There’s a lot to think about, when you’re trying to build a successful marketing strategy. If you’re looking for game changer information on how you can build your brand in the industry, as a credible, powerful player, start with a good look at your website. Look at it from a user’s perspective. This is your first impression in your strategy.
We’ve compiled a short list of 10 things NOT to do if you want to build a successful strategy.
1. Keep your 1990’s website - There’s a lot of reasons to update your website. Think about the purpose. Is it an extension of your company? Does the site represent the first impression you want to convey on line? Does it look as good as your competitors? Are you a good resource for your industry?
2. Avoid engaging all of your team in being brand advocates for your company - Zappos, Trader Joe's, Amazon.com, Method, Red Bull, The Body Shop, Google, and SodaStream all built their brands without advertising. They did it all, with brand advocates. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, didn’t spend a cent on advertising. Your employees are your best advocates. Empower and encourage them to share your content, engage online, and be a part of what’s happening in their company. They are your first brand advocates!
3. Send out emails to a list that promised to be “good email addresses” and can’t explain how this was a good investment, let alone, what the ROI was - One of my favorite lines on this topic! Good email lists aren’t for sale! Purchased, rented, borrowed, doesn’t matter. If you don’t know them, haven’t earned them, it’s not your list. It’s going to get you in trouble. Avoid, Abort, Run!
4. Focus more on how many leads were gathered at the last trade show, then what was done with them afterwards - I love when we ask a client about trade shows. I’ve worked in booths at more trade shows than I can count. There was always a question of what happens with the leads after the show is over? 9 times out of 10, they’re in a pile in someone’s drawer, or a spreadsheet that someone entered and never did anything with.
What we used to do, was to go through them on a daily basis, in the booth, pull out our leads, copy the info, and put them back in the pile. If you were a seasoned professional, you knew that those leads would never be seen again, once they went back to the office.
Trade show leads need to be followed up with immediately, following the show. Sharing educational information is not selling, it's educating. Not all leads are created equal, so some may be more in the middle of the funnel and not yet ready to be contacted by sales. Follow a protocol and you’ll shorten your selling cycle, and grow your business.
5. Spend a fortune on PPC (Pay Per Click) yet you cannot tell what the outcomes were, or where they drove each campaign - Are you checking in frequently? Are you monitoring the campaign? Are you clicking through to 404 error pages? Are you driving the campaign to the home page? If so, then what? You want to quantify the results of your PPC investment. Is it going to the correct landing page?
“This is especially true for ecommerce businesses, which are playing in an incredibly complex space, particularly when using PPC. As a result, it’s quite common to overlook some of the low-hanging fruit -- the kind of stuff that’s easy to implement and delivers fast results.”
6. Believe that medical professionals aren’t researching online, because they are too busy - Over 90% of your market is researching online before they ever make contact with you. Analytics show us that your healthcare prospect is online at all times of the day and night. They look at content, research comparisons, ROI calculators, access resources, and are further down the buying process by the time they're ready to make a decision. If you’re not educating them about your product or service, who is?
7. Keep your website unresponsive - If you don’t think your website needs to be responsive, maybe Google’s changes in how your website will rank in searches will convince you.
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
8. View blogging as a waste of time - Blogging will help build traffic to your website. Blogging builds relevant content that your prospects will find helpful in furthering them in the research phase of buying. Who reads business blogs? Search engines and your potential customers. This is an important definition to consider:
A blog is a website with frequently updated content about a specific keyword- or topic-oriented topic.
9. Develop boring instructional videos - Why not develop videos that people actually want to watch, and find helpful? Give your team this valuable selling tool, and encourage them to email it to their prospects and customers. Research has shown that using the word "video" in an email subject line boosts open rates by a whopping 19%! Those open rates translate into sales opportunities!
10. Give away resources online for free - Blogs drive traffic, resources drive leads. Blogs begin to educate while resources provide valuable information, thus the word, resource. Think of your own behaviors when you find information you’re further interested in. You’re willing to provide your info, in order to access the resource, right? Most likely, there is information right now, on your site, that is worthy of being behind a form. Those resources are lead generators. Stop giving them away for free. Here’s a list of lead gen content you should consider being behind a form.
Your business needs a strong online strategy to act as the foundation of everything you do. Take it seriously, ask questions, and do your own research, yes, online. Ask questions, don’t be afraid to talk about your business, and you’ll be better positioned to outperform your competition.