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Lost the plot? Go back to business marketing basics

March 20, 2014
business marketing basics

business marketing advice Are you in need of business marketing advice? Is your marketing starting to give you a headache? Are you starting to wonder what works and what doesn’t?

Here’s some business marketing advice so you can take control of your marketing again.

Step back from the trenches

One of the first pieces of business marketing advice when you get lost is to stop what you are doing.

When we’re constantly doing marketing, it can be easy to forget about looking at what the marketing is doing for us. Take a step back. Review your marketing basics and basic aims. Think about what you want to achieve. See if that is happening.

Give your website a good going over

Take a sweep across Google Analytics to see if the web traffic is coming to your site. Check out if it’s bouncing, where it goes to on your site, and where it’s coming from.

I mean, it’s great if your traffic is coming from the UK if you sell something online, but what use is it to you if you sell hair cuts in Adelaide?

Your website can be an inspiration and a source of business marketing advice that you may not be aware of. Plumbing the depths of your website can turn up all kinds of conversion information you weren’t aware of.

The first rule of marketing is making sure your website does what it is supposed to to. You aren’t in this for fame and glory, you are in it to sell your products.

If the web traffic you are getting isn’t what you want, change it. Here’s how:

  • Review your copy. You’ve only got a couple of seconds to make an impression, so make sure your message is clear, your copy is easy to read, and you give the information a new customer needs to make a purchase, phone call or booking.
  • Review your content. Are you writing blogs that helps customers buy your product? Are you helping build trust? Are you making their life easier? If not, change tack. Step back and plan out some simple yet common questions you find yourself answering and write blogs about those.
  • Think about search. You don’t have to make your entire website look like an SEO masterpiece, but it does help to rank through making use of keywords, blogging regularly and ensuring your site is able to be scanned by Google by having the proper geek setup.

Don’t feel like you have to do a major overhaul to start running things well, either. Break the job into smaller parts. One of the best pieces of business marketing advice I received was to commit dead time between important tasks to keeping your website well maintained. It works. You’d be surprised what you can fix in an hour on a website.

If your copy is bugging you, pick a few pages that you really can’t live with and work on those to start with and see how things improve.

If your content is driving you loopy, take it back to basics and think about the sorts of things a new customer would want to read and write a few new blogs.

Or if you suspect SEO is the problem, don’t get tangled up with 100 things, get a plugin like Yoast running and tweak your copy on the fly.

Make small steps towards creating a site you are happier with overall. Even a couple of hours a fortnight can make a big difference.

Put pause on your social media

Check out your social media and see if people are responding to your content– AND the kind of content that matters to you. Are you gaining comments and fans or are people simply liking things? Are they clicking through to your site? Are you happy with it?

If your social media isn’t working, change it. Here’s how:

  • Have a look at the social media channels you are running. Review your analytics. Try lowering or upping your frequency of posts. Play around with the sorts of content you share. Experiment with using tags to attract new followers.
  • Assess whether that social media channel works for you. Maybe you need to leave it for a while and re-strategise. Or you could try freshening up your point of view by experimenting with a new social media channel to see if that stimulates creative ideas. Or if it’s dead and you don’t like doing it, let it go. The idea is to be social after all.
  • Go through your scheduling tool and read what you have put there. Is it boring the socks off you? Change it! Experiment with deleting content, rewriting the headlines or simply doing without it for a while. Don’t be afraid of being brutal.
  • Start engaging outside of your own channels. Make sure you make an effort to comment on other people’s channels, to interact and promote what others do. The more love you give to others, the more they’ll love to come and visit.

My top bit of business marketing advice for social is if your social media is driving you a bit nutty, take a breather. Pause the scheduler, keep it to a minimum (or not at all) for a few days and have a think about the sorts of ways you want social media to do the work for you.

Social doesn’t fall over if you pause and think. It does however deteriorate if your engagement gets lower and lower. So it’s far better to post less and get strong engagement than post all the time and get nothing.

Slow your email down

What are you giving people to get excited by? As far as email goes, the best business marketing advice is to treat it with respect. The most common mistake businesses make is regurgitating all the top of the pops from the blog that have gone since the last email. But email is intimate, significant. It isn’t for the casual browser and should be given a certain level of depth and closeness.

If your email isn’t working, change it. Here’s how:

  • Commit to telling a story. Bring your customers to the campfire for a chat on what you have been up to. Avoid merely throwing your achievements at your reader. Write them a letter once in a while. Make it personal.
  • Aim for the right metrics. An open doesn’t mean much if you don’t get any clicks, re-opens, shares or comments. Always look for the content that gets the click and replicate that!
  • Have a schedule so customers tune in. Try and send your email at regular intervals. Let people know what to expect. Get them tuning in to see something special.
  • Offer things you won’t get other places. Whether it’s the chance to contact you or special offers, content and bits and pieces, make it count.

Take some time to check out your top 3 emails of the last 6 or 12 months and see what made them pop. Don’t be afraid to lower your frequency in order to get the combination right. And experiment with the format until you find the right combination. Rethink your approach to business marketing via email and be prepared to take time to re-engage after email drift.

The bottom line on business marketing advice

If your marketing is making you feel like you are putting in a lot of effort for a tiny return, it’s time to critically review what you are doing and make changes. If you don’t know why you are doing things, your customers certainly won’t!

Take a breather and go back to basics. And if you get stuck and need some business marketing advice feel free to get in touch.

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