As we’ve rounded into the second half of the year, here are my Top Marketing Must Do’s to help finish the year strong and set you up for an even better 2016.
1. Solidify, codify and institutionalize your message.
A regularly occurring phenomenon I experience as I attend networking events and talk to various CEOs is their inability to succinctly communicate what their business does, what makes it special and its core values. Rarely do I meet someone who has an effectively packaged, well-thought-out elevator pitch that’s delivered in one to two minutes.
And it’s not just the CEOs. Other members of the same company’s leadership team – as well as middle management – often will describe the company in very different terms.
If you, as a business leader, find yourself going on and on for three, five, 10 minutes when asked about your company, you likely have lost a prospect’s interest right from the gate … and need to think about your messaging.
Begin by figuring out what your company does that speaks to the pain points you know your prospects face and hone in on what makes you truly different. Once there’s agreement from the leadership team on those two points, codify that messaging and get everyone in the organization on the same page … to the point of providing a boilerplate that everyone can add to their LinkedIn profile.
2. Think mobile.
No matter your industry, offering, service or geography, people are checking your business out on mobile devices. More than half of U.S. Internet usage already comes from mobile devices, and that’s just going to keep on growing.
Your website needs to be responsive – able to change its structure and how content and images are displayed based on the type of device that is accessing it. If a user has to pinch to zoom, scroll left and right on their device, they’re gonna bail.
If the expectations of your customers and prospects isn’t enough, then there’s always the most important visitor to your site – Google. Earlier this year, Google’s algorithm changed and began rewarding sites designed for mobile (and dinging those that aren’t).
3. Blog …
Well-written service journalism helps prospects to see your point of view and how smart you are, serves as tremendous Google juice for SEO, fuels social media and PR activities, arms your sales team and gets you thinking about your market, industry and areas of expertise.
Develop your editorial plan. Who on your team is going to write? About what? When? How will you disseminate the information? Who is your audience? Having a plan ensures you stay the course, stay strategic and get the most out of your efforts.
4. …But make sure your content is share-worthy.
There’s a whole lot of content being pushed out there nowadays. Unfortunately, much of it isn’t all that good. So, how do you ensure your content is useful?
Subscribe to the 80/20 rule: Only 20% (or less) of your content should be self-promotional. Focus instead on educating your readers with useful, timely, industry-relevant information that they’ll be inclined to share with others.
Address issues your customers and prospects are experiencing – or may have in the future. Be timely. Newsworthy pieces are more likely to get shared because people want to stay in the know.
Finally, have a process in place for your team members to share good content. It’s one thing for you to post a piece to your blog and push it out through your own social channels. It’s magnified exponentially if dozens of people throughout your organization share it with their networks as well.
5. Set new baselines…
There is so much data available now to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts – site visitors, time on site, demo requests, open rates, conversion rates, downloads, likes, shares and so on. It’s no longer necessary to go on gut and guess. Set baselines for the most important metrics and put a plan in place to improve those metrics. It will help keep your marketing efforts focused and give you wildly objective measurements of how your marketing team is doing.
6. …But Measure the right things.
Sometimes old habits are hard to break – and they can also leave you throwing good money after bad. There was a time where you probably tracked rankings for various keywords, volume of site traffic and used those as metrics. But the bottom line is your marketing efforts needs to, well, move the bottom line.
7. Think retargeting.
You visit a website and leave. A day, week or month later, you start seeing ads for that company or service elsewhere on the Internet. This is what people in the marketing industry call “retargeting” – and it’s a highly effective strategy when implemented correctly.
Think retargeting is creepy? You’ve got to get over it if you’re really interested in growing your business in the most effective and efficient ways possible.
8. Think integrated.
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise. For more than 11 years, we’ve been saying at Altitude, “If your marketing efforts aren’t working together, they are working against you.”
Your core business message, look and feel – and cross promotion of your marketing assets – all need to be in sync.
Your digital display campaign needs to integrate with your landing page and premium content. The follow up emails from your drip marketing campaign should plug your e-newsletter. Your e-newsletter needs to push people back to the website. Your trade show pre-promotion – email, trade advertising, SEM – should all tie back to the website.
One piece of content you create should be used as many places as possible. For example, this piece will find its way onto our website, blog, e-newsletter, prospecting following ups, the business journal and more.