.
But with so many digital marketing trends out there, it can be hard to know where to start.
Here’s the bottom line: the tried-and-tested methods still work and should form the foundation of your marketing efforts. With these proven strategies for online marketing, you’ll be well on your way to building brand awareness, bringing more traffic to your site, and converting those visitors into loyal customers or clients.
1. Prime your site for organic search results with SEO
In 2021, marketers can’t afford to skip search engine optimisation, or SEO.
Here’s a mind-blowing digital marketing stat: Google processes approximately 70,000 search queries every SECOND. In other words, every second you delay is a missed opportunity to get in front of your target audience when they’re searching for your products or services.
Search engine optimisation is a huge topic in and of itself, but here are a few actions you can take to improve your rankings in organic search engine results and fuel sales growth:
Conduct keyword research. This is key to identify what your customers are looking for and narrow down the search terms you’re going to target with your SEO efforts.
Produce content that matches your customer’s search intent. Each search has an intent behind it, whether it’s informational, navigational, commercial or transactional. If you create content that aligns with their intent on your site or blog, you’ll increase your chances of ranking on Google in the future AND improve the customer journey at the same time.
Build links back to your site from credible sources. When more credible websites link back to your business, Google will begin to see your website as an authority in the space and push you higher in search results. Remember it’s about quality, not quantity, so concentrate your link building efforts on sites with a good reputation and domain authority.
Finetune the technical elements of your site. Google wants every user to have the best experience possible, which means your business’ site should be fast, easy to navigate, and technically sound. There are plenty of on-site elements that you can optimise to improve your SEO performance, from site speed to title tags, internal linking and redirects. It’s best to work with a developer or SEO agency for this part of the process, as it can get pretty technical pretty quickly.
2. Drive conversions and revenue using Google Search Ads
Did you know that 79% of marketers say PPC is hugely beneficial for their company? Google Ads help you grow your business by allowing you to appear at the top of search results for relevant keywords your target audience is looking for.
If you can get it right, Google Ads is a growth-generating machine that you can scale alongside your business. Here are five considerations to keep in mind for your current or future Google Ads strategy:
Hone in on your targeting. As a business owner, you want to get the right message to the right people at the right time. Google Ads gives you the ability to do all three, and you should be optimising all of these if you want to see success from the platform. Don’t be afraid to get laser-focused with your campaign targeting: think demographic targeting, location targeting, devices, time of day, and more.
Invest in high-converting keywords. Remember the 80/20 rule? 80% of your sales revenue is going to come from 20% of your keywords. Keep an eye on the keywords that bring in the most qualified traffic and add the most value. Invest more in these terms as your company grows.
Use Google Ad extensions. These appear at the bottom of your ads and are great for boosting your clickthrough rate. There are a ton of different extensions, from location extensions to call extensions and service extensions, so be sure to do your research and pick the right one for your audience and your product.
Don’t neglect your landing page strategy. Landing pages play an important role in the overall success of your Google Ads campaigns. Consider the search intent of your audience and ensure you deliver an on-point customer experience that matches their needs.
Optimise, optimise, optimise. The best Google Ads campaign doesn't happen by accident — they’re finetuned over weeks, months or even years. Keep an eye on your campaigns, test different keywords and ad creative, review costs and challenges regularly, and pause any poor-performing ads.
3. Create touch points for your customers with Google Display Ads
Google Display Ads are hands down one of the BEST ways to maximise your online presence amongst your target audience without racking up thousands in marketing costs. This platform allows you to tap into the 2 million strong sites in the Google Display Network and promote your business on the websites that your customers browse.
Display advertising is all about selecting the right placements, then standing out with eye-catching creative. Make sure you select targeted websites to display your ads on and exclude any that aren’t relevant. At the same time, run tests for different variations of your ads to see which one works best.
Last but not least, don’t forget about remarketing. You can use remarketing to advertise products that your site visitors have already demonstrated an interest in, in order to get them to return to your site to make the purchase.
4. Create Facebook Ads to boost brand awareness as you scale
With 2.6 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, you’re missing out on some SERIOUS opportunities for brand awareness if you’re not running Facebook Ads.
As you scale your business, you need to reach new customers — and social media advertising allows you to do just that.
Facebook Ads are a powerful way to promote your business to a targeted and engaged audience across social media platforms. Like Google Ads, you can get as granular as you’d like with your targeting strategy, which means you’ll have a higher chance of reaching your audience where they spend their time.
Facebook and Instagram are visual platforms, so you NEED to make sure your ads stand out in the feed. Experiment with videos and images, and use social proof by incorporating reviews in your creative. As your community grows, don’t forget to build up a relationship with your new followers as well via organic social media posts.
5. Utilise lead generation strategies like email capture and offers
The more leads you have, the more people you have to market to. Regardless of whether you’re running a local flower shop or a gym, lead generation is important to every growing business because it keeps your pipeline fresh with potential customers or clients.
Collect email addresses at every opportunity possible. This includes a website pop-up, giveaways, or gated content that requires people to subscribe for access.
Run lead generation ads. You can build leads directly from Facebook Ads, or drive traffic to your landing page from Google Ads. These are a great way to qualify your audience and add them to your email marketing list, where you can communicate with them around the clock — for free.
Create a lead magnet. This gives your site visitors a reason to give up their email address. For example, if you’re selling fitness supplements online, you might create a PDF with the best supplements for different fitness goals.
How to scale marketing for maximum revenue
Scaling a business? Learn from these companies that have taken big picture steps to skyrocket sales year on year.
Canva uses SEO, outreach and content to achieve a $6B valuation
Canva is a software-as-a-service platform that makes graphic design easy and accessible for all users, from startup level teams to small companies and Fortune 500 companies. Since launching in 2012, Canva’s has scaled up to a $6 billion valuation and amassed 20 million monthly active users in 190 countries.
Unsurprisingly, their digital marketing team played a HUGE role in their scale up.
Canva invests a ton of its marketing expenses in SEO, in order to dominate search engine results. Over a year, the company acquired a massive 4 million backlinks that resulted in over 270 million visitors.
It starts with the marketing team creating dedicated landing pages for its target keywords, such as “infographic maker” or “certificate template”. Once they’ve done this, Canva's marketers go hard on outreach — reaching out to creators who have mentioned their product online, and asking them to add a backlink to their website.
The value of this process speaks for itself:
Image source: Foundation Inc
THE ICONIC invests in data analytics to intelligently scale business
THE ICONIC is one of the biggest eCommerce fashion retailers out there — and this success didn’t happen overnight. The company scaled its business by combining marketing with data analytics to help customers buy what they REALLY want.
The marketing team members work closely with data analytics team members to record historical datasets based on what customers buy and what they browse. With this process, they can deliver hyper-targeted ads related to a consumer's individual preferences, which in turn improves conversion rates and brings in more money.
At the end of the day, this means that THE ICONIC can increase its sales and marketing expenses by 43% with confidence, because they know they’re reaching people with the right product at the right time.
It’s also clearly paying off: in 2020, the company brought in a massive US $261.7 million of revenue.
As you know, Microsoft is one of the biggest companies on the face of the earth. It also has one of the biggest marketing budgets in the world, too.
In 2020, the company spent a whopping US $19.6 billion on sales and marketing expenses. This huge boost in money wasn’t just due to the pandemic either. Microsoft’s marketing budget has steadily been increasing over the years, with its annual investment rising by nearly five billion U.S. dollars in the past decade.
At the same time, Microsoft generated a massive US $143 billion in revenue in 2020 and reported a net income of US $44.3 billion. This number has also consistently increased over the years. In fact, in 2016, Microsoft generated US $91.2 billion in revenue, which amounted to a net income of US $20.5 billion.
The lesson here? Each year, Microsoft scales up due to high investment into its sales and marketing efforts.
Looking for more? Check out these 10 high-quality eCommerce case studies.
Scaling a business calls for marketing that goes the mile
Each of these examples demonstrates that scaling your marketing can have very impressive results.
Whatever the budget and costs, the principle remains the same. Scaling your marketing operations with a bigger budget can mean a much bigger ROI and seriously revenue-shifting results.
That leaves one key question…
How do you do it?
Here are three tips to help you scale your marketing and accelerate business growth.
Tip #1 – Set targets and make a plan
The average business spends 11.3% of its revenue on marketing:
Image source: CMO Survey
Key stakeholders often only see this money in the costs/expenses bucket. Your aim is to establish marketing as a revenue driver for the company. To ensure that happens, you have to start at the end goal.
What revenue are you aiming to achieve for the year?
That gives you a baseline that allows you to work out how much budget to dedicate to marketing. Once you have that number, you can work out where the costs will go.
For example, let’s say that you have a revenue target of $1.25 million. You decide that you’ll spend 12% of that money on marketing, which puts you slightly above the national average.
This leaves you with a marketing budget of $150,000 for the year.
With a concrete number of expenses in place, you can build a marketing campaign to reach or exceed the revenue target.
The biggest advantage of this percentage system is that it scales over time. As your sales grow, so too does the amount of money that you spend on marketing. The percentage stays the same, but the dollar amount keeps going up.
“Search engine marketing and search engine optimization are critically important to online businesses. You can spend every penny you have on a website, but it will all be for nothing if nobody knows your site is there.” - Marc Ostrofsky
Tip #2 – Create your one source of truth
Companies collect a TON of data these days. However, this information is only useful if you understand how to leverage the data to intelligently scale your business and generate sales.
It all starts by creating a single source of truth using digital marketing tools.
This is one dashboard that highlights all of the important information you need to grow your marketing efforts. There are a number of metrics you can include on this platform, such as:
Where your visitors/leads/customers/clients come from.
How much you’re spending in total.
How much you’re spending on each marketing channel.
Projected total sales from your customers/clients.
Average spend per customer.
How many people you have in each stage of your marketing funnel. A great platform will even recommend the next actions to take.
As your company experiences more growth, these tools and systems can support your team members in scaling efficiently and sustainably using automation.
Think back to THE ICONIC. If you have the right data, the right processes and the right digital marketing tools at your fingertips, you can begin to understand what products or services your customers are searching for. From here, you can remarket to your customers with targeted messages that are related to PRECISELY what they’re after — increasing relevance while drastically reducing the time you spend on your marketing cycle.
You can also use these tools to improve the user experience or services once people are on your website. For example:
Using heatmaps to identify the parts of your website that are the most engaging for visitors
Identifying the highest converting landing pages or blog posts for search
Presenting tailored results using semantic search
"Correlating, analysing, presenting and embedding insights from structured and unstructured information together enables organisations to better personalise the customer experience and exploit new opportunities for growth, efficiencies, differentiation, innovation and even new business models." - Rita Sallam, Gartner
Data can also make repetitive tasks or processes more efficient. This will free up your sales team to focus their time on the more qualified opportunities and support growth.
Tip #3 – Focus your investment in the channels that you own
Do you invest your resources in the platforms that you own or those that you rent?
That’s the big question for a business owner or marketer. A platform that you rent is essentially any platform that you spend money on that you don’t own.
Facebook is a good example.
Some businesses and marketers invest far more time into improving their social media profile than they do their website. However, even something as simple as an algorithm change can derail their efforts and minimise the value gained from this platform.
They have no control over changes made to the social media platform. As a result, they’re trying to build the brand and strategy based on somebody else’s set of rules.
A platform that you own could include something like your website. These are platforms that you have full control over and that will deliver consistent value over time. Every action that you take can influence your marketing efforts. This control allows you and your team to build a more stable digital presence.
Ultimately, this presence lasts longer than your presences on rented platforms.
According to Salesforce, B2c companies only spend 23% of their total budget on advertising. The rest goes towards cultivating their own hires, developing technologies, conducting research, and creating content.
Invest in the platforms that you own. You have full control over your message and they’re linked to your brand identity. Focus on delivering a top-notch experience and capturing email addresses to add to your own database.
At the same time, hone in on scalable long-term strategies like SEO. This ensures you won’t become dependent on online advertising services to grow your business and bring in sales in the future.
Bring on additional resources to help you scale
If you want to scale your business efficiently and effectively in the new financial year, you need to have the best marketers and resources possible at your disposal.
Working with a full-service performance-driven agency allows you to grow your team and resources at a fraction of the cost of an in-house team. You'll benefit from their experience and expertise, while also being able to focus on other components of your business as you scale.
Best of all, it's completely free to get started. Get in touch today to claim your FREE digital marketing audit and game plan worth $2,000. Our Growth Gurus will take you through everything you need to fuel growth for your business and set you up with a 6-month roadmap to unlock digital marketing success.