188081182Your marketing budget is being tugged on from several different directions. Sometimes its difficult to know what to invest in.

In this article I will round up four things to scratch off your budget, and what to do instead.

1) Un-optimized Pay Per Click Advertising

The header might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many businesses shell out money every month for paid traffic that goes to just the home page. Or includes an ad that isn’t relevant. I have seen some very poorly targeted ads.

What to do instead

Make sure to use the targeting features in these tools to reach your target marketing personas. Make sure to filter by relevant demographics and search terms on Google. Facebook and LinkedIn also offer incredible targeting options that you will want to make sure to use. For instance, if you are a business local to Fort Worth, TX; you shouldn’t be serving ads up to people in Milwaukee.

Also, don’t forget to send that traffic to a relevant offer. Don’t just send them blindly to your home page, unless you are more worried about traffic than conversions.

2) Purchased Email Lists

Many businesses seek to reach a new audience by purchasing third-party marketing lists. When email first came on the scene, we tended to read every message that came through. Now, we are far more selective about what we open, and are pretty fed up with SPAM.

Our email inboxes filter it out for the most part. If we didn’t ask for it, we certainly aren’t going to read it. Let alone click on it and send money to the company that sent us this unsolicited email.

What to do instead

Rather than annoying your audience with messaging they never asked for in the first place, offer valuable resources on your website that your ideal customers will gladly sign up for. The marketing list you create by doing this has now granted you permission to speak to them with relevant content. Isn’t that better than SPAM?

3) Paid Press Releases

Press releases had a long-standing tradition of being the only way to get coverage before the internet. When the Internet came around, press release distribution websites popped up to help perpetuate this practice.

Online press releases were a great way to get ranked higher in search results. You see, Google used to rank website higher solely based on the number of inbound links. Press release websites offered this opportunity in spades. Simply add a link to your website with anchor text including a targeted search term and you were off to the races!

So, using press release websites for SEO was an incredible way to increase your search ranking… until it wasn’t. Google has made great strides in its algorithm and has downplayed the effect that links from PR websites has in search rankings.

In fact, Google says optimized anchor text links in press releases qualify as "unnatural links."

What to do instead

Write the post on your own website. Share it on social media and be the owner of your own content. Google favors websites with fresh, original and quality content.

4) A Mobile App for your Company

You’ve heard that you need to go mobile. After all, everyone is out there with their smartphones and tablets surfing the web and using apps. Apps have become quite the phenomenon, and you may be considering creating one for your company. It seems hip. Everyone is using apps. Why not, right?

Well, you might have the wrong idea about the ROI it will bring. You may not have considered whether or not it will actually bring value to your prospects and customers. Does your company have a function that you can tie in that will land you on your customer’s home screens? Or is it really just going to be a business card disguised as an app. Think long and hard about this.

What to do instead

You may be better off making sure that your website is mobile friendly and responsive to the device they are using. Your site will be easier to maintain (one place to facilitate updates rather than multiple) and you’ll be designing with the visitor in mind.

The Bottom Line

With so many outlets vying for your precious marketing dollars it is vital that you put your money where it will work the hardest for you. I hope you were able to adjust your marketing budget based on what I covered here. What else can you cut from your marketing budget? Let me know in the comments!

New Call-to-Action

Originally published Mar 25, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016

Topics:

Inbound Marketing