“Spray and pray” is an inefficient way to accomplish anything. Do yourself a favor. Put in a little thought to creating a plan before you start adopting marketing techniques. If “create a plan” conjures up an image of a blank piece of paper and a feeling of dread, see our quick guide to creating an online marketing plan.
A marketing to-do list may look like a strategy. And the longer it is, the more it looks like a strategy. But if it doesn’t have “I know my marketing plan is succeeding when _______________________” at the top, it’s not. It’ll probably succeed, because if there’s no goal, than success is simply finishing doing all the activities on the list, regardless of outcome.
But that’s probably not what you want, is it?
So before you start implementing anything – before you start planning anything – force yourself to write down: “I know my marketing plan is succeeding when…”
The only wrong answer is the one that looks like this: __________________________.
Even if you have a definition of success, if how to accomplish it is not obvious and intuitive to your website visitor, it ain’t gonna happen. If your goal is to get new clients, but there are very few lead generation contact forms or links to your contact page on your site, you’re slashing your chances of success.
Look at your goal. How are interested people going to accomplish that? Make sure it’s very *VERY* easy to do.
If you want your marketing to work, specificity is the name of the game. If you target everyone, in truth you target no one. Choose ONE target market. Define them. Define a plan for them. Market to them. See them buy. NOW target another market.
You can target as any markets as you want, but DON’T treat them all the same and try to talk to all of them at the same time in the same way.
I worked with a client who was all gung-ho on internet marketing. But the email campaign took months to write and for every draft there was a review process and agreement by all members of the company before any email was sent. If you need buy in from too many people on the team, you’re holding yourself up. Streamline the process and get some stuff out there.
You only stop being a would-be marketer and start being a marketer when you…uh…market stuff. And you only start being a GOOD marketer when you can iterate fast – make mistakes, learn, repeat.
You have a great plan. But…you know… stuff gets in the way. I once taught a marketing strategy class. Most sessions there was some assignment to do for the next time. Something really practical – to help the entrepreneurs involved construct the marketing plan they were going to use. Do you know how many times people didn’t do their homework? The reason? “I was busy.”
I’m not saying there aren’t legitimate reasons to make your marketing take a back seat. If you’re getting married next week, or if a family member is suffering from an illness, it would actually be a bit strange if your marketing plan was top priority in your life. But whatever the reason is, if your marketing strategy is not a priority, you have to accept the consequence: you’re not likely to see any great results.
If you have an amazing plan, but not enough time – get some help.
Tea cozy, anyone?
Someone came to your site – or visited your properties and read your content. They’re not ready to buy yet. Will you just wave them goodbye? Or will you offer them some “treat” to have them stay in touch? Kids like chocolate, marshmallows, taffies, lollipops, jelly beans, Cheetos, Doritos (and about a zillion and one other tooth-decaying things that I am pressured to keep stocked in our cabinets). Adult consumers like eBooks, mini-courses, free samples, updates, tips, tricks – and they’re often willing to give you their email address to get it.
Make sure you have some way to get and nurture leads. Email marketing is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter marketing combined.
And if you’re an ecommerce site, and your visitors almost purchased and then decided to leave, you can send them targeted remarketing emails to follow up and encourage them to buy, using programs like Abandon Aid or SaleCycle.
The internet is alive with would-be content marketing stars. But they don’t shine. While blogging is touted as a great way to get customers and therefore “every business should have a blog,” if your content is so-so, it will get washed away in the content deluge.
Mediocrity is a waste of your time and efforts. Find a way you can shine – or hire someone who can shine your light for you.
Do you know how many websites lost Google rankings because their SEO company was busy doing things Google said not to do? Know what your SEO, PPC, content marketing, and social media companies are doing – and why they’re doing it.
The internet changes more rapidly than you move your eyes during REM sleep. New social networks. New Google algorithms. New ways of ad targeting.
Keep abreast of the changes – or you risk going under.
You’re not supposed to be talking “to” the customer. You’re supposed to be talking “with” the customer. Automated tweets (especially those automated “welcome new follower” tweets and direct messages) are great as the basis for your activities. But if they’re the whole thing, you’ll be talking to yourself – and probably even you won’t be listening.
Enclosed habitats are necessary for life on Mars. They’re stifling for life on our world… wide web. If your entire marketing strategy is to have a website, and *somehow* people will find your website (maybe because it’s printed on your business card?) – you’ve got a fail in the making.
Your marketing strategy has to encompass not only where you want your customers to go (your site), but where they are right now (social media, other blogs in your niche, etc.).
If your entire marketing strategy takes place on an entity you don’t control, you’re in a precarious position. What if Facebook ceases to exist? (Unlikely.) Or they change the algorithm rules so your posts don’t show up in most of your fans’ feeds? (Very likely.)
Your online marketing strategy should be diversified – but the basis should be the one piece of online real estate you own: your website.
I’m sure there are other ways to doom your online marketing strategy, but that’s enough downers for one day.
Plan and implement smart, and get the help you need to succeed.
You can do it. We’re rooting for you!
Submitted by Aviva