Have you ever felt that your marketing strategy was beginning to take on some unhealthy habits or perhaps fattening up in all the wrong places? Perhaps it’s been awhile since you took a long hard look at your strategy and looked at it for what it should be, an ever evolving and improving means of communicating with your customers.
Keeping pace with quickly changing Internet marketing trends can be exhausting, and frankly overwhelming. However, it is essential that your team offers new and inspired ideas to your prospects and customers. Why? Because if you don’t, someone else will.
2012 has many changes in store including: Over ¾ of the population will be online, smartphone shoppers will reach 68.6 million, and more than 90% of social networkers will be on Facebook. What should that tell you? It’s time to get off the couch and start strengthening your marketing strategy to better target your customers.
#1 – Stretch Your Content
Whether you’re new to marketing or are a marketing expert this is one step you should never skip. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by simply taking the time to stretch out your current marketing assets. How can this be done?
- Repurpose existing blog posts as articles or social media posts
- Curate content from other news sources to share with your network
- Drive traffic to existing content by creating multiple varied social media posts
#2 – Don’t Skip Your Warm Up
I’m sure you’ve all heard the expression “walk before you run”. The same can be true when creating your online marketing strategy. If your strategy is based solely on ideas your own ideas then are you really considering the needs of your customers? Before we jump into the 5k marathon it is important that we step back and identify some vital information about our customers. This can be accomplished in many ways including:
- Identify the habits and preferences of your customers online
- Run A/B testing on campaigns to help formulate your hypothesis
#3 – Take Your Marketing Strategy For A Jog
After identifying what strategy you believe is best suited for your customers it’s time to test. You may find that what you thought you could do, isn’t quite working out and your plan needs tweaking. Take this opportunity to make changes while your plan is still in the planning phase, you wouldn’t want to make a run for it and pull a muscle – that could put you out of the game for weeks!
#4 – Add Variety To Your Marketing Approach
The dreaded marketing rut, every marketer has been there at some point. You may have had success with particular content types and built your strategy around that one tactic. Today we must rely on not only creating content that our customers will enjoy, but creating it in the format that they are most likely to consume. Popular forms of content that should be a part of our marketing hub and spoke could include:
- Status Updates
- Case Studies
- Buying Guides
#5 – Avoid Cravings & Falling Back into Bad Marketing Habits
This is another step where having the support of your colleagues is important. Perhaps you had a bad month: blog readership is down, engagement on social networks just isn’t taking off, or your clients are unhappy with results. Instead of reverting into your former bad habits, this is an opportunity for growth. If something isn’t working, change it or determine what small tweaks you can make in order to increase your chances for success.
#6 – Monitor Progress
Measurement is one of the most important exercises in your marketing mix. Without proper measurement, you will be ineffective in scaling and duplicating your process. Set a series of goals and benchmarks for your team and track which bad habits you’re losing, as well as the strength and momentum your revitalized marketing plan is gaining.
#7 Don’t Expect Results Overnight
No matter what the late night television infomercials tell you, it’s impossible to lose weight or become healthy overnight. Taking your marketing strategy to the next level is a journey that will help your team build process along the way. The time that it takes to generate results will vary from company to company depending on your industry, if you are B2B or B2C, and who your audience is. Don’t become discouraged, if you stick with your newly energized marketing strategy you WILL see results.
I’m well aware that many of these “exercises” are easier said than done. However, I am a strong believer that it’s time for us to get tough and make a change. Deciding to make a change, is half the battle. I’m curious to know: What have you found is your biggest marketing hurdle?