At this time of year I usually share some advice about planning for the next twelve months, mapping out your marketing activity to start January the right way. Right now, however, planning ahead seems like a luxury. We have no idea what tomorrow will bring...new variants, further lockdowns, school closures; vaccines and immunity; zombie apocalypse... so all plans need to be flexible. Where does that leave your marketing then?
Red Evolution Opinions & Musings
Most of the work we do uses a retainer model. This means for a fixed monthly recurring fee, we provide a range of digital marketing services designed to help our clients attract more business opportunities online. It works exceptionally well for them and us, and in this post, I examine why.
In a previous life, I had a boss who had a number of great sayings. One of my favourites was, "sales causes marketing". I tried to argue with him on many occasions, mainly when I was trying to increase my marketing budget, but, I have to admit, he had a point.
We're all busy. We know customers come first and it's normal to give priority to the people who pay the bills and focus on the work that brings in revenue. However, what if a small investment could make that work much more profitable?
Marketing is one of those industries that's packed full of jargon and buzzwords. Not least of which are the phrases marketers use to describe what we do. There's digital marketing, online marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing... but what's the difference?
If I had a pound for every time a business owner has told me that they are targeting "everyone", I'd be writing this from a private yacht in the Seychelles. It's one of the biggest mistakes that business people make, and it is vitally important.
We rarely enter awards, and we don't often blow our own trumpets. However, sometimes an opportunity comes along that's too good to ignore.
In these days of fake news, filters and photoshop, it is understandable when clients ask if they actually have to tell the truth on their websites, social media accounts and in their inbound marketing campaigns. So, how important is it to be authentic? Is it ever OK to be economical with the truth?
In Inbound Marketing we talk a lot about buyers' journeys and the path from attracting them, through engaging with them to converting them into leads and then customers.
Inbound Marketing is all about attracting visitors to your website, engaging with them and converting them into leads. To do this you need to provide valuable content that gets noticed when people are looking for it, and makes potential customers trust you enough to want to do business with you.
With the New Year looming, it is a very good time to take stock and start planning your work and your budget for the coming 12 months. Having a written marketing plan, which is picked up and used, and updated regularly, is vital if your business is spending money on any marketing activities. Without knowing where you are trying to go you won't know if you've got there!
Hands up if you've ever referred to marketing as the "fluffy" stuff or the "airy fairy" part of business. Maybe once upon a time you might have been partially right, but not now, and especially not when it comes to inbound marketing.
According to the HubSpot State of Inbound Report 2016, the top marketing challenge is generating traffic and leads, with 65% of companies putting this challenge well above other common issues like securing budget, managing websites and hiring talent.
If you work in marketing you'll be well aware of the importance of understanding your customers, your target market, your audience... whatever you choose to call those people to whom you are reaching out in the hope of getting them to buy something from you. While it sounds strange to many of our clients, we have found that persona development is a great place to start.
Marketing is not an exact science, and it's usually a fairly major slice of your business costs. So if you're not getting the results you want, you need to do something about it, and fast. The great thing about marketing online is that you can measure and change everything, as often as you like. You just need to know what questions to ask.