I have run across more than a few small business owners – some doing okay for themselves, others not – who take the shotgun approach when it comes to marketing their business. The first key is when they tell me that they have “The Facebook”, and they’re doing “ads”, and they are doing a bit of this and a bit of that.

I know that they are likely trying everything they come across, with little regard for the strategy and overall marketing plan. It’s not that I don’t believe in being spontaneous, or even getting creative with part of your marketing. But the reality is that nearly every piece of your marketing should come together; it should all work together, sort of like an orchestra.

6263-illustration-of-a-megaphone-and-announcement-text-pvIf you start running Facebook ads without a solid presence and good organic reach, the cost of your ads is going to be significantly higher, and the cost per client for acquisition is going to be dramatically higher. In some cases, I’ve seen the cost of a lead being 5-10 times the cost that it would be with a good organic strategy.

The same concept applies to Google Adwords. The lower your SEO ranking, and the less high quality content you have on your website, the higher your cost will be to advertise with Google Adwords.

I see people who toss up a landing page using Web.com, YP.com or others. Unfortunately, if you take this approach, you might be building links to a website that isn’t your own. It won’t help you get that organic reach for your website and you’re losing control of the process. You’ll also end up spending more money for fewer leads, and thus end up with fewer results.

It’s important to have a strategy with all the pieces coming together. Sometimes the tweaks can be tiny, like adding a clear call to action on every blog post, or making a point of collecting email addresses so that you can stay in touch with people via email campaigns. It takes strategy and planning to collect those email addresses and to execute a well thought-out marketing campaign. By thinking through how all of the pieces should work, and with help from a strategist if you need one, you can end up saving a lot of money.

Every business needs a strategy and a budget. So does a marketing plan. Everything should be measured, and data should be collected on how your system is performing so that it can be tweaked and improved. Do these steps for every aspect of your business and you will see savings and a healthier bottom line.

Haley Lynn Gray is CEO and Founder of Leadership Girl, a digital marketing agency, where she uses her skills as a sales and marketing strategist and social media expert to help small business owners grow their business.She combines her years of real-life and business experiences with her MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business to benefit her clients. Haley works with them closely to set goals and put processes in place so they can achieve and exceed their goals.

Haley, along with her team, can also help with social media management, website updates, drip campaign management, and all aspects of business marketing.

In addition to running her business, Haley is a mom of four, a Girl Scout Leader and an author of two best-selling books. Haley is truly passionate about helping entrepreneurs achieve their potential, and empowers them to overcome obstacles in entrepreneurial ventures. www.leadershipgirl.com