‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is NOW’.
What this proverb means is that, if you want success and growth in the future, you have to act NOW.
As a business owner you know what it’s like to be working off a never ending to-do list.
Whether you’re responding to enquiries, chasing up leads, providing a service, dealing with bills or emailing supplies, your day is full.
No matter what aspect of your business takes up your time, the hard truth is that you’re focused on the here and now – you care about what has to be done to keep your business moving forward day after day.
What you have to do 3 months from now, or 6 months from now, or a year from now, is the furthest thing from your mind.
But if you want to be truly successful in the future, do you know when you have to start making forward-thinking decisions?
If you want to be a success down the line, with a business that protects your financial future, you need to get the wheels moving right now.
Investing in marketing for your business isn’t just about what you stand to gain, it’s what you’ll avoid.
Here’s what happens the longer you take to start marketing your business.
#1 – Competition Becomes Overwhelming
More people online equals more businesses to compete with. It’s that simple.
In 2019 the barriers for entry to advertise online have been rapidly eroded. In fact, with affordable smartphones and the ongoing globalisation of technology, over 4 billion people around the world use the internet.
If you haven’t started advertising your business online yet, you can bet your competition have.
And with more and more businesses claiming, optimising and cementing their position online, the weight of your competition can make it impossible for you to catch up the longer you wait.
The following graph shows the increase in Google searches for the term ‘digital marketing’ since 2004.
With the interest continuing to grow year on year, at what point will it be too late for your business to catch up to those who have already started using digital marketing?
#2 – Cost of Advertising Goes Up
With more competition for digital audiences, advertising costs are going up.
Think of it this way, Google displays up to 4 ads above the organic results for any given search term.
The more businesses who try and secure those spots, the higher the price will be. It’s simple economics. Supply and demand. The more people who want the top spot (and the explosion of clicks, leads and sales that comes with it) the higher the prices will be.
Let’s see how this increase in price is reflected over the years.
– Facebook Ads
Facebook made changes to their newsfeed algorithm in mid 2018. This made it more challenging for businesses and brands to appear organically. With space in the Newsfeed of your audience limited, ad prices have raised to reflect that limited space.
To reach the 2.23 billion users who log into Facebook each month, you’ll need to pay to play.
Still on the fence about whether Facebook can provide a market for your business?
Check out the increase in Facebook users year on year.
Consider the following increase in Facebook’s advertising revenue since 2009. Not only does this show how effective Facebook Ads are (with the increase reflecting the number of businesses who are seeing the benefits) but the longer you wait to start advertising on Facebook, the greater head start you gift to your competitors.
– Google Ads
With more businesses seeing the value of appearing at the top of Google – the top 3 Google Ad spots receive 41% of all clicks – there is more competition.
This is driving the price of Google Ads up. Just look at the increase in cost-per-click from 2005 to today.
As this graph shows, the average cost-per-click across all industries in 2017 was $3.30.
By 2018 the average cost-per-click across all industries had increased to $3.82.
This trend will only continue.
Let’s see how this cost-per-click breaks down by industry…
- Auto industry – 72% increase from 2017 to 2018
- B2B industry – 103% increase from 2017 to 2018
- Consumer industry – 69% increase from 2017 to 2018
- eCommerce industry – 31% increase from 2017 to 2018
- Industrial service industry – 28% increase from 2017 to 2018
- Real estate industry – 30% increase from 2017 to 2018
- Technology industry – 113% increase from 2017 to 2018
With Google Ads able to connect you with ‘ready to buy’ customers who have high commercial intent, now is the time to get started.
As the figures above show, waiting another year could price you out of the market while your competition consolidate their position in the #1 spot on Google.
#3 – Content Saturation Makes You Invisible
If you run a business with an online presence, you can’t survive without traffic.
With the scope of content being produced and released at such a volume, the ability to rank at the top of Google for any given keyword has never been more challenging.
The following graph shows the increase in the number of pieces of content published monthly on the topic of SEO.
In June 2016 this figure was 1.2 thousand. By June of 2019 this figure has reached 8.2 thousand pieces of content published each month on the topic of SEO.
This explosion in content follows the same trend no matter what industry you’re in.
Whether you provide a local product or service, run an eCommerce store that relies on traffic, or require exposure to make sure there’s still work coming in outside of word of mouth – the amount of content that is being produced in your industry is exploding.
Studies show an average of 17 new blogs and articles are released every single second. Waiting to invest in marketing and start working towards ranking for the keywords that will drive traffic and leads means falling even further behind.
Content creation and appearing on Google is a race.
The longer you take to get involved, the further ahead your competition will be.
If you take one thing away from the impact of content, let it be this – 95% of people never go past the first page of Google.
The longer you wait to start creating and optimising your content to rank on Google, the harder it will be.
Which means 95% of all consumers may never see your business at all, unless you act now.
Marketing is FOOD not MEDICINE.
How do you define success?
Whether it’s increasing traffic to your site, generating more leads, converting more customers or reaching a revenue target, there is one mindset you need to adopt right now if you want to be successful on your own terms…
Marketing is food and not medicine.
Inexperienced and short-sighted business owners see marketing as medicine that can ‘fix’ their business when something goes wrong.
Experienced and savvy business owners see marketing as food that fuels their business and provides the nourishment needed to be successful.
Adopting this mindset is the difference between businesses who fail and those who succeed.
If you wait until you’ve run out of leads, run out of customers and run out of work – marketing won’t be able to help you keep up with your competition.
But if you maintain a constant level of marketing – whether you’ve got a calendar full of clients or none – you’ll always be able to connect with a willing audience to fill the gaps and stay ahead of your rivals.
Remember, if you want to be successful – whatever that means to you – marketing must be food and not medicine.
Why the Best Time to Advertise is NOW.
This might seem like all doom and gloom. But everything you just read – everything – is a positive.
Despite the rising costs of advertising, and the growing number of competition and content, there is good news.
In fact, have a look at the cost to reach 1000 people. Facebook Ads and Google Ads are still significantly cheaper than any other form traditional advertising…
It’s not too late to join the growing number of businesses benefitting from digital advertising. Costing less and driving higher ROI, all you have to do is take action.
Remember, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is NOW.
You have to start advertising before prices continue to rise and your competition have an uncatchable lead.
The best time to start advertising your business is NOW.