The following is a guest post by Jaqueline Destremps. Thanks, Jaqueline!
When you think of marketing for your business, what comes to mind? Your website, as your online brochure or storefront? Social media accounts, to educate and create engagement? An email newsletter? Online paid advertising? The key to successfully marketing your business is to treat each of these components as part of your marketing system. Now take a step back and ask yourself, are they working together toward your marketing goals, or is your marketing system out of balance?
Like any successful system, the strength of each of its parts is crucial for the well-being of that system. In marketing, your website, social media, email, and advertising need to be optimized each individually before they can work together to complete your marketing goals. In addition to their individual health, each part needs to work in conjunction with, and complementary to, the other. Let’s take a look at some common marketing woes and how a few adjustments to each component of your marketing system can have it humming and on track to meet your business goals.
Can you relate to any of these marketing headaches?
- You’re driving traffic to your website, but not seeing sales
- You’ve paid for social media ads, but they aren’t getting the results you want
- You’re on social media, but not seeing engagement
- You’re sending emails, but they aren’t being read or acted upon
Let’s look at each of these common online marketing challenges as they relate to the makeup of your marketing system.
If you’re driving traffic to your website but not seeing the results, you may want ask the following questions:
Q: What is my current marketing goal?
Define your goal and design your website to aid in achieving that goal. A very broad goal might be to increase sales. Now take the extra steps to break that down. Is it a new product or service? Increase by how much? Sales to current clients or customers? Sales to new clients or customers? All of these considerations need to be made in order to clearly define your marketing goal.
Example: If your marketing goal is to book more appointments, then your clear Call To Action on the home page of your site should be a “Book Now” button.
Have more than one marketing goal? Each page of your site should have one clear CTA to meet a marketing goal. Review your pages and ask yourself, “What one action do I want a visitor to take once they read the information on this page?” Avoid having more than one Call To Action on a page. Lead your visitor toward the action you want them to take rather than offering them opportunities to Sign Up Now, Contact Us, Book Now, and Call Us all on one page.
Q: Are the other pieces of my marketing system (email, social media, paid advertising) sending a clear, consistent message to drive traffic to my website?
Example: When a user clicks on a link in their email/on your post/on your ad, are they getting the information you promised when they are redirected to your website? Or do they click to learn about your new program offering, only to land on the home page of your website, left to search for that new program? When setting up links to lead traffic back to your website, leave no chance for visitors to “get lost” along the way. Send them to the exact page that has the information you promised in your call to action.
You’re using social media to market your business, but you’re not seeing engagement. Ask yourself these questions:
Q: Who is my audience?
Be more specific than “Women who are 30+” or “Men who like to go to the gym.” Take the time to define your target audience as this is an important piece of your entire business.
Now look at the demographics for the varying social media platforms and compare your audience to the audience for each platform.
Q: Am I asking my audience to engage?
Don’t hold back from clearly asking for a “Like,” “RT,” “Double Tap” or “Comment below.” Ask questions and encourage interaction. When you do start to receive feedback in the comments, respond to each of them, even if it’s just a “like.” This lets your audience know you’re listening and inspires them to interact more with future posts.
Are your Follow links easy to find and up to date on your website? Oftentimes someone will find your website in a search, but once there, will want to follow you on social media to learn more about your services. Decide who your target audience is and where they like to spend their time. Then, focus your time on these platforms and update your website with the appropriate icons. Take down icons for platforms you are not active on. There is no reason to send someone away from your website to a social media account that hasn’t been updated.
Do you ask your email subscribers to follow you on social media? Give them a quick rundown of WHY they should follow you and what they can expect to find on your social media that they might not see on your website or in your newsletter.
You have an email contact list, but your email open rate is low; or you’re not seeing any actions being taken by your subscriber list.
Q: What message am I sending and is it directed at the right audience?
Are you sending the same message to everyone on your list? Chances are that message is not going to resonate with everyone, causing low open and click-through rates. Segment your list and send a personalized offer and message to each one.
Example: When someone subscribes to your list, take into account how they learned about your business. Did they sign up on your website? Did you run a Facebook ad campaign to gain new subscribers? They may need more engagement and education about you, your business, and your services before they are ready to take action. Expecting someone to purchase from you after their first point of contact, like downloading a free e-book, is unrealistic.
If you’re just getting started with list segmentation, set up segmented lists within your email marketing program to cater your message to those who are first hearing about your business (perhaps from a Facebook Ad or website sign up form), subscribers who have downloaded a particular giveaway, and subscribers who have made an initial purchase. Move subscribers to/from one list to another as they move through your sales system. Then cater your message to that particular list.
You’re paying for social media ads, but you’re not getting the results you want.
Q: Do I have a clearly defined marketing goal and can it be met with my chosen campaign objective?
We’ve learned that two of the most important steps to take when marketing your business are 1) define your audience and 2) define your marketing goal. Once you have your audience and marketing goals clearly defined, you will be better equipped to pick the online advertising platform that best suits your needs and supports your goals.
For example, if you choose to use Facebook advertising, you can choose to show your ads to a well-defined audience created by using either an email list (remember those segmented lists we talked about?) or the Facebook Tracking Pixel on your website. Have a new service you want to tell current and previous clients about? In addition to sending them an email about it, create an ad to reinforce your message on Facebook. Alternatively, create and advertise an offer, just for them.
Q: Are my expectations in line with the capabilities of my ad campaign?
The #1 complaint I hear from discouraged business owners is “I ran an ad and didn’t see any sales!” Guess what? Not all ad campaigns are meant to lead to sales. Let’s use Facebook ads again as an example. You have 11 campaign objectives to choose from and the information you supply to create the ad is dependent on the objective you choose. Choose an objective that meets your marketing goal and your ads will be optimized to meet that goal. If your goal is to reach a new audience to tell them about your new product or service offering, then chances are the Brand Awareness or Traffic objectives will work best for you. Want to build your email list? Choose Lead Generation. Educate yourself on each objective before you start spending money on ads.
Q: Is my ad copy (the images and text) congruent with the copy on my landing page?
When creating your ads, use text and images from the page you’re sending your audience to in order to create cohesiveness and relevance. When someone sees your ad, it should have a clear message that spells out what’s going to happen when they click on that ad. If that message is “10 Tips for Creating a More Productive Work Environment” then they expect to land in the exact spot they need to be to see those 10 tips. If instead they land on your home page without any reference to the 10 tips, then they are going to be confused and feel bamboozled. Not only have you lost their trust, but they can even report negative feedback about your ad, causing it to be shown less often (or not at all).
How did you do?
Were you able to answer the questions with confidence in your marketing system? Did you find some areas to improve? Chances are, you found some areas that need improvement, but that’s okay! Like any other system, regular maintenance is needed. The better you are at keeping it in balance along the way, the less likely you’ll find your system in need of a whole repair.
Jacqueline Destremps founded Another Hand Advantage, LLC in 2014 with a mission to bring affordable web design to small businesses and nonprofits. But her business quickly evolved into marketing strategy consultation when she realized that once her clients had beautiful, functional websites. They just didn’t know what to do next. Today she focuses on helping small business owners and nonprofit leaders balance their marketing systems and grow their organizations. She has a passion for building connections and started Arizona Business and Community Connect in 2015 as a way to bring together professionals who wanted to connect with nonprofits and create partnerships to support the local community. She is also co-founder of 100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun. Find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.