That mistake, according to Matthew Howells-Barby of HubSpot, is taking an ad hoc approach to spending.
“People waste lots of small amounts of money on paid content,” he said during a presentation in Sydney.
According to Mr Howells-Barby, many SMEs think they have small marketing costs by only paying for small amounts of advertising and content at a time. But he said that each of these small outgoings quickly adds up to a substantial pot of money.
“Facebook has made it so easy to spend money on its platform,” he said.
Mr Howells-Barby suggested allocating a decent amount of money to marketing each year in the business’ budget, and then keeping tabs of that spend, to keep track of these outgoings.
But to ensure maximum return on investment, he said it is important to know what the long-term goals are from this marketing. It can almost be addictive to simply throw cash at marketing channels without fully understanding what you are hoping to achieve.
Organic content can be a useful means of building profile and brand awareness, with paid content working alongside this to push more immediate sales results, he suggested.
According to commerce marketing firm Criteo, paid display advertising was the most popular form of marketing spend by businesses in 2017, with digital marketing now comprising almost 90 per cent of all marketing spend.