How to best spend $5000 on Marketing – 6 experts views

by Joel on July 9, 2012 · 6 comments

in Marketing Strategy

how to spend 5000 marketing dollars wiselyI recently joined Triberr. This is a social network where like minded bloggers and content producers can gather, form tribes around their common interests and then help each other to promote their content. So far my experience of the site has been great (more relevant traffic and more Twitter followers who are actually interested in my content) – If you blog and are having trouble getting traffic to your site then you should head on over.

One of the Tribes that I have joined is called “Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media, & Web Design” – and as a group we have talked about how to keep the group fun, useful and engaging and most importantly not succumb to a slow decline of involvement. One idea that we had was to run a series of blog posts where the tribe members all contribute their expertise to a different question each week.

The process is as follows:

1) Each week, one tribe member poses a question to the rest of the tribe
2) The other members then give their answers to the question
3) The member who asked the original question writes the answers up into a blog post.

I have been delegated with the first weeks question which was:

If I gave you $5000 to promote your business/blog online or offline – how would you spend the money in order to get the best long term business benefit?”

I wanted to find out what others would do in this situation as it is one I have found myself in a few times and still do not know if I got the answer right or not, and probably never will.

The group has some incredibly seasoned marketing experts so the answers were very interesting – these are the guys who kindly took the time to help me out on this question and give the visitors at Deep Footprints the benefit of their knowledge:

  • Pam Aungst, owner and head consultant of Pam Ann Marketing, has  an M.B.A. in Marketing, a B.S. in Business Administration, and is a  Google AdWords Qualified Individual. She has been creating websites since 1997 and working in the field of internet marketing and e-commerce since 2005.
  • Matt Southern is someone who describes himself as “just a guy who has managed to turn a hobby into a job. I help people use the full potential of social media to build connections that enhance their business.” His fantastic blog can be read at Mattsouthern.com
  • Hilton Hamman has always been involved in some or other form of writing, either as a journalist, corporate writer or writer of books. He is quoted as saying “I knew the Internet offered great opportunities but I had little idea of how to tap into them. But, as they say, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ and I had no option but to quickly learn how to make best use of social media platforms to promote and market my business ventures.”
  • Caimin Jones is the Founder of Genius Startup – here is a quick background on the site from Caimin “My aim with Genius Startup is to provide you with a single place to find clear, concise and up to date information on the most important aspects of setting up and running a web business, without assuming any technical knowledge.”
  • Jay Baron is Co-Founder of Mad Town Designs who are a conversion-focused web agency employing an established team of passionate, creative, and entrepreneurial professionals. He is also the Chief of the Tribe.
  • Paul Barstow is the owner of advertisinginconstruction.com and introduces himself as “a sales rep who has 15 years B2B product advertising experience behind me.  So I am not a marketing guru I come at things from a different angle, I have shown companies how they can get a good ROI from their media spend with me so that’s what I am trying to do for you.”

So, with the formalities over; on with the proceedings – here is what they each had to say on the question at hand:

If I gave you $5000 to promote your business/blog online or offline – how would you spend the money in order to get the best long term business benefit?”

Pam Aungst

“I would put the money into content creation. I would put some towards freelance writers to help make all the blog post ideas in my head finally come to life, and I would also put some into creating quality share-worthy video content. Perhaps some e-books, too. My thinking behind this is that a large amount of quality content will serve me better in the long term than anything else I can think of. Although, I would of course budget some of the money for more Triberr bones to help me expand the reach of said great content. :)”

Matt Southern

“I would put most of the money into attending a couple of prominent blogging and social media conferences in USA and my home country of Canada (BlogWordExpo in Las Vegas, for example, is one that I would love to attend). I believe that getting the opportunity to meet and network with other thought leaders face to face would be more powerful in expanding my reach than any strictly online strategy I could come up with.

If I had any money left after that I would put it into getting come professionally produced video content for my blog. I’ve been hesitant to put any up because I don’t want it to look cheap. Got to maintain that professional look and feel at all times!

Hilton Hamann

“If I had $5000 dollars I think I would spend it on video production, although that is not a major component of my business model. I still believe content achieves more than any fancy SEO trickery and, in my case, producing quality content is more a factor of time, than money. I am already involved in producing ebooks and again, that is more about time than it is about money.”

Caimin Jones (Genius Startup)

“With $5000 I’d develop an insanely useful web app for my target audience. Something they absolutely cannot live without.

If you can solve a common problem for your audience, or make a mind-numbing chore fun, you’ll quickly develop a core of #1 fans. And those fans will till others.

A good example of this in action is Triberr.

What’s the one of the most important things people need to do to promote a website? Get links & social shares.

How much fun is that? Usually, not much. But Triberr makes doing that effective and fun. Which is why it’s a winner.

Your idea doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact it’s usually better if it’s not.

Another example is Yousendit – the only problem they solve is sharing large files with other people. It’s not glamorous and they don’t do anything else.

But their app makes life easier for developers, designers, project managers, photographers, or anyone needing to shunt large files around. Bonus: because this audience needs to do this chore often they become frequent users of the service.

But isn’t developing a web app expensive? Walk into an agency and tell them you want to develop a web app and they’ll have your $5000 eaten in no time.

But base your app on WordPress and use a clever combination of plugins and themes, mix in a little custom development (depending on the idea you may need that) and there are few web apps you couldn’t create for less than $5000.

That may seem like a bold claim but after a number of years as a web developer for smaller business and startups, I’m used to looking under the hood and finding the least expensive ways of doing things.

The most important part of this plan – and the one most people skip over – is generating and refining ideas. Get the right idea for your audience and you’re halfway there.”

Jay Baron

“If I had $5,000 to invest I would focus on developing a meaningful brand. Anything else I invest in can generally be copied by others and does not give me any sort of advantage over the competition.

Putting the investment towards content creation, SEO, or any other marketing is not a long term investment that will last, but a brand lasts.

A great brand does all of that, but better. Having an amazing brand will inherently generate more links improving rankings. Receive greater attention and buzz across social media and press. And content created will receive more recognition because of the name recognition.

A brand leaves a long lasting impression on your audience.”

Paul Barstow

“As it happens I am in the process of launching a new site and I would use the $5000 to drive traffic to the site via a number of methods.

1. Content creation to appear as guest blogs on relevant niche sites and blogs.
2. Ad words on Google to drive some initial relevant users who will hopefully spread the word
3. A strategic online marketing campaign that is well branded and only on relevant niche sites, this will be a brand building campaign so banners, mpu’s etc

The site will launch into a fairly crowded niche market however it has strong usp’s and the only effective way to communicate this is via a clever and effective joint brand building and content campaign.”

So there you have it. I hope that you found these opinions useful? I know that I certainly found the differing points of view of great interest so want to thank all involved for contributing their expertise to this blog post. I think that I speak for all involved when I say that we would all love to hear the opinions of others in the comments section below – what would you do with $5000 to market your business?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay Baron July 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Great post Joel,

I think the hardest part of marketing the money is getting some sort of return. $5,000 may seem like a lot, but with all the options out there how can you know for sure you made the right one.

That is really why I focused on branding. I think brand building is the one thing that can build a lasting impression right now verses any other type of marketing. Brands are remembered content etc rarely is.

Jay

Reply

Joel July 10, 2012 at 1:53 am

Hi Jay
Yes – I agree with you that brand building is necessary for long term survival and that it will have an impact on all other marketing channels e.g. A strong brand = trust. If you have trust then you are likely to convert the traffic that comes to your website more easily whether it is paid traffic through PPC or free traffic from search engines or from blogs and social media. Trust is also a ranking factor for SEO (I believe) – if the search engines believe that you are an expert in a particular field then you will be rewarded with traffic.
I also think that branding is all encompassing – pretty much everything you do falls under branding – even this comment I am leaving now is part of my branding as people will judge me (and Deep Footprints) based on what I say and the same goes for any emails that I send or snarky comments I leave on blogs.
Great design, use of language and usability are perhaps the backbone of a website’s branding but then everything that happens both on/off site contributes to how that brand image develops.

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Matt Southern July 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Great post an excellent points of view from everyone. Although I think that Matt guy is way off 😉

Reply

Joel July 13, 2012 at 5:08 am

Yeah – we may have to drop him from the panel next time 😉

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Dino Dogan (@dino_dogan) July 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm

hey Joel,

Im humbled by your comments as well as Pam’s and Caimin’s responses.

It’s amazing to stumble upon a blog that I’ve never seen before and the blog is talking about Triberr, or using Triberr Comments, or just mentioning tribes the blogger belongs to like it’s “normal” lol. It’s just amazing 🙂

If I had 5K, I would spend it on a comic-book/infographic type of thing sidevertizing the values my business represents.

I know that sounds vague, but you’ll see exactly what I mean when we release it 🙂

Dino
Founder of Triberr

Reply

Joel July 15, 2012 at 3:55 am

Hey Dino
I am very flattered to have you comment on the post.
To be perfectly honest i was struggling to get much attention on this blog although I have been writing it (with varying regularity) for over a year.
Since joining Triberr I have finally managed to get some people looking at it and suddenly I am starting to feel like the effort has been worth it.

Really great idea you have had with Triberr – I can see that the idea will also scale incredibly well as Tribes become ever more niche – would be great if you could somehow reward tribe members for their level of involvement as I think that many Tribes seem to suffer from an initial build up and then die out because Tribes do not remain strong – I guess that to remain strong all the members have to genuinely respect each others content and to continue promoting it but there also needs to be a constant in-flow of new tribe members to keep things fresh and to also add growth to existing members.
I look forward to seeing the comic-book infographic when you get it out.

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