There’s nothing quite like looking over the fence and stealing a quick glance at the competition. Wouldn’t you be interested to know how other small businesses will be spending their marketing budgets in 2022?
In part two of the Azimo Business special report, we’re talking about copywriters.
When asked how they would invest a £100,000 budget over the next 12 months, 40% of business owners said they would invest in a search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist, while 31% favoured a copywriter.
“Though you can’t always predict the fickle nature of search engines, a professional writer can guarantee that your message is presented in a way that will appeal to your customers and community – and help you stand out from the crowd,” explains Duncan Haskell, freelance copy and content professional.
With so many different marketing options, why does content creation remain so important?
Humanise your offering
Haskell has worked with a number of small finance, design and marketing companies, helping them to get their messaging across in a way that is both engaging and effective.
“A successful copywriter can help you foster a sense of community and close the gap between your business and your customers and clients. It’s not just about SEO. Great content should humanise your offering. Even in a business-to-business (B2B) setting, there’s now a need for personality and vulnerability.”
We know that you also want value for money, so it’s crucial that content is able to work in multiple ways. A well-written blog could be condensed into a LinkedIn post or broken down even further and turned into punchy quotes for your Twitter account.
“I help business owners get their voice out into the world in a concise and engaging way,” says Haskell. “It might just be that I’m asking a business owner about what they do, recording their answers and then helping them to share them on Facebook or other social platforms. Who knows your business and what it represents better than you?”
A professional copywriter really has to do a whole lot more than just write copy in 2022. They also need to keep on top of data trends, understand changing reader habits and be versatile enough to suit your needs whether in writing long reports or contributing to your social media strategy.
“In many ways, more is expected of content writers now than ever before,” Haskell adds.
Will you hedge your bets?
With so many ways for businesses to grow, it’s understandable why business owners might want to plant multiple seeds. In fact, around 76% said they’d rather spend their budgets on multiple channels than commit heavily to just one
It makes perfect sense. Hedge your bets and spread your marketing budget to include areas such as digital advertising, offline advertising, SEO and website redesigns.
But these categories can be broken down even further. For example, a marketing budget spent offline may include advertising in trade magazines, on local radio or regional news outlets, and even networking events.
The need for a consistent and joined-up strategy is something Haskell strongly believes in.
“A great piece of content isn’t enough on its own. How will you ensure that the right people discover it, and even if they do, is your website easy to use? Is it a smooth journey from content to checkout? Functionality has to go hand-in-hand with more creative elements of your marketing strategy,” he adds.
Digital advertising more important than ever
Digital advertising should be a part of that joined-up strategy, something that business owners agree with. Nearly half (48%) said they would commit their entire budget to this area.
As with any strategy, allocating the budget is just the start. Knowing how to spend it correctly is just as important.
In the ever-changing world of digital advertising, it’s important to understand what works and what doesn’t. For example, the days of seeing a significant return on a £5 boosted Facebook post are over. Larger budgets need to be assigned to paid media.
“The truth is that organic reach is down – you need to put more money into advertising, SEO is more competitive, so you need to find new routes,” says Small Biz Expert founder, Charlotte Sheridan.
“Traditionally, stuff that used to be almost free just isn’t anymore. Big businesses have known this for a while but the news is starting to trickle down to smaller businesses too.”
But how much of your revenue should you spend on marketing? Well, just over 90% of small businesses invest a fifth or less of their revenue in marketing. In an ideal world, many business owners would like to spend up to 20% more on digital marketing in 2022.
It’s clear that those holding the purse strings understand the value in digital marketing – even if they can’t always justify the expense.
Key takeaways for your business
- Nearly a third of small businesses would like to invest in a copywriter.
- Currently, over 90% of small businesses spend 20% or less of their revenue on marketing.
- If handed a £100,000 marketing budget, the vast majority (76%) would spread the investment across a number of channels.
More in the series
Enjoyed part two of this special report? Great. You’ll find more in the series below.
- Part 1: The companies saying ‘no’ to a website.
- Part 3: How your business can get to grips with growth.
- Part 4: What is your competition planning for 2022?
- Part 5: How an influencer can benefit your business.