We can always debate the effectiveness of different marketing strategies and the validity of new trends. Is inbound better? Is outbound better? Should you be using Facebook Live? Are they called nurture emails or drip campaigns? The list goes on.
However, one thing we can all be in agreement about is that marketing has the potential to be a lot of work and effort for nothing if you don’t work smart and work efficiently. From emails that nobody reads to posts that nobody clicks, failed campaigns can be discouraging stuff for the marketing team and big money pits for a business. Your marketing ROI is a big deal.
A good way of avoiding wasting time and money is focusing on how we work, not just on what we work on. So here are a few guidelines for making sure you are milking your marketing efforts for all they are worth.
1 // Do research
Are you sure you need a newsletter? Are you sure you need a Youtube channel? An easy way to not waste time on marketing is to not waste time making things that your customers and target customers have zero interest in. Often that means newsletters. Sometimes that means blog posts. Occasionally that will mean social media posts. Figure out what your customers want by sending out surveys and asking them. Or, (brace yourselves) study your data! You don’t have to always do exactly what your customers ask you to do, but they should be your guiding voice.
2 // Don’t mess with what works
Why do we do this? If your customers love a classic bestseller, don’t change it! If you get good response rates on your social media posts, don’t change them. A lot of times we think we need to be constantly reinventing our brand and this simply isn’t the case. We make the assumption that our potential customers have already seen everything we’ve done. Don't give yourself so much credit. Just because you’ve seen that one photo or that same headline for the past year doesn’t mean your entire market has. That little research tip above will help you determine when it’s time to change direction.
3 // Use the scientific method
(Ugly charts brought to you by your friends all over the world that don't care about making things look good.
Just Google "Scientific Method Diagram".)
Marketing can be treated as a science, and using the scientific method is a solid reference for how you should treat your marketing campaigns. My guess is that you’re already using something similar to evaluate your campaigns.
Facebook Ads is a helpful app for this because they require you to state your objective (or your issue you need to resolve) before even making your ad. This is a good way to think about your marketing and how you need to approach it. Tip: Don't skip out on the analysis part. Whether something is working or not working, it’s important to figure out why.
4 // Hire people to do free work
Because it’s totally easy to find people that will work for free! I’m not talking about that kind of “work.” I’m talking about brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors are customers who are passionate about your project and who will share positive reviews with their entourage and on social media. If you can, dig up people who like your product and reward them for loving you. Happy customers are the most powerful marketing tool you have.
5 // Invest in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and Google Analytics
Trying to successfully and strategically market to your customers without a reliable CRM is hard. It’s possible, and if you can’t afford HubSpot, Salesforce, or some other CRM you’ll still be ok, I promise. If you’re a growth stage company and you don’t have a marketing CRM to help you analyze data, you may be losing money in the long run. Why? Because there is power in the data! A good CRM will provide you with analytics on your potential lead’s digital habits, content they enjoy, web pages they’re interested in, and automate a lot of work for you. Embrace all the stalkery! Use it for good and ye shall be rewarded.
6 // And you should probably use Facebook Ads too
Nobody wants to read a blog post telling them to spend more money on marketing. But Facebook ads have great reach, and they are as inexpensive as paid advertising gets. They are tricky and it can take time to get the hang of it but they are effective, especially if you’re a startup. (You can read more about Facebook Ads here and get a basic overview.)
At the end of the day, every company and team will need to do some experimenting to find the strategies and habits that work best for them. However, these ideas serve as pretty solid guidelines on ways you can make your marketing better, no matter your size or industry.
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