If you’re having problems getting the desired results from your marketing program and are at a loss at how to fix it or if you’re planning to launch your first marketing campaign – this article is for you!
Let’s start out by saying that your decision to invest in a marketing program is 100% a step in the right direction. You’re much better off than other businesses that have scrapped “marketing” from their budgets.
We’re here to tell you that there is no “one size fits all” approach to marketing and no one can set a deadline for success. Marketing can be a frustrating activity because results vary and will take time.
You might think nothing is working right. You’ve put in the time and have done the research. Your website hasn’t gotten a significant increase in the number of visitors. Likewise, your social media numbers aren’t improving. Worse, your cash register isn’t ringing and your bank account has gone on an unplanned diet.
So if you’ve done everything according to plan, you’ve ticked off the boxes, kept activity high – and you’re still not getting results – what’s the problem?
With frustration building up you might find yourself looking at the mirror and asking the question:
“Am I the problem?”
How To Know If You Are the Problem With Your Marketing Program
There’s a science to marketing – tools, processes, and analytics – that you have to utilize to manage a focused campaign and to deliver a clear message.
But there’s also a creative; almost intuitive, side of marketing that requires you to customize your approach to fit the needs of your customers. That intuitive aspect of marketing makes it an emotional exercise. Emotion is good because it gives you the ability to empathize with customers.
But emotion can also cloud your judgment; enable certain biases, and compromise decision-making.
When this happens, you’ll have a hard time viewing things from an objective standpoint and you could be doing your marketing efforts more harm than good.
Here’s a list of situations that you may have encountered while marketing your business and caused you to doubt whether you’re doing a good job or not.
1. The Reluctant Customer
With new small businesses opening up every day, an effective marketing plan can help your business stand out from the competition. Consumers are always on the lookout for the best deals in the market, the most innovative products, and services that can make life and work easier and more convenient.
And thanks to the Internet, today’s consumers are more discerning.
According to research from Oberlo, 85% of consumers conduct online research before purchasing a product or service.
If a consumer clicks on your ad, follows your page or visits your website, he could just be conducting research. It’s not different from owning a shoe store inside a mall and having customers walk in and out without purchasing a pair.
Getting a consumer interested is a big step forward in generating sales for your business. But it’s not enough to get people through your funnel. You need to coax them through the funnel; give them good reasons to pursue the journey and become paying customers.
- Offer something special – Discounts, limited access to content, and free products are good examples.
- Highlight your value proposition – Why should they go with your business? Will your product increase ROI? Can your service improve their productivity? Can your product streamline costs?
- Provide the answers they need – Find out the biggest concerns and the most nagging questions faced by your target market and present your answers by coming up with an FAQ section.
- Practice excellent customer service – The “social” in social media is the reason why you should frequently engage with your followers. Yes, even those who may post negative comments or feedback.
Engagement is the first step to relationship-building. If someone says something negative or unfavorable about your business, take it as an opportunity to show you care by addressing the issue. You can simply send a private message rather than responding on the thread.
2. Water, Water Everywhere…
The Internet is a great place to look for employment. Every day there are thousands of jobs or projects posted on various business websites. You can scroll down the ads and apply for the ones that interest you the most.
Success is not guaranteed to happen overnight. It might take days or weeks to get invited to a job interview. And even if you do get the interview, you might not get the job.
It doesn’t mean you’re the problem or that you’re the worst of the lot.
Employers and prospective clients also use these websites to look for talent. They have their own qualifying process and it could just be the case that they don’t see you as the ideal candidate for the job or project.
If things aren’t moving as well as you expected, here are a few things you can do to remedy your situation:
- If you were interviewed but not hired, reach out to the interviewer and find out why. You might be surprised by the responsiveness of people from HR. They know where you’re coming from and would like to help you improve your chances of getting hired.
- Read the job advertisement carefully and assess your level of qualification. Are you really cut out for the job? Do you meet the minimum requirements?
- Review your online profile and make an honest assessment. Is it enticing to employers? Are your rates too high? Do you have enough accomplishments? Are your sample projects impressive enough?
Lastly, don’t stop – keep trying! Getting a job or landing a project is a numbers game. The more job ads that you apply to, the better the chances of getting hired. Make the necessary improvements on your profile and move forward to the next job ad.
3. It’s Not You – It’s Me
Finding the right people to run the business with you can be quite a challenge. You might end up going through 10 to 20 applications to find the best-qualified candidate.
And when you do, it doesn’t mean the employment arrangement is a done deal. Even with a signed contract, the person you just hired can always back out.
You’re stuck with all these questions in your head.
- “Is it my fault?”
- “Did I say something that upset him?”
- “Did I come across as too forward?”
- “Was I too familiar?”
- “Should I have offered a higher salary?”
The same can be said when trying to land clients for your business. Not even a signed contract or Memorandum of Agreement will guarantee you a sure deal.
It’s quite possible that at the last moment the candidate or the prospective client had a change of heart due to a number of reasons. These possible reasons could be receiving a better offer elsewhere, a realization that the arrangement will be a poor fit, or it could simply be a last-minute decision change.
Whatever the reason, it won’t hurt to reach out and find out why. Perhaps the client was looking for a skill that wasn’t properly presented on your website and social media pages.
It could also be that the candidate or prospective client had a different vibe to your social media posts.
Regardless of the results of your inquiry, it doesn’t mean you have to change. Most likely, you have to review the message of your marketing campaign. In its current form, do you believe it clearly resonates with the people or clients that you want to attract?
If you haven’t landed a client or the ideal candidate yet – don’t fret. The best things come to those who wait. Sometimes the smallest tweak in your messaging can bring in the biggest results.
4. The Price Is Not Right
One of the most popularly conveyed examples of the benefits of free enterprise is the lemonade stand that cuts its prices to get the customers of the other lemonade stand.
Slashing your prices can get your business customers right away. It will also make customers happy knowing that by choosing your product, they can save money.
But price-cutting is not a sustainable strategy. Likewise, it’s not a good marketing strategy for building your business brand. As a matter of fact, price-cutting may do irreparable damage to your brand.
To maintain a healthy margin while price-cutting, you may have to compromise the quality of your product. Think of your favorite donut shop adding more cheap flour to the recipe to lower the production cost.
Price-cutting will only serve to commoditize your brand and dilute its value proposition.
If your product isn’t selling well, don’t assume right away that it’s because of your price. Reach out to your customers, social media followers, and email subscribers. Conduct surveys via email, social media, and as a CTA on your website.
Analyze the results of your studies, review your website and social media analytics, then, plan your next move. The more data you have, the clearer the picture becomes. Remember, strategy follows numbers and not the other way around.
Let’s assume that price is the main concern of your customers. This doesn’t mean that you should cut prices right away. There are other ways to address the concerns of your customers without compromising your product’s value proposition:
- Offer loyalty discounts.
- Come up with packaged deals.
- Tie up with non-competing brands.
- Incorporate a referral system.
- Reach out to groups and customize special cost-saving packages for them.
That’s the advantage of digital marketing. It gives you several avenues to reach your customers and engage with them.
5. The Writer’s Wall
Blogging is a proven way of driving traffic to your website. Studies have shown that businesses that blog generate 97% more links to their website than businesses that don’t blog.
But blogging isn’t just about tapping your ideas onto a Word document and publishing it on your website.
If you’ve been blogging for some time but have not been getting more traffic to your website or if you haven’t seen an increase in social media engagement, you’ll have to review your blogging strategy.
There’s a process involved and standards to observe in order to create a high-ranking blog.
- Topic research – What do your readers want to read? What are their concerns and interests? Keyword research and a visit to your competitors’ websites are effective ways to find out what your audience is searching for.
- Keyword research – Keywords are the words and phrases used by the searcher to launch a query. Without keywords, your blog will not be found.
- Blog length – Blogs that have 2,000 words or more rank higher in Google.
- Readability/Structure – How your blog looks will have an effect on its readability. Sentences and paragraphs should be shorter.
There must be more space between paragraphs. Use bullet points to organize your key information. Separate topics with the use of sub-headers.
- Quality Assurance – No errors in spelling and grammar, please!
- Uniqueness – Publishing a blog that is not unique will do serious damage to your business brand. Google will slap you down the search rankings.
In addition, if the creator of the content you copied from decides to go after you, the penalties may cost you thousands of dollars.
Before publishing your blog, run it through a plagiarism detection software such as Copyscape.
- Who are you writing for? – A big mistake made by business owners who blog is their writing style. Because they are experts in their field, they tend to write using technical language.
Some believe that writing in this manner will impress the reader. But what kind of impression are you creating if the reader can’t understand your content? Write in a manner that is easily understood by your audience.
A good example is this blog! Everything that we just discussed – we did for this blog.
It takes 3 to 4 hours to write a high-quality blog. If you don’t have the time, outsource the process to Mountaintop Web Design.
Our blogs have been cited by several business websites including UpCity as among the best in business and digital marketing.
It’s great to set up a small business with systems in accounting, Human Resources, and IT in place. But if you don’t invest in a marketing program, you will be run over by your competitors, get overlooked by consumers, and miss out on opportunities to earn revenues for your business.
Keep in mind that nothing is set in stone when you’re marketing a product and service. There are variables that come into play – variables that can affect your preferred outcomes.
If things don’t go as planned, don’t be hard on yourself. You’re not alone. Thousands of other entrepreneurs are in the same boat – trying to steer their marketing campaign in the right direction.
Marketing is a skill. And like all skills, you need constant repetition to be really good at it.
Or simply outsource your digital marketing needs to us! Give us a call or send an email. We’ll get your digital marketing campaign started and charted on the right course.
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