2020 is here. For many of you, you’re at a crossroads. Budgets might be set, but the tactics of implementing your strategy may be coming together. Signalfire has assembled a group of 20 helpful ideas to make marketing more effective in 2020.
We’ve broken the 20 tips down into four parts:
- Social Media
- Website Content (blogs, news, etc.)
- Website Optimization
- Digital Marketing
Each one of the tips are ideas you can implement. These ideas are perfect your business’ marketing team looking to improve results. If you have questions about putting these ideas into use, connect with one of Signalfire’s marketing Guides and Outfitters.
Part 2: 5 Insights to Make Your Digital Marketing More Effective
Digital marketing might be a little murky in definition. For today’s discussion, we’re referring to paid search (PPC), retargeting/remarketing, programmatic display advertising (banner ads), and geofencing.
While these technologies might not be used by everyone, some of the principles described may be applied to a variety of different online marketing strategies.
1. Create Buyer Personas for Your Products and Services
Buyer personas are a humanization of different characteristics common to a customer. While every customer is different, many will share similar traits depending on the product or service being purchased.
Mapping out several of these customer archetypes is helpful when planning your marketing efforts. Do you have a Browsing Bob who wanders the isles? What about Determined Deborah who marches in for a specific item?
Buyer personas are frequently mixed up with brand personas. Your brand persona is the voice of your business. While you will only have one brand persona, your business will have multiple buyer personas featuring different types of customers.
Here are some useful links in creating buyer personas
- Hubspot’s Buyer Persona Examples
- OptinMonster’s Buyer Persona Templates
- WordStream’s Guide to Buyer Personas
- Business-to-Business Buyer Personas
2. Focus on Your Customer’s Challenge and Not Your Product
When your prospects are searching the web, they are not looking for you. They are not looking for a product. They’re looking for a solution—a solution to their problem. This is where top of funnel digital marketing can really succeed in delivering fresh prospects.
Focusing your efforts toward identifying, educating, and solving your customer’s challenge will set you up as both the expert and the solution provider. With your focus on solving the customer’s challenge, there are a few other things to keep in mind.
- The prospect may be nervous or unsure in talking to you
- Educate and don’t ask for anything in return
- Don’t make the solution about you, keep it about them
- Only when the time is right, give them a compelling reason why to buy from you
In the end, make sure your touch points and creatives are focused on the problem you’ll solve and not the product you’ll sell.
3. Decide How and What to Measure Before You Begin
Earlier we talked about website traffic monitoring tools and user experience mapping. This is an area where those tools will become even more valuable. Before starting any marketing effort, you want to make sure you’re setup to track the effectiveness of your actions. These measurements and data will be your justification to move forward or make adjustments to your plan.
What data or metric to monitor to determine success is something you must answer. Here are some examples of important performance metrics to watch.
- What was the click-thru rate (CTR) of your efforts?
- Overall traffic volume compared to previous year
- Where traffic is coming from (social channels, search, etc.)
- What was your conversion rate?
- How many leads or prospects were acquired?
- How much did each lead or prospect cost to acquire?
4. Try One Tool at a Time
There are a fleet of digital marketing options you can try. Don’t get caught in the trap of trying to do everything at once. Before committing to a full-blown strategy (see the next segment), you should test some ideas.
Here are some ideas you can do to test some of the different digital marketing options. Before getting started, make sure you’ve settled on which metrics you’ll track to determine success. Click-thru’s? Leads? Sales?
Try Search Advertising
Google Ads for search pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is easy to setup. The keyword tools within the Google Ads platform will even help with suggested keywords. Google can even provide you a recommended budget and expected clicks.
Protip: Don’t get spend happy. If your results aren’t performing, it may be a case of refining your target keywords or selecting different ones. Don’t forget to look at the geographic targeting, too.
It’s Easy to Start Social Media Marketing
Social media promoted posts are literally a few clicks away from your existing posts. Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have made it super-easy to promote or “boost” a single post. Each platform will have options to target who sees your post. With your buyer persona built, you will have an easier time testing several posts.
Protip: The first few promoted posts will likely fall pretty flat. Look at your best performing posts and create something similar. A word of warning—don’t simply pump out an ad. Remember to talk about your customer’s challenges and not your product/service.
Try Some Geofencing Ideas
To test this, you may need to coordinate with a digital marketing partner. Geofencing is a method of delivering display advertising to mobile users based on their physical location. The ads are displayed on mobile websites and in mobile apps (weather, games, directions, etc.). When the user enters the geographically defined location, the ads are served. You’re not wasting budget on extra impressions.
For example, we work with a local veterinary clinic. To help them reach more prospective clients, we geofenced the local dog parks, pet stores, and even the local animal shelter. By creating ads targeting pet owners we can build awareness.
How can you test this? Here is where your buyer persona helps even more. Where do you have a gathering of ideal customers? A trade show? A sporting event? Opportunities abound when you are focusing efforts on only your prospective buyers.
5. Plan Your Digital Marketing for a Marathon, not a Sprint
We could just eliminate the “digital” from the heading and remind you that marketing is about playing the long game. Yes, there are tales of “doubling my leads in 30 days” but the reality is that applying data-driven marketing practices will be about setting the pace.
Looking at the specifics of targeted display advertising and other “top of funnel” marketing efforts, creating awareness within a specific community is key. The use of buyer personas (you just created those) allows you to focus your efforts, but there are other reasons why you want to be in it for the long haul.
Let’s pretend your business is about to embark on this marathon. It’s all about training.
Know your business before you start. Know your prospects. Research your business landscape the same way a runner will study their route. Where are the hills? Who are the other runners? How do you need to run?
- Commit to the plan. The plan will change as you better understand the race but your commitment to the overall strategy needs to remain firm. There will be rainy days. There will be under-performing periods.
- Do the work. You will need to update content, rebuild landing pages, A/B test creatives. You will be regularly making course corrections. Putting the time in will deliver better results.
- Understand how to pace yourself. Many businesses diving into digital marketing want to go “all in” right away. After three months of furious activity, many throw in the towel. You’re smarter than that. Identify the pace you need to keep. You’ll make adjustments and may even seize opportunities, but the right pace will separate winners from wannabes.
- Don’t get distracted. There will be squirrels along your path. Recognize the difference between a squirrel and an opportunity. Don’t compromise your training chasing the “next shiny thing.”
- Finish the race. See your plan all the way through. Learn and start training for the next race.
How Can You Get It All Done?
This is a lot to accomplish! It can be scary to get started. The good news is that there are four sections to our list. One for each quarter of 2020. You can do it! You can use this article as a map or schedule to attack each of these items in turn.