Everyone is hurting to some degree with the economy being as low as it is and there is no getting around that. Most business owners’ are cutting corners wherever they can to stay afloat but if you are not careful you can make two costly mistakes.
The second biggest mistake that you can make is to reduce your marketing and advertising budget. In the business world it’s as close as you can get to cutting your own throat. When your company has a downturn and it is hurting for money, the last thing that you want to do is make yourself less visible. If anything you need to spend more on your marketing to attract new clients and fresh revenue. Even if your company is going under, you had better be spending your last dollar on marketing material that will bring in new business! That doesn’t mean that you should throw good money after bad. Keep careful track of your advertising and if one option consistently shows few results then cancel it and use that money to try something else.
The biggest mistake that you can make is trying to write the content for your marketing materials by yourself unless you have been trained as a copywriter. This can be even more damaging than cutting the marketing budget because you will be spending money on distributing marketing materials that will never bring in business. In a small company, the owner will usually try to write the content but 1 of 4 things will happen:
- They don’t have time and it never gets done
- They write the content but they do not realize that it is poorly written so they distribute it but see no results
- They write the content but they are not satisfied with it so they never distribute it
- They write solid content, distribute it and see results
Unfortunately, these were listed in order from most likely to least likely. In a larger corporate setting there is usually a copywriter on staff. If not, the content writing is left to whoever in the company has the most “free time” instead of who is the most qualified for the job. I put “free time” in quotes because that is usually decided by higher ups in the food chain regardless of how busy the chosen individual actually is. Since the chosen one is usually in charge of other duties, they are not thrilled to have another job dropped on them and they have little motivation to learn how to write great copy because then they will get more of the same in addition to their regular tasks.
Your marketing materials should form the heart of your advertising campaigns and they will often include website content, white papers, press releases, briefing papers, case studies and a myriad of other possibilities. Each type of marketing material has an accepted format that they should adhere to in order to be effective. For instance, a white paper that includes humor will never be taken seriously so it will not bring in new clients the way a professionally written white paper would. If you are going to expend the time and money to launch an advertising campaign then do it right and hire a freelance copywriter. The additional cost will prove negligible when thier assistance brings in a flood of new business.