Are you stuck with mediocre marketing?
Marketing can be the single determining factor between a successful business and a struggling one.
Marketing refers to the way you inform the marketplace that your product or service can solve their problems in a way that other businesses cannot. Sometimes, marketing means identifying what problems or issues clients have before they themselves even realise.
Marketing is meant to help you attract potential prospects and convert them into buyers that will ideally return to you when needed. Also recognised as strategic marketing, it is one of the best return-on-investment (ROI) activities that a business can engage in.
ROI is important, seeing as almost everything a business does is a form of investment that hopes for ROI, no matter what form the profit takes. As such, marketing has the potential to attract an extremely significant ROI in response.
Reasons for Mediocre Marketing
Marketing is meant to target the greatest source of prospects and reach out in a cost-efficient way. No matter what method you adopt, it will require at least one out of the three structures on ways to grow a business as listed below.
- Increase the size of your client base
- Increase the amount you charge per transaction
- Increase the number of transactions made
Oftentimes, businesses will try to increase their business to meet their goals of a higher profit, a feat that is far from easy considering the limited resources, capital and funds that they have.
When they try to do so, without using a proper and disciplined strategy, they often end up with mediocre marketing.
There can be many reasons for mediocre marketing.
Marketing automation can do a great job of nurturing leads into engaged prospects and sales opportunities, but to do that, you need to start by getting leads into the system in the first place.
Unfortunately, implementing a marketing automation solution does not immediately generate a healthy stream of leads for you and your company. You can’t rely solely on technology alone to generate revenue growth. You have to in a good mix of inbound and outbound marketing tactics (link to lead gen cornerstone) to get new leads coming in through your website.
At the start of building your marketing channels, you need a hands-on approach at building, receiving and nurturing leads. Even if you cannot afford to do it personally, leaving it automated bots or softwares may not do you any good.
It may work, but the fundamentals and foundational aspects of your marketing channels may be flimsy at best, and worrying at worst.
You need to have a team of experienced marketers to help you build the foundation. Just like the Greek Parthenon infrastructure, you need to have pillars to support your marketing strategies. These pillars come in the form of your various marketing channels – social media, website, paid ads, content marketing.
Poor Lead Generation
It seems like a no-brainer to conclude that flat sales or customer attrition are signs that your marketing is totally missing the mark.
To generate leads, first make sure you’re getting sufficient traffic to your website. If your traffic is low, try tapping into and focusing on multiple traffic sources, like social media, email, referral visits, organic search, direct traffic, and more.
Low traffic could be a sign of a poorly optimised website, or lack of digital marketing fundamentals.
It is crucial that you diagnose the problem further.
What you may be facing is an issue of marketing that is not connecting with your target audience.
To fix it, investigate the following:
- Do you have the right target audience? Have you validated your team’s assumptions with customer surveys or research? You might have mispresented your product and ideas when you identified for the wrong target audience. It is important to understand why your customer wants your service/product. Is it solving a problem of theirs? Is it helping them by providing them a solution?
- Is your messaging relevant to your target personas? Does it connect with them in a meaningful, emotional way? If you’re getting good traffic, but sub-par conversion action, off-the-mark messaging may very well be the culprit.
- Is your marketing that’s all about you and not about your audience? Today’s buyers are savvy and empowered with information. They actively seek to avoid speaking with sales reps whenever possible. Your marketing strategy needs to adapt to this known change in buyer behaviour by shifting its message to focus on how your company solves the needs, pains and problems that your target audience faces. To do this, consider questions and challenges they have along the way as they set out on a path toward purchase. Consider their questions from all the way at the top of the funnel, when they are simply conducting research about their pain, problem or question.
- Is your content optimised for search intent? Create content that answers your audience’s questions and helps to solve their problems. Make this content available in exchange for a form submission. Add conversion points for multiple stages of the funnel and multiple personas. Use action-oriented language and describe the value of your offer specifically.
Poor Distribution Channels
When it comes to digital marketing, having quality and engaging content is only half the battle. In addition to creating engaging content, your audience needs to be exposed to it. This means building a successful distribution strategy around your content beyond just a cursory social share or email blast.
There are many channels where most decisions about how to utilise content largely come down to intuition. These include social media, websites, pay-per-click ads. You need to know where to focus your efforts and resources on.
Having too many areas you want to expand upon can leave you spread too thin. Thinking about how hard it is to know what to promote, when to promote, and where to promote your content could overwhelm you.
Your channels might not be fully developed, you do not get to enjoy leads. Without proper digital marketing foundations being set up, you fail to enjoy 100% of the benefits from your multiple marketing channels.
Instead, you may be stuck with a 10% success rate from each of them, as your 100% attention is split across your different marketing channels.
This is why it is important to have an experienced team when it comes to digital marketing. This can help you launch your digital marketing channels simultaneously. Outsourcing your marketing needs to a separate team can have many benefits.
- It can make those decisions informed, and even automate some of those decisions in a scalable manner.
- Content marketers can use their inventory more effectively if they know when to refresh evergreen articles or update other content to help it perform better.
- Writer’s block has been giving content creators ulcers since before content marketing existed. Content creation is another area in which digital marketing firms are good at. Leave your content writing needs to your copywriters.
Fix Your Mediocre Marketing
Mediocre is a miserable place to be in marketing.
People, brands, companies, organizations, shops, non-profits, libraries, realtors, tech leaders, demand gen experts often pay more attention to how they look than what they’re actually saying in their marketing—and how they’re actually saying it.
We say the expected stuff that defines us most broadly, instead of honing the great, weird story that makes us unique.
Your story sets you apart. And how you tell it in your own brand voice is your single biggest opportunity.
The Fine Art of Delegation
You need to learn how to delegate your tasks.
If your company or team are unequipped with the sufficient training or knowledge to perform tasks, or simply lack the resources or time to do so, you can consider delegating the task to an external party.
Hiring an external firm has its own benefits too. You save up on time to train and hire a team and you end up with more instataneous results.
Marketers should be a resource to their prospects and offer them value. Part of this shift requires connecting with customers personally. Most marketers tend to focus on the “news” aspect of a newsletter and forget the “letter” part of the equation.
The “news” aspect means marketers use their newsletters as a distribution strategy and focus on providing updates about their own brand — but they fail to use the “letter” portion to engage with and connect to their audience.
Writing newsletters as if you are talking to one person can go a long way toward building that personal connection.
Leverage on this by establishing your business as the one that cares more. Build a trusting relationship between yourself and the client. If they place their trust in you, this creates a sustainable relationship wherein they will return to you as their trusted advisor. All it takes is just a little empathy.
Get a list of your clients’ ‘pain points’ and problems. Interweave them into your marketing strategies and address those issues. Demonstrate how deeply you understand your client’s problems and how your company and brand can help answer those problems.
Being relevant helps to increase a sense of trust and connection. By being specific, honest and empathetic, it helps your product to survive in the market.
Vision and Connection
Pre-eminent business figures should be trustworthy leaders in their industry that clients feel as if they know personally. To achieve this level of relatability and trust, it is significant that you maintain a consistent persona whenever communicating with others.
It is not about being fake, but rather, about being professional.
You need to have a certain standard in the way you work, act and live.
Combine your own character with characteristics that resonate most deeply in your marketplace and create a persona that people will trust and respect. This may include aspects from your lifestyle, habits, work ethics and relationship with clients.
This does not mean maintaining a flawless image, of course. On the contrary, showing your weaknesses truly demonstrates how human you are, which makes you a more relatable figure to the clients and audience.
Being honest, empathetic and passionate about your story will become what defines your business. The truer you are to your audience, the more you can help them through your product or service.
Successful businesspeople are often polarising in that they usually maintain strong opinions about certain matters. This attracts people who want to hear their take on the market they are in. As such, it is helpful to consider yourself a reformer.
How will you change the market or provide advice?
Having a strong opinion will help.
When you are a pre-eminent figure, your clients feel as though they know you personally. Part of that includes their ability to anticipate certain characteristics, which is why many businesspeople develop rituals that clients may expect and predict.
This helps to strengthen your relationship with the market and make yourself an even more relatable figure. The more they can predict about you, the more they will trust you.
Developing your own ritual also includes developing a terminology of your own. Imagine that you are presenting your business to an audience of complete beginners. Develop your own system to explain the details and come up with your own terms and expressions – it will make a powerful impact.
Build Strategic Pillars for Your Business
Here are some strategies to help you continue utilise to ensure that your business is always working for you.
- Engineer success into every action you take or make.
- Build your business on a foundation of multiple profit sources instead of depending on a single revenue source.
- Similar to your revenue sources, diversify your lead generation strategies and build your digital marketing pillars.
- Be different, yet unique, in the eyes of your prospect and clients.
- Gain the maximum value from your clients and employees.
- Reverse the risk for both you and your client in everything you do.
- Adopt ‘funnel vision’ rather than ‘tunnel vision’.
Develop yourselves to tasks that maximises your productivity. If it is not contributing to your business, delegate them away.
Ways to Avoid Mediocre Marketing
One way to breathe new life into your content strategy is to capitalize on the popularity of trending news stories.
Is there a new finding or event that affects your target audience?
These are opportunities to connect your content to a much larger story and amplify your marketing efforts. You may even add relevance to trending stories is to localise the subject matter.
Apart from connecting your content to a larger news story, seek to connect your content to another company’s story as well. Find brands that you can partner up with, that fits your product and services. Linking your story to theirs can help you pave the road for future partnerships and collaborations.
Don’t Assume Complexity is Boring.
Establishing yourself as a thought leader within your industry is incredibly valuable, but it doesn’t mean your content needs to be lengthy and explain every last detail of something — that’s a surefire way to lose someone’s attention.
Instead, rework complex ideas for your audience so that they are much more easily understood — particularly if you’re in a more complex vertical or very technical industry. Have blogs and cornerstone articles to guide your readers.
Have proper on-page optimisation, with proper headers for an extra bonus for readibility.
Focus on Engagement.
Unengaging content will never support your marketing goals, particularly because today’s consumers have little interest in anything that doesn’t address their immediate needs.
Whether you choose to look towards newer styles of writing for inspiration or follow a formula that is slightly more unorthodox, these techniques will inspire you to think outside the box.
Creating engaging content will ultimately allow you to reach a much larger audience.
Many companies make the mistake of trying too fast to capture a large market or growing too much. They are unable to handle the weight of the responsibilities and lack the resources to recover from it.
Hence, they get stuck.
When it comes to marketing, specification is key.
Businesses that fail to connect specifically with customers fall into “marketing mediocrity”.
If people are not interested in you, if they are not here for you, if they are not thinking, ‘I can’t wait to see what they come out with next,’ then that’s a problem.