When your business was just starting out, you probably put a basic marketing plan in place.
For most small businesses, this means setting up social media accounts, defining their ideal customer and working out ways to optimize your site for conversions.
As the company grows, the marketing plan gets adapted and can deviate from schedule fast. You may grow tired of some administrative tasks, so you automate them. Maybe you hired people to help. Perhaps you started out writing a blog — then found you just weren’t a natural writer.
It’s time to refresh your marketing campaign and look at ways to win back traffic. There’s no fixed time scale, but it makes sense to review your tactics once every six months to keep your business on track.
8 steps to a rejuvenated campaign
Switching up your marketing can boost results and invigorate your staff. It takes less than a day. Here are the steps we recommend.
1. Analyze your traffic. In order to improve your online marketing, you need data on what worked in the past. In some ways, revising a strategy is much easier than coming up with a fresh one, because you should have lots of data to work from. If you’re not currently measuring the source of your traffic, install Google Analytics code immediately, and perhaps a secondary tracking code from a service like Statcounter. Let your data build for a month before coming back and starting again.
2. Re-target your campaign to the right networks. Social media marketing is incredibly resource-intensive. Putting personality and effort into every network is impossible unless you plan to pay a full-time marketing agency. As part of your refresh, look at the source of the highest converting social traffic and focus intensive efforts on delivering frequent updates and great content to that network. For business-to-consumer companies, this could be Facebook or Twitter. For business-to-business companies, LinkedIn may feature higher in your stats.
3. Look at your delivery methods. As entrepreneurs become more pushed for time, it’s tempting to automate some types of marketing to lighten the load. Automatic posting and content delivery can turn audiences off rather than offering them beneficial updates. If your social media automation, autoblogging or scheduled posts are not getting results, it’s time to wind back the clock and revert to a more personal approach.
4. Look over your most popular blogs. Is your evergreen content still bringing traffic — and is that traffic converting? Did your blog lose focus? Have you hired a content writer but found that they don’t have niche expertise? People will always respond much more favorably to high quality content, rather than frequent posts that fade and die quickly.
5. Watch how your leads respond to marketing messages. Building email marketing lists, Facebook Likes and Google +1s is great, but if those followers never interact, they are worthless. Don’t keep paying for Likes or Followers if you aren’t seeing conversions. You must focus on value for readers. If you achieve high standards, the traffic will follow in time.
6. Consider your work-life balance. Managing marketing should be part of your business — but it shouldn’t take over your life. Are you living where you want to live? Are you in debt? Earning enough, or struggling to make ends meet? If you want to live in Costa Rica but you can barely pay your rent, it might be time to change the way you market your products or diversify the things you’re selling. Many companies supplement their income with affiliate referral fees, and this is a great way to make extra money from quality content.
7. Think about ways to reuse the content you’ve invested in. Republishing articles can be a little risky, although you can use canonical links to lessen the risk to your search engine position. But there’s no need to repost content verbatim or stick to one type of content. Republish as an ebook, convert into an infographic, serialize your blog or get a good quality syndication partner. The more you diversify, the better value you get, and the more likely it is you’ll find new audiences who resonate with your marketing messages.
8. Archive your new strategy. Make the changes you’ve planned for, then print or archive it for posterity. Note everything in a Word document, then convert the Word doc to PDF so you aren’t tempted to go back and change it. In a year, bring out your strategy, convert it back to Word, and repeat the whole process again.
Prepare for launch
Fresh leads offer new opportunities and can boost a flagging business. Prepare your team for an influx of new custom. Providing you have the resources, you’ll be able to capitalize on your refreshed campaign’s success.