Advertising Loans and Marketing Financing
Every single business in the United States should be utilizing marketing, but many times business owners become confused, overwhelmed, and in way over their heads when it comes to developing an effective marketing strategy, as well as successfully implementing the marketing strategy into day to day use. This is when most businesses, both large and small, opt for allocating funds to hire either a separate marketing company or a marketing strategist to work in house (the latter being incredibly beneficial since marketing has turned into a full time job) – and most of the time, business owners are incredibly relieved to never have to deal with SEO, content marketing, advertising, PR, PPC, and any other acronym lingo associated with marketing a business.
Marketing is often confused with advertising, but understanding that these two terms are not synonymous is important. Advertising is simply a single component in a marketing strategy, so business owners do allocate a large chunk of time and money to advertising, but business owners must also focus on a variety of other key components to creating and implementing a successful marketing strategy. Some of the major aspects that encompass marketing for business owners is public relations, media planning, product pricing and distribution, sales strategy, customer support, marketing research, community involvement, and of course, advertising.
Put simply, a business owner needs to create a marketing strategy that focuses on everything their organization does, or needs, to facilitate an exchange between the business and the consumers – but to reach these key demographics, the revolution of technology is changing the game for all businesses across the United States, forcing many business owners to relearn how to successfully market their company. The age of relying on newspaper advertising to sell a specific product is long gone even though over 57 percent of B2B companies are still using print and other offline promotions – and under 30 percent see it as effective).
What are the Top Types of Marketing for a Business?
There are many different aspects of marketing for a business, but the number one task every small and large company should be focusing on is content marketing. Businesses across every industry are exploring more content marketing strategies, leading to 76 percent of business owners claiming they will be producing more marketing content than in previous years, but surprisingly, over 65 percent of professional business marketers cannot even define what content is effective and what is not effective for their consumers. This is leading to a huge disconnect between businesses and clients/consumers, which is a big issue in today’s society when younger generations are demanding a more personalized and informative shopping, buying, and service experience. For business owners looking to stay ahead of the competition in any industry, here are the major demands and trends for marketing today:
- Content Marketing: According to the Content Marketing Institute (yes, content marketing is so important today that there is a whole forum dedicated to it with information from the top marketers in the country), content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience, with the objective of generating revenue for businesses while drawing in a bigger customer base. Many of the other essential skills listed below that businesses are trying to achieve with their marketing strategies are all related in some way to content marketing and creating an effective content strategy. To all business owners out there – consumers believe that not nearly enough business owners today are focusing on content marketing, so all business owners that are willing to make it more of a priority will reap the rewards.
- Email Marketing: This has been an important and effective way of reaching a large, specific customer base, however there has been a shift in how email marketing is done effectively. Everyone hates spam, so many business owners have pushed away from email marketing, but if the email contains quality content (i.e. content marketing), then consumers are more inclined to read it! 78 percent of consumers still rank email as the most preferred communication platform.
- Digital Marketing: This is a constantly growing platform for every single business and customer, however many people are starting to use ad blockers and avoiding commercials, so many business owners are not using this form of marketing as much anymore, however if a business owner is still allocating funds to traditional forms of marketing (such as newspaper ads, newspaper coupons, banners, and so forth), then readjusting those funds to digital marketing could be much more effective.
- Social Media Marketing: Everybody knows how revolutionizing social media has been to all industries, so many business owners are increasing their budgets to implement many more forms of social media with creative and engaging content marketing for their products. There are so many different platforms of social media, and while not every platform is a necessity for every business owner, effectively implementing and setting up as many forms of social media for a business is essential. The most effective and successful forms of social media are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and GooglePlus. Another important thing to remember – customers are more intrigued and likely to read about a businesses’ product or service if there is a picture included with the link.
- Mobile Marketing: It is expected that by 2019, mobile advertising will represent over 72 percent of all digital ad spending; as of 2016, only 68 percent of businesses have integrated mobile marketing into their marketing strategy! Many business owners are noticing this trend and capitalizing on this growing demand; implementing mobile marketing and an accessible mobile website is a key strategic form of marketing for every business owner today.
- Lead Generation: While lead generation is a result of great content marketing, it is one of the largest concerns and focuses for business owners, so business owners that know how to generate leads on a larger scale outside of content marketing is essential.
- Blogging: The top businesses in every industry today have a successful blog, with creative and engaging content (you all know what I am saying – content marketing!). Many business owners that have started to implement blogs and blog writers into their businesses are quickly noticing the benefits of having exciting information and content for their key demographic.
There are endless amounts of ways to effectively market a business, but knowing which ones to utilize and allocate money towards vary from business to business. No matter the industry though, learning more about content marketing is the only way for a business owner today to successfully market a company. However, learning, strategizing, and implementing marketing techniques can be time and consuming, as well as expensive. There are a variety of funding possibilities to help any business owner implement new marketing strategies.
Types of Marketing and Advertising Loans
|Bank||6-10%||3-7 years||14-30 days|
|SBA||6-10%||3-7 years||10-30 days|
|Line of Credit||5-15%||1 – 3 years||7-30 days|
|Alternative||6-25%||1-5 years||5-7 days|
|Cash Advance||1.16-1.55||3-24 months||1-3 days|
|Invoice Finance||1-2% weekly||1 – 90 days||1-3 days|
Traditional Marketing Bank Loans
Simply put, a traditional loan is financing provided by a bank or credit union. This is the most preferable form of business debt financing because banks offer the best rates and terms. But getting a bank loan isn’t easy because of the credit, revenue, cash-flow and profitability requirements.
- Rates: 5-10%
- Terms: 1-25 years
SBA Marketing Loans
One of the most underappreciated and underused form of financing are SBA loans. SBA lending is a form of traditional financing in which a business owner with good credit who is unable to get a bank loan can obtain a SBA-enhancement which would allow a traditional lender to provide financing and the Small Business Administration agrees to cover a large portion of the lender’s losses should the borrower default. SBA loans can be used for a number of purposes including refinancing debt, purchasing real estate and marketing purposes.
- Rates: 6-8%
- Terms: 3-25 years
Alternative Marketing Loans
While we all would prefer the rates and terms provided by traditional lenders, getting a bank loan is never guaranteed — especially with many having approval rates as low as 20%. If a company in need of financing for marketing can’t get a traditional loan, a non-traditional financing option is available in the form of mid-prime and institutional lending (funded by private investment and crowdsourcing). The best alternative lenders have a much easier underwriting criteria, and fund much faster than a bank loan. But with faster approvals and funding comes higher rates.
- Rates: 9-25%
- Terms: 1-5 years
Asset Based Lending For Marketing
If both the traditional and alternative lending routes are unsuccesful, there are other options. For businesses that own their commercial real estate or owners that own personal real estate (and/or land) they may be able to obtain financing by using the real estate as collateral for the business loan. Asset based lenders can provide up to 50% of the property’s value, even if the real estate has a 1st or 2nd lien.
- Rates: 8-25%
- Terms: 6 months – 3 years
Marketing and Advertising Cash Advances
If you are unable to get financed through one of the more conventional routes, you could sell some of your company’s future revenue in exchange for upfront cash. A merchant cash advance is the sale of a company’s future credit card sales, and an ACH cash advance is the sale of future bank deposits. For a company in need of immediate financing, or for company’s that have bad credit, a cash advance may make sense because they fund quickly (sometimes as soon as same day) and have very low credit requirements.
- Factor Rates: 1.16-1.50%
- Terms: 4 months – 2 years