Spending $800K on Marketing Ideas: Lessons Learned

Last updated: Jun 25, 2023

The video discusses the lessons learned from spending $800K on various marketing campaigns, including a Google ads campaign for backlinks, hiring three copywriting agencies for a homepage redesign, a podcast advertising experiment, and reallocating their ad budget to sponsor creators.

This video by Ahrefs was published on Mar 1, 2023.
Video length: 08:59.

The video discusses the lessons learned from spending $800,000 on various marketing campaigns with no tracking or expectations for ROI.

The video covers specific campaigns such as a Google Ads campaign to earn backlinks, hiring three different copywriting agencies to redo their homepage, and a $52,000 podcast advertising experiment. The video also discusses reallocating their ad budget to sponsor creators and give 90% of ad revenue to content creators through their own search engine, yep.com.

The video provides insights and takeaways from each campaign and how they can be applied to future marketing efforts.

  • Spent $16,100 on a Google Ads campaign to earn backlinks.
  • Hired three different copywriting agencies to redesign their homepage.
  • Spent $52,000 on podcast ads to gain exposure and brand awareness.
  • Moved their Google and Facebook ads budget of around $200,000 to support and sponsor creators in their space.
  • Created their own search engine, yep.com, to give 90% of ad revenue to content creators.

Spending $800K on Marketing Ideas: Lessons Learned - YouTube

Spending $800K on Marketing Ideas: Lessons Learned 001

Google Ads Backlinks Campaign

  • Spent $16,100 on a Google Ads campaign to earn backlinks.
  • Bid on keywords relevant to their content and no-indexed articles.
  • Monitored backlinks to pages using Ahrefs Site Explorer.
  • Got 101 backlinks from unique websites, with a cost average of $159.31 per referring domain.
  • Only 36 of these backlinks were actually good, bringing the cost average for decent referring domain to $400.14.
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Homepage Redesign with Copywriting Agencies

  • Hired three different copywriting agencies to redesign their homepage.
  • Each agency went through market research, customer interviews, and Skype calls.
  • Spent around $33,000 for their services.
  • All three home pages were drastically different, so they combined them to create their current homepage.
  • Happy with the result.
Spending $800K on Marketing Ideas: Lessons Learned 004

Podcast Advertising Experiment

  • Spent $52,000 on podcast ads to gain exposure and brand awareness.
  • Sponsored five podcasts for a total of $14,200 and got 339 page views and 11 trial signups.
  • Realized that podcast ads were not a tool for lead generation.
  • Sponsored six more podcasts for a total of $37,775.
  • Didn't bother tracking clicks or signups.
Spending $800K on Marketing Ideas: Lessons Learned 005

Spending $800K on Marketing Ideas: Lessons Learned - YouTube

Reallocating Ad Budget to Sponsor Creators

  • Moved their Google and Facebook ads budget of around $200,000 to support and sponsor creators in their space.
  • Sponsored 72 videos, 108 podcast episodes, 138 newsletter issues, 11 standalone projects and events, nine sponsored blog posts, and seven social media campaigns.
  • Created their own search engine, yep.com, to give 90% of ad revenue to content creators.
  • Believed that reallocating their ad budgets to sponsor creators made a ton of sense.
Spending $800K on Marketing Ideas: Lessons Learned 006

Lesson 1: Make Your Marketing Campaigns Multi-Purpose

  • Marketing campaigns can be turned into case studies, which are harder to replicate and loved by customers.
  • Secondary brand exposure from case studies can make marketing ideas worth trying even if the results are sub-optimal.
  • Podcast advertising experiment led to a case study that got hundreds of backlinks and was shared by influential people in the industry.
  • Case study also led to Rebecca getting air time on industry podcasts.
  • Accepting that some marketing ideas may not have trackable ROI but can still provide value through secondary exposure.
Spending $800K on Marketing Ideas: Lessons Learned 008

Lesson 2: ROI is Not Always Trackable

  • Conference sponsorships and backlinks experiment are examples of marketing activities with difficult-to-track ROI.
  • Attribution is a nightmare and counting touch points can lead to bad decisions.
  • Common sense can sometimes be a better bet than making assumptions based on bad data.
  • Accepting that ROI is not always trackable and making decisions based on other factors such as common sense and belief in the campaign.
  • Marketing dollars put into product-led content marketing efforts pales in comparison to other campaigns, but provides more meaning to the campaign.

Watch the video on YouTube:
Spending $800K on Marketing Ideas: Lessons Learned - YouTube

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