Social media and online marketing are rapidly evolving. When you're working in the field, you need to keep pushing the boundaries, stay active and sometimes focus on the little things to stay ahead of the curve.
But at the end of the day, it really isn't the color scheme of your landing page or that perfect Facebook image you created on Canva that really matters.
The only thing that really matters? That more people buy or convert with you.
I admit, I'm one of those content marketers who loves to dig into the details. Some of my most trafficked articles are lists like "52 Tips: How to Market on Instagram" and "21 Tips: Social Media Marketing for Restaurants". But if you can't step back and focus on the bigger picture, you're just writing on the content hamster wheel - spinning your words yet getting nowhere.
To get results - and truly create a happy hub of increasing customers - it pays to plan (at least a bit).
Even in today's always on, action first mindset, the companies that succeed are those who are wise enough to plan out their sales funnels and understand the needs of their consumer.
Before you write your next blog post, host a series of webinars or start an online lead generation campaign, take the time and effort to go through these seven questions. They've gained me exponential increased revenue, and they'll likely help you too.
1. What problem is your campaign solving and how does it fit with the goals of your business?
The end goal for any profitable company is to get more revenue. To do that, your marketing team needs to solve customer problems and generate demand for what you've got. Keep this in mind when you're crafting an article or setting up a lead generation sales funnel.
Sure, you may have created an amazing brand and consumer-centric ebook. But what's next? Have you planned out your automated emails or created the content you need to take your consumer to the next level? How does your content support revenue generation?
2. What do you need to get from your actions?
In Marketing 101 terms, this is like listing out your SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based) objectives. Put your goals into specific outcomes, with numbers and dates. This not only gives you more clarity, it gives you real numbers to motivate and measure your success.
3. Who is your target market, where are they and what do they want?
Know your customer(s)! This again is going back to good textbook marketing practices. But, without giving thought to who it is that wants or needs your stuff - how can you possibly communicate with them? List out your consumer demographics. Go in depth and figure out where they are online, how they use social media, how often they check their email via mobile.
With myriads of social media engagement tactics, there's ample opportunity to listen to your customer needs and determine the wants of your market - even as fine tuned as their lifestyle realities and desires.
By knowing your people, you can create better content to deepen the consumer relationship. Better relationships ultimately drives sales.
4. What are your competitors doing?
Check out the marketing campaigns of your competition. What are their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
Do they blog? Do they blog well enough to get top ranking SERP (search engine results page)? Can you realistically blog for SEO and outrank them? Or are you better off spending your resources on online ads?
Choose if you're better off copying their strategies or going a different route.
In today's globally connected marketplace, you may just find consumer niche opportunities where others haven't, for example.
5. What are the best strategies to achieve what you need?
Before you rush into setting up your next Facebook contest, determine if that really is the best strategic move. Does it fit with your goals? What will you do after the contest? Are you collecting email leads or just Facebook Likes? How will you keep your content entrants engaged with your brand?
6. What content, social sites, landing pages or online advertising tactics will work best?
If you've been able to get through the first five questions, you're going to have a much better perspective on the small stuff. Choosing online tactical tools that will reach your demographic, and speak to them in ways that relate doesn't have to be randomly based on the latest and greatest thing.
If your demographic happens to be heavily engaged on Facebook, use Facebook Ads to drive traffic to your lead generating landing page. Follow through with personalized email automation and continue to engage with Facebook contests or coupons.
7. How will you measure results and improve?
Online marketing is ripe with measurements and metrics. Determine your KPI's and sort out how you'll track each campaign you run. If you're using an online marketing platform, for example, choose one that gives you detailed real-time analytics. Measure the number of new leads, track email open rates, new Likes and Followers, visitors to your website landing page, bounced traffic, ad retargeting reach and tons more.
Generate reports of your successes and determine where you can improve to get better results next time.
Share your comments. How do you plan your marketing objectives? Does strategic thinking improve campaign results for you?