One of the most common challenges we hear from the clients we work with and our prospective clients is, “My current marketing just isn’t getting us the results we want and I don’t know why.” So the question then becomes, how do we fix it?
Before we talk about strategies to making changes to your current marketing plan. It’s important to define how you measure effective marketing. Although you can have successful campaigns, catchy tag lines, and great blog posts in the end, there is only one true measure of your marketing’s effectiveness – leads. If your marketing isn’t generating the leads you need to grow your business, it’s not working – period.
So what do you do if your current marketing strategy isn’t generating enough leads? If that’s the case, it’s time to take a closer look at your business and marketing and see what can be changed or tweaked to improve your situation.
Where are you spending your time and money?
The first thing to look at when you deciding how to tweak your marketing plan if it isn’t working, is where are you currently spending money? If you are spending money on traditional advertising, direct mail, cold-calling, trade shows, public relations or even a search engine optimization consultant – and you just aren’t seeing the growth you once did – then you know that these tactics just don’t deliver the ROI they did as recently as two or three years ago.
While there can be a place for traditional advertising – especially if you are still seeing results – it’s also important to consider adding or replacing much of the old school way of marketing – with inbound marketing. If your current marketing plan is set, a major overhaul may need to wait but there are ways to add inbound marketing into your current marketing plan without having to start completely over.
Blog and if you’re already blogging, blog more
B2B marketers that use blogs receive
67% more leads than those that do not. And the best part? Blogs continue to attract leads – even when you’re not working! And the moreSEO optimized blogs you have filled with relevant content, the more likely you are to get noticed by prospective customers. Now, if you are just getting started, the idea of regular blogging may seem completely unattainable, but there are tricks you can use to make sure that your blogging pays off in spades (orSQLs):
- Come up with all your blog titles at once. Check out this blog about how to create hundreds of blog titles in just a few hours.
- Write down all your ideas. Have a designated area where you can jot down blog topic ideas. Make sure to add a few bullet points like any links and any thoughts that ran through your mind when you decided that it would be a good topic to cover.
- Use an editorial calendar. Once you have all your topics lay them out in an editorial calendar. This tool allows you to set deadlines, divide up the dates between team members, and plan ahead. Depending on how you set it up, you can include the author, their topic, the keywords they’re targeting, and the campaign that this blog post is a part of. It helps you plan in advance, as well as hold everyone accountable for their deadlines.
- Write about what you know. When you first start blogging, the process can take a few hours. Research, writing, proofing, SEO optimization, and getting it formatted all take time. But if you focus on writing about topics that you are familiar with, it can cut that time in half.
- Get guest writers. Guest blogging is a great way to enhance your business reputation as a thought leader. Getting guest posts published on top sites in your niche can secure backlinks from influential and authoritative websites – which can also raise your own blog’s search rankings. And vice-versa, if you are able to get a well-respected blogger to guest blog on your site, you will draw in an entirely new crowd of followers.
- Use different mediums in your blog. When possible, include videos or audio. Other content, such as quotes, charts, embedded social media, and infographics are also terrific ways to convey the message and make your post easier to read. Lists are also very popular in blog content, likely because they are easy to scan and digest. Studies have shown that content with compelling visual elements and graphics can generate up to 94 percent more views.
- Make it a habit. Like most any task we do at work if you make blogging part of your weekly routine it becomes just that, a routine.
Use Social Media
For small to medium businesses, social media is an ideal – and free – way to share your content with hundreds of other social media junkies, just like me, who may be in need of your service or product.
- Pick your platform. YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – with so many platforms to choose from, how can you select which is most appropriate for your business? (HINT: If you are a B2B business, you must be active on LinkedIn.) The answer is simple. Create a company profile where your followers, or target followers, are most active. Do not create profiles across ten different platforms and then splash the same content across them all! I can’t emphasize this enough. Each network serves a very specific function and, to some degree, each post you publish should be tailored appropriately.
- Be Active. It’s one thing to create your profile, but unlike “The Field of Dreams” if you build it, it doesn’t mean they will come. You have to engage – in other words, be social. Appropriate post frequency across platforms will vary. The ‘sweet spot’ for your company may deviate from what research suggests and will take some time to identify. According to the LinkedIn small business guide, just 20 posts per month will reach 60% of your audience on LinkedIn.
- Post wisely. We have a rule here at Alaniz Marketing when it comes to posting on social media. It’s the 10/4/1 rule. Basically, it helps us know how often to post specific types of content – 10 educational posts from other authorities in our field, four educational posts from our organization, and one landing page offering premium content. (HINT: Social media is an awesome place to share your blog content. And don’t just share it once. Rewrite your tweet or headline and send it out several times. The social media world moves so fast if you only post once you may miss your target audience)
Inbound marketing has many bells and whistles and while using all the components of inbound marketing together will make the biggest impact on your company’s marketing. Adding a few tweaks here and there will start to add up with a big payoff!