Successfully marketing a business online can be somewhat daunting these days given the multitude of options available.
Most businesses have got some marketing activity in play but there may be minimal return without the appropriate focus and targeting.
This article will help you get clear on what you need to do from a marketing perspective to review where you’re at and then how to move forward.
- Start with some questions
Some high-level questions can help give you a quick read on your level of comfort, or otherwise, with your sales and marketing activity.
- Do you regularly promote your brand?
- Are you generating enough leads from your website?
- Do you frequently update your website with quality, shareable content?
- Do you have marketing mechanisms in place to help your conversion rate?
- Do you have an upsell strategy?
- How effective is your social media presence?
- Are you in regular contact with clients?
- Do you leverage testimonials and case studies?
- Have you done any video marketing in the past year?
- Is your marketing activity building your brand profile and reputation?
While not an exhaustive list, these questions can get you thinking about where you’d like to be positioned as a business and help determine the priority of what to work on next.
- Articulate and document what you want to achieve
If you’re already running a successful business, firstly, congratulations, and secondly, it’s likely that you want to take the business up a notch and reach new heights.
As you would have done at the start, being able to articulate and document your vision and goals for the business is key.
And let’s remember that all important question: what will success look like?
How will you know you’ve reached your goals?
How will success look, what will you feel, what will people around you be saying, what will you say to yourself and what will your metrics tell you?
Once you’re crystal clear on what you want to achieve, another important question to discuss and document is about your target audiences, as the information you capture will guide all your other marketing decisions and actions.
- Who are your clients?
While it can seem like a redundant question to people who’ve been heading up a business for a long time, going through the process of building client profiles, or avatars as they’re commonly known now, can be insightful.
It’s similar to the process of writing down your own personal goals. You have them in your head and you think “sure, I know what I want to achieve” but, almost like magic, when you start capturing something in the written form, whether it be on your laptop, tablet, phone or a piece of paper, something transformative happens.
Spend some time characterising your various client segments by capturing what you know about them including such factors as their challenges and pain points.
Once you have your profiles fleshed out it will help guide key decisions about: content you produce to attract new business, the products and services you sell, the advertising platforms you’ll use, how you write copy and the language you use, and any specific campaigns you might deploy to a particular client segment.
- Sales funnel review
A marketing review should also include an assessment of your sales process or funnel to determine what could be implemented or optimised at each stage.
At a high level, the sales process follows these four phases:
Awareness: where your target market is finding out about you for the first time and getting a sense of your brand and what you have to offer.
Interest: they’ve shown a willingness to get to know you and it’s here where you engage and demonstrate your value.
Consideration: this is the decision-making phase where they’re pondering whether to purchase for the first time, or make a repeat purchase. A chance for you to add further value and prove how else you can meet their needs.
Purchase: a transaction takes place and the commercial relationship progresses as the prospect becomes a buyer and moves to another stage in the customer journey.
Not all companies have well-developed, clearly defined marketing and communication strategies to move people through each stage of the buying process as selling processes have often grown quite organically.
However, if you want to shift gears and elevate your performance as a business, discussing and documenting your current sales processes, identifying what’s working well and identifying where opportunities are being missed is essential.
With clarity around who you’re targeting, how your value matches what your segments are seeking, and an understanding of where your sales funnel may be letting you down, you can now turn your attention to the key strategic areas that will help you ramp up your activity and drive further value from your business.
Content comes in many forms but essentially it’s any information you distribute that helps keep your sales pipeline full. It may include: articles (blogs), infographics, photographs, podcasts, videos, social media updates, price lists, product sheets, information packs, books, white papers, guides, checklists and comparison tables.
Content is an important element of your digital marketing strategy as it helps move people through the stages from awareness of your brand, to evaluating your offering to converting to a sale and becoming a customer.
Just contemplating content in this way can expand your thinking, generate new ideas and improve your approach.
As a brand that wants to improve, grow and extend its reach, you need a content strategy that helps introduce people to your brand, that fosters engagement and interaction. You want content that also helps people assess what you have to offer and whether you’re the right fit for them, and you want content that helps people make the decision to buy, and then buy again.
Content on its own isn’t a magic bullet though.
It needs to speak to the right people at the right time in the customer journey. A piece of content that’s about convincing someone to take the next step and buy isn’t appropriate for someone who is just learning about your brand for the first time.
Therefore, content marketing needs to be strategic in its development, messaging and distribution.
No matter how great your business and offer, it’s hard to grow if you’re not attracting prospective buyers each month and expanding your market reach.
Getting visitors to your website and social media assets, plus generating phone calls and emails, are essential activities if you want to grow your business.
And when it comes to traffic, there are two sources: organic and paid.
Organic traffic is unpaid, it’s the visitors you attract from coming up in Google searches and someone clicking through to your website. It’s the organic posts you make on social media platforms that are viewed, liked, shared and commented upon. Anything that brings people to your branded online properties that isn’t advertising.
A Search Engine Optimisation strategy is essential to ensure you rank well and attract organic traffic. And remember, it’s a long game so this is something you need to keep chipping away at to achieve gains and then maintain your ranking.
Paid traffic is, as the name suggests, the attention you purchase by way of advertising.
Both paid and organic are important for growth and should be factored into your marketing plan.
While everyone loves free traffic, it’s no accident that the world’s largest, and most successful businesses, advertise. They know how important it is to keep new business coming in, to retarget prospects, sell more to existing customers, and to keep building their brand.
Paid traffic enables a person to get to know your company and allows you to demonstrate value and promote offers. It’s a different interaction to someone visiting your website and can help you quickly determine who is interested in your proposition.
An advertising campaign enables you to build assets which is a huge plus. Through the use of pixels, you can build a lead list of people who interact with you and build a base for future advertising and email follow-up.
Also, by driving more visitors to your website to check out articles, offers etc, you also help improve your organic search rankings.
Ensuring you have client profiles / avatars developed prior to undertaking paid advertising will help you target your spend more effectively.
- Maximising revenue
An email marketing program can unlock the key to maximising revenue in your business.
Having regular, operational and strategic communication with your customers, from the ones that have just come on board, to your most loyal followers, is an effective and low-cost way to maintain engagement, add value and upsell.
In addition, optimising your campaigns and the offers and content you’re presenting to people is also part of the equation. Testing slightly different versions of the same offer can help you determine what’s most effective with your audience so you’re not wasting time and money on something that’s not converting.
And segmenting your customers based on their response to offers is wise too.
With each campaign you run, you will improve your understanding of your clients and determine what works best with each segment.
Discussions about maximising revenue also extend to your products and services. For instance, is there scope to sell a service in a different way to better meet the needs of a current segment, or a new segment you’d like to target?
Spending some time reviewing your marketing and being challenged to think about your business in new ways will present options and choices you hadn’t previously contemplated.
With a fresh perspective and greater clarity about your opportunities, you’ll be able to decide on the approach that’s right for your business and feel confident about the future.
If you’d like to discuss your marketing needs, please use the Contact Us button and we’ll be in touch with you soon.