One thing that’s become clear through growing my agency over the last decade is how fast the digital marketing landscape has evolved and continues to do so. The result is that businesses are confused about where to start and under constant pressure to ‘adapt or fail.’
The fact is, no business today can remain competitive if they cannot measure the results and translate marketing activities into actual sales.
Unfortunately, advertising costs on platforms such as Google and Facebook are getting more expensive with increased competition, which is resulting in higher costs per lead than we have ever seen.
Don’t worry, it’s not all bad news. Here are some ways to give you a competitive edge, bring costs down and increase leads.
Big Mistake #1: The ‘random acts’ approach
Often businesses become overcome with panic and ‘fear of missing out’, causing them to rush through ‘random’ marketing acts. After a few months have passed, they review the results by looking at their sales and wonder what came of it all. With no clear gains made, they mentally flag ‘marketing’ as either too hard, too expensive or a waste.
The trouble with this ‘random acts’ approach is that a business can aim their sights everywhere and appear across channels at one-off, random intervals – but because these activities are completely void of a real marketing plan, no reliable sales engine can ever be built off the back of it.
Being seen everywhere without a clear strategy is very much like going fishing without a hook. There is simply no way to reel in the people who spot you in what is likely a very red ocean.
‘Red ocean’ refers to the reality of overcrowded waters where shark eats shark, and businesses that find themselves in red waters have no strategy to differentiate their offer and message from their competition.
A clear and purposeful strategy can shift a business that’s battling it out in a red ocean, moving it into waters a great deal bluer, positioning it for more targeted buyers and superior results through 2020 and beyond.
Big Mistake #2: The lead-leaking website
Many marketing textbooks have outlined marketing principles, where marketing is a somewhat passive and passing display of a product or service. Of course, product, price, promotion, place, people still applies, but with more and more businesses moving online, the game has acquired a few new and helpful rules.
Traditional marketing stands apart from sales, and this is where the key difference lies. In 2020 businesses who are making fast ground are those who welcome the interplay of marketing and sales. Too much branding and a failure to ask for the sale is letting websites down.
The simplest way businesses can begin this process is by setting up what’s become known as a ‘lead magnet funnel’ on their website.
A ‘funnel’ is what marketers use to describe the journey through a series of steps that a visitor needs to go through before they can reach a conversion of some kind.
If you don’t already have one in place, a ‘lead magnet funnel’ is a must-have nowadays. It will allow your business website to capture the names and email addresses of visitors to your site, who are likely leads.
These leads ‘opt-in’ to receive something of value from you – e.g. a free consult, a downloadable PDF report, a quiz, free sample or discount voucher – happily swapping their name and email address in the exchange. They’re ‘opting in’ and downloading the lead magnet – your valuable ‘freebie’ – being the conversion in this case.
With their basic contact details in your possession, you can now follow up with them using engaging and relationship building email sequences peppered with additional “Call To Actions” throughout. Eventually, you can lead them to a sale once sufficient trust has been built and convert them into fully-fledged buyers.
In essence, a funnel such as this is a way of automating your sales process. What’s more, it works spectacularly well for absolutely any niche. The right sales funnel, configured with the right message elements, can automate your marketing and sales, helping you scale your business revenue on autopilot.
Big Mistake #3: Overlooking user experience
Being customer-centric in your business’s online exploits is essential in 2020. With user experience considered the ultimate metric by traffic gods such as Google and Facebook, if your web pages don’t cut the mustard, you’ll simply pay more for traffic and rank lower in search engine result listings.
Nowadays, website ‘must-haves’ – such as authentic backlinks, completed headings and meta-tags, and keyword quota – are only part of the picture. The overarching objective for search and social media traffic is to keep content that users love, ranked in the top spot.
To get better at your own website’s user experience, start by checking your analytics. Pay attention to each page’s performance. Notice which has the fastest ‘drop off’ and ‘bounce’ rates.
These analytics will give clues as to where you’re losing visitors that aren’t being sufficiently grabbed and ‘engaged’ by the content they are finding. This ‘bouncing from page’ metric is a problem if left unaddressed because it indicates to today’s vastly intelligent algorithms that your content lacks relevance.
To help increase relevance, send short surveys specifically about these pages on your site, to customers on your email list or database. Ask them what they find interesting, where a page is losing them and what they think would work better. It’s extremely key that in doing this, you do ask a relevant target audience, not just a family member or friend.
Also, don’t simply guess yourself, because in doing so you’re relying on your assumptions and it’s a very fast way to get it wrong.
In every case, ask your market alone. What are they interested in learning about? How can you adapt your content? What about the topics you cover? What would they like to learn more about?
Remember to make these surveys fun. If you can, send them out leading with an incentive to ‘win’ something by participating.
Another advantage of emailing a survey is that it gives you a good reason to get back in touch with past customers, remind them that you’re there – and potentially reactivate them!
Additionally, Google’s signals also pay attention when visitors keep returning to your site.
In which case, if you’re concentrating on uploading quality content to your site, be sure to routinely point your audience to your content too.
Another strategy you can use to get further faster is by using some of your traffic spend to promote blog content, or spend nothing extra at all and simply make sure you are emailing your database on a regular basis, in an engaging way, while pointing to your blog content at the same time.
Finally, it’s very important to keep things simple and not confuse users. For this reason, have only a single, clear and purposeful call to action per page on your website so that readers are invited to engage with you in a clear way.
There’s no question that content that’s centers on delighting customers will bring you wins with Google, Facebook and others.
If you want to avoid other marketing mistakes, check out these Marketing.com.au articles:
- Clever Content Optimisation Tactics Necessary to Avoid Common SEO Mistakes
- How Many of These Video Marketing Mistakes Are You Making?
- 8 Email Marketing Mistakes You’ll Want To Avoid
- 4 Powerful Mistakes to Avoid in Digital Marketing
- 6 Common Mistakes To Avoid with Google AdWords Campaigns
- 9 SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid to Ensure Better Ranking