We all need a few pity days from time to time. And sometimes, those self pity days revolve around your marketing strategy. Why does it seem like no matter how much time or money you exhaust into your campaigns, nothing seems to work? How does your competitor manage to get so many likes on their Facebook posts when you’re vying for just a few? How come when you try to be creative or funny, you just come off looking ridiculous? Why, why, why?!
We wish we could give you a simple answer, but the fact is that each company struggles with different aspects of marketing. You probably have several areas that could use some TLC. So once you’re done sulking at your efforts, put on your happy hat and apply some digital duct tape to your strategy with these seven fixes.
Fix #1: Tell Your Story
Think of your audience as a group of preschoolers sitting on the floor waiting for their story. You have just a few minutes to grab their attention and tell the story before they’re off to something new, or in your case, off to visit a competitor.
The purpose of sharing your story is to let people know what you do and why you do it. Perhaps you help people remodel their homes because you have a knack for decorating and enjoy helping others. Maybe you own a landscaping company that’s been in the family for years and offers environmentally friendly solutions.
You can share your story using a short video or blog post. You don’t have to be super detailed, either. Just get it out there what your business can offer, how you improve people’s lives and why you love what you do.
Fix #2: Remember that Relationships Take Time
When a visitor comes to your website, your main goal is to get them to buy something. But more often than not, visitors are simply browsing your website and not ready to buy at the time. We call these people “window shoppers.” They are the “just looking” crowd that doesn’t intend to buy anything.
There are also potential customers who are a step further than the window shoppers. They intend to buy something, but they’re just not sure if it’s your company they want to buy from. However, they’re willing to listen to your message. This is good.
Selling to people typically takes time. Start by collecting emails and encouraging people to come back to your site when they’re ready to buy. In the meantime, create content that pushes them further down the funnel. Depending on your product, you can offer white papers, blogs or just a simple coupon code.
Fix #3: Tell Visitors What You Want Them to Do
Call to actions are very important because they tell visitors exactly what you want them to do: download an ebook, fill out a form or subscribe to a blog, for example. You’ll need to test your call to actions to see which ones work best for your audience. There are many variables that can change the effectiveness of your requests. Examples include:
Colors: Test out different colors to see if certain ones increase conversions. Green, for instance, signifies “go” and may increase conversion rates.
Location: Where you place your call to action makes a difference. Placing the button below the fold may work better than placing it above.
Design: It can help to place credit card symbols and trust symbols near your call to action. This instills a sense of trust and security in your brand.
Time: Timing is everything. Presenting a call to action before the visitor has a chance to read your story may lower conversion rates.
Fix #4: Always Think Long Term
You must always consider what a customer means to your business over the course of his/her lifetime, not in a single transaction. For instance, if Laura buys water filters every three months, it won’t hurt to lose money on the first purchase because she will make that money up over time.
When you use various marketing channels such as AdWords, be sure that you optimize your efforts for a profitable lifetime value rather than profitability in the immediate term. You may lose a bit of money on the front end of things, but this is OK because you’ll make it up in the long term. This approach also allows you to better compete with your larger competitors.
For more information about calculating your lifetime value, check out this helpful infographic.
Fix #5: Spend Time Optimizing Your Conversion Rates
Marketing channels like AdWords don’t come cheap – and they probably never will. As much as you may try to perfect your marketing strategies so that you get the most bang for your buck, the costs will likely always rise. That’s because ad providers like Google and Bing are in charge, and if they want the rates to go up, they will.
To better accommodate growth while managing your budget, you should spend some time optimizing your conversion rates. As blogger Neil Patel points out in this post, companies can combat the rise in ad buys by increasing conversions by 50% so that the cost to acquire a new customers goes down by 50%.
Fix #6: Stop Seeking a Magic Bullet
One shot isn’t going to get you a win with your marketing strategy, so stop searching for a magic bullet that’s going to solve all your marketing troubles. Marketing is holistic, and it relies on various channels to bring it success. If you don’t fully leverage these channels, you won’t see the advancement you’re looking for.
Rather than trying to find a cure-all, focus your efforts on creating a process that allows you to integrate many marketing channels for a seamless strategy. Then tweak the different variables and track your success to see which things work and which things don’t. Take note from what other companies are doing as well.
Fix #7: Leverage Your Product for Self-Selling
Surely you can think of a hundred reasons why people should buy your product. Let your product speak for itself then. It’s a concept called growth hacking, and it’s an easy way for your brand to see additional sales without spending a lot of money on marketing.
A few big brands have already exceeded at this model. Dropbox, for instance, gives you more storage when you invite friends to try the service. YouTube allows users to embed videos on their sites, generating more traffic and views. Think about how your product can sell itself without you having to run another costly campaign. If it’s a great product, you won’t have a problem here. You’ll just need some creative, out-of-box thinking.
Well, there you have it. Seven great ways to apply some duct tape to your digital strategy so that it works a bit better. Your digital marketing strategy is a work in progress, so a few rips and tears are normal. The key is to patch them up and move on with the latest trends and practices that will earn you success.