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Is your marketing strategy helping you accomplish your goals?
I’m willing to bet it isn’t – at least not all of them. And, if it’s not, that means there are things you could be doing better.
The tricky thing, of course, is figuring out what those things are. It’s not like they’re going to walk up and announce themselves to you, right? (But wouldn’t it be great if they did?)
Since you can’t count on marketing suggestions knocking on your door, let me help. Here are 7 things you can start doing right now to market your business better.
#1: Identify Your Unmet Goals Where You Expected to Do Better
The first step is to review your marketing plan and business plan and figure out what you still haven’t accomplished. You might have specific goals that remain out of reach, like attracting a certain number of new customers this year or passing a profit milestone.
Even if you haven’t articulated a goal, you might still feel disappointed about some of your marketing. Maybe readers aren’t finding your blog or you’re not getting as many people to sign up for your newsletter as you’d hoped.
Whatever it is that isn’t meeting your expectations, write it down.
#2: Update Your Market Research
The answers to marketing difficulties are nearly always found in the data. If it’s been a while since you conducted any serious market research, it’s time to retest those waters and see what’s new.
You should be gathering two sets of information about the people in your target audience. They are:
- Demographic information, including age, gender, marital status, education, income, and geographical location; and
- Psychographic information, including likes, dislikes, problems, concerns, and preferences.
The information you collect is what you’ll use to revamp your marketing to connect with the people most likely to buy from you.
#3: Sneak a Peek at Your Competitors’ Marketing
Competitor research doesn’t get enough attention, and if you’ve never checked out your competitors’ marketing for ideas, you’re missing out.
You should be looking to see:
- How they differentiate themselves from their competitors
- Which keywords they’re targeting
- Which social media sites they’re using
- How many followers they have
- Where they’re spending money on advertising
- How they get customers to engage with them
This is such an important topic that I wrote a whole article about it this month. Make sure you don’t take your competitors for granted.
#4: Find Out Where Your Target Audience Is
Once you’ve evaluated your competitors, it’s time to start thinking about where to focus your marketing efforts to reach your target audience. For example, if your customers are mostly women and you have an aspirational product, then your marketing budget will be well spent on Pinterest. If you’re a B2B company, you should focus on LinkedIn.
You’ll also want to think beyond social media and ask how your target audience will find you. Remember that voice search is on the rise and think about where people are going to look for your products – and how they’ll do it.
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#5: Revamp Your Marketing Plan
This is step is a big one – but it’s necessary if you want to achieve your marketing and growth goals. Take all the information you’ve gathered and sit down and rethink your marketing plan. You should be planning:
- Which short-term and long-term goals are most important to you
- How much money you’re prepared to spend to achieve them
- What methods you will use to reach your goals (content marketing, email marketing, retargeting, etc.)
- Which platforms you want to use (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, Bing, etc.)
- What kind of content you will create
- How you will track your results and measure your goals
In other words, this should be a complete, soup-to-nuts plan of how you will achieve your goals.
#6: Automate as Much as Possible
Marketing automation can save you a ton of time and money as you work to achieve your goals. If you try to do everything yourself, you may wind up missing deadlines or failing to keep up with your intentions.
I’m a big believer in email automation for marketing. There are tons of good marketing email providers, including companies like AWeber and Constant Contact. You can use them to create email sequences to send out to your subscribers – or hire someone to create them for you.
I also suggest using automation to monitor your social media mentions and post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. You’ll need to set up the posts and schedule them, but the beauty of this approach is that it means you don’t need to worry about remembering when to post something. The automation will do it for you.
You may also want to consider setting up automatic replies on your Facebook page. Lots of companies use bots to handle customer questions and increase engagement – and you should think about it, too.
#7: Test Everything (and I Do Mean Everything)
The final step is not to assume that your new marketing plan is perfect. Even seasoned marketers make mistakes. They guess wrong and need to correct course.
Tracking your results will help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t. You should know:
- How many people open the emails you send
- What your click-through and conversion rates are
- Which social media posts get the most engagement
Once you know which efforts aren’t delivering, you can test new versions of them. For emails, it might mean testing new headlines, content, and calls to action. Or, if you notice that video content gets three times as much engagement on Facebook as everything else you do, you may need to revisit your marketing budget and allot more resources to video.
And there they are…
Marketing isn’t an exact science but doing these 7 things can help you realign your marketing strategy with your most important business goals – and at the same time, increase your profits and help you attract new customers.