You've broken down your numbers by demographics, quarterly goals, sales territory, etc., but nothing seems to add up. If you've analyzed your marketing data and your sales results look a little shabby, maybe it's time you dig a little deeper and find out why your current marketing strategy just isn't working. Consider some things that you may, or may not be doing with your inbound marketing campaign that could help your numbers grow and put your company on the path to stellar sales in the new year!
1. You Talking To Me?
One mistake that marketers make is not defining their audience. This is one of the top reasons why your marketing strategy isn't working - because you're not clear about who you're talking to! Spend some time defining buyer personas and think about your ideal customer. What are the issues that they are dealing with? What are their social media habits? What are their lifestyle patterns? Answering these questions will help you tailor your content and your marketing strategy to specific customers rather than just throwing random messages out there to see if they stick. Directing your marketing campaign is much more efficient, cost-effective, and successful in the long-run.
2. Is It Optimized?
So you've got great content that speaks to your specific buyer personas and helps them solve their issues, but is anyone able to find it? This is where search engine optimization, or SEO, comes into play. You can hire the best writers, develop great content, and get great images, but if nobody can find your content, then you've wasted a ton of time and money. Optimize your blog with keywords that your buyer personas are reading about, then use reports to tell you what they're searching for and put those words in your blog and in your images. Doing this small step ensures that your content gets found by your target customers in Google searches and on the web.
3. Stop Selling Yourself
Don't inundate your readers with sales talk; it's the fastest way to turn off a potential customer. It's tempting to sell yourself and talk about how great your company is and what you can do, but stay away from this type of marketing. If you're producing quality content that your audience wants to read, you'll gain credibility and trust and have an easier time selling them when the time is right. Studies from Sales Panda show that over 60% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after reading custom content on their site, so use your site to create a positive image for your company instead of always pushing a the sale - you'll have time to sell later, so just be patient!
4. Where is Your Buyer?
And this brings us to the next point: where is your buyer in the buyer's journey? Are they ready to buy or are they still deciding on a solution for their concern? Or maybe it's neither or these! Maybe your potential buyer is just browsing the web and learning more about the subjects you're talking about in your blog and on your site. If it's the latter, this is where you'll want to spend some time nurturing these "lukewarm" leads until they are ready to buy. Provide a link to a piece of content like an e-book or an online seminar where they'll exchange their email for this information you're providing. Once you have their email, you will be able to track how many times they've visited your site, what content they're reading, and where they are in the buyer's journey. This process is tailored to each lead and you'll have a much higher success rate if you're selling when your leads are ready to buy!
5. Add Some Value
We've mentioned the pitfalls of constant sales-talk already, and the flip side of this is providing value. This is what you want to be doing with your marketing strategy since it's how the majority of consumers respond to companies. At every touchpoint that you have with the customer, add value. Share content that makes their life a little easier, or provide some information that gives them insight into how they can solve their problems. Building trust this way allows the customer to develop a relationship with your company that funnels right into the sales process and allows the next steps to go much more smoothly. Your leads will have spent time interacting with the valuable pieces of information that you've provided and will be much more likely to do business with you in the future. And that's something everyone wants!
6. What Do I Do Next?
Part of the reason blogs are so successful for marketers, if they are done right, is that they give your readers a chance to learn more about your brand and the value that you provide. Guide your visitors through your site and give them the opportunity to connect with your company. Use a call-to-action to do exactly that: encourage them to act! If readers don't know what to do once on your site, they'll quickly click away to another source and they might never return to your page. Don't let this happen! Provide links in your blog and banners on your page to give them the opportunity to stay engaged.
7. Did You Forget Something?
One mistake that marketers make when setting up their content marketing strategy is failing to stick to a schedule. They forget about the blog and the social media promotion that comes with it and then before you know it, a few months have gone by and your blog is gathering virtual cobwebs. Develop a schedule that works for you and commit to it. Put your content writers on a schedule, edit in a timely manner, and publish away! Consistency is what will drive readers and potential customers to your site, so create a plan and watch the traffic increase exponentially as the months go by.
Now that you've got some insight into what may be preventing you from reaching your sales and marketing goals, take another look at your content marketing strategy and see where you can make some improvements. Doing so will enable your marketing and sales teams to achieve success and put your company on the path to profitability!