Marketing Through Growing Pains

Using Marketing to Manage Business Growing Pains

Marketing Through Growing Pains

 

Marketing is an investment in the long-term success of your business — but like any investment, how and when we engage in it heavily impacts ROI. One of the reasons continuous year-round marketing is worth the money, especially during busy or difficult times, is because it helps us transition more smoothly through business growing pains. With a consistent marketing strategy, companies can better manage lead flow, employee turnover, and expansion when it matters most.

 

Manage Lead Flow With Marketing Strategy

Continuous marketing, even during busy times, prevents “feast or famine” business cycles and the stress that comes with it. When lead flow is more predictable, it’s easier to make additional investments in new facilities, equipment, and talent with less risk and worry. For businesses contending with the challenges associated with new growth, this particular benefit is key to making that growth sustainable and retaining loyal customers through difficult transitions.

A well thought-out marketing strategy also gives businesses the opportunity to plan ahead instead of trying to market from a place of panic, which is typically when you have the least amount of time and resources to allocate to marketing. Better planning results in better execution — making it possible to increase the return on your marketing investment simply by making it a part of regular business operations.

Another way that continuous marketing eases business growing pains is by streamlining the sales process and increasing the confidence of sales staff. Updated, well-targeted marketing materials can save your sales team time, and helps them take advantage of unique opportunities in the moment. It also enhances their communication with individuals who are more visual than auditory in the way they learn new information. By better accommodating the way potential prospects want to communicate with your sales staff, we can shorten sales cycles and improve the morale of your sales team.

 

Manage Recruitment With Marketing Strategy

Marketing for recruitment is very different from marketing for lead generation, and both are necessary to adequately manage business growing pains. This means that even if your business already has a handle on your lead generation marketing, it’s not time to get complacent. You will also need to put together a solid strategy for recruitment in order to manage the increase in workflow that will likely result from successful lead generation marketing.

Hammering out a marketing strategy for recruitment before crunch time hits is key to funneling qualified team members to your business as needed, without suffering through periods of being under or overstaffed. Just like lead generation marketing, giving yourself time to develop a recruitment strategy improves the ROI of your investment in talent acquisition, streamlines overhead, and avoids sinking resources into failed campaigns.

Continuous recruitment marketing during busy times also helps increase your capacity to take on new customers — but finding the right talent is often easier said than done. When competition in the labor market is high, businesses need to work that much harder to reach the talent they desperately need. The smarter and more calculated you are in creating and executing a recruitment marketing strategy, the more sustainably you can grow even when economic barriers and labor market conditions create roadblocks.

Business growing pains are a natural part of building a successful company, but that doesn’t mean we have to completely surrender to them. To learn more about using marketing to manage growth, connect with a 360 Direct team member via our Contact page.


Successful Marketing Campaign

How To Make Your Next Marketing Campaign Succeed

Successful Marketing Campaign

Launching a marketing campaign doesn’t have to be a nail-biter. Set yourself up for success by covering fundamental campaign bases using a little preliminary market research, tactical coordination, and strategy.

Employ Multiple Tactics To Achieve Your Goal

Every campaign needs to start with a focused goal. Not all of your marketing campaigns will necessarily have the goal of immediately resulting in new sales. Many are designed to help prospects a little further down the sales funnel, making them easier to convert. Motivate your prospects to move down that funnel by providing value to them at each touchpoint using a clear call to action. For instance, if your goal is growing your email newsletter, offer coupons or free downloads when they provide their email address.

Whatever your goal is, you aren’t likely to reach it without taking a multi-tactical approach to a marketing campaign. It can take up to seven touchpoints for a lead to convert, meaning a one-off radio ad or single sponsored social media post will not generate overwhelming results on their own. Instead, stay in front of your audience with a series of corresponding tactics for better total ROI.

Know The Audience Of Your Marketing Campaign

The success of a marketing campaign can be dictated by how well you know your target audience. Narrow down your demographic and craft language, imagery, and offers that speak to their needs and values. The preliminary research is worth the effort, because dollars spent on anything ineffective is still wasted resources, even if the marketing tactic is low cost.

In that same vein, choosing ad platforms and mediums that your audience frequents or will respond positively to is essential to the success of a marketing campaign. The tactics you choose depend entirely on how your target market wants to be approached, which may require mixing both traditional and digital marketing tactics in the same campaign.

Follow Through On Your Marketing Campaign Tactics

It isn’t enough to simply execute your tactics and expect your leads to convert. Following through with your marketing tactics requires coordinating each one in a timely way, tracking them, and touching base with new leads at the end of the campaign.

Following through also means staying the course. Don’t change tactics mid campaign, even if results are slow to trickle in. Remember that it takes several marketing touchpoints for a lead to convert, so don’t get discouraged by low response rates early on. Wrapping up before your marketing campaign has run its course only deprives you of useful data.

Whenever possible, measure the efficacy of your tactics by checking analytics, recording the number of inquiries received, or emails collected. This valuable insight can be used for a retargeting campaign, or an entirely new campaign down the line. The more data we have, the greater our chances for success.

For more information on how to craft a successful marketing campaign, connect with an expert here.


Shareable Evergreen Content

What Makes Content Shareable?

Shareable Evergreen Content

How can we be sure that the blogs, newsletters, videos, and case studies we produce will get any traffic? In marketing, ROI is everything, and time and talent spent on ineffective content creation is money down the drain. The good news is, valuable, shareable content doesn’t have to go viral, it just has to connect with the target audience, and be both immediately and continuously useful to them.

Shareable Content Is Evergreen Or Topical

What is “evergreen” content? It’s digital marketing in the form of blogs, case studies, white papers, ebooks, infographics, podcasts, videos, or Q&As that is perpetually relevant long past its publication date. Evergreen content is indefinitely reusable and recyclable, increasing its total ROI over time. Evergreen content can also be indefinitely linked to or referenced in new content, providing additional context and educational information for the audience.

Beyond its recyclability, shareable evergreen content with smart SEO strategy deployed throughout will continue to build your digital footprint with Google over time as more visitors accumulate.

Topical content, though not evergreen, is also powerful when deployed in a timely way. Marketers can take advantage of current events or new technology featured by mainstream media to increase their own visibility for a finite amount of time. As long as your contribution to the conversation is relevant to your business and your target market, providing your business’ take on a hot topic can pull in a wider audience for a finite amount of time.

Shareable Content Is Practical

In a study by the NYT Insight Group, 94% of of content consumers assessed the usefulness of the content before sharing it. Shareable content is such because it provides the target audience with immediate value, prompting the audience to spread it around to others who might also find it helpful. So what makes content useful or practical? Shareable content provides action items, tips, or tools that require little additional research and exploration. Product demos, video tutorials, reports, or step-by-step guides are great examples of this.

Additionally, shareable content needs to be industry-relevant in order for it to draw in an audience with the potential to convert. Instead of producing content you think will go viral amongst general internet users, create content that your specific target audience is most likely to appreciate.

Shareable Content is Easily Digested

If a given article or web page doesn’t immediately provide internet users with information relevant to their search query, they are likely to exit that content without having read or viewed the majority of it, which doesn’t bode well for your marketing ROI or conversion rate.

To create well-organized content, use bullet points, lists, explanatory headings, and bold or otherwise visually isolate important takeaways. Concise, organized content helps your audience to quickly glean more of the information you want them to know about your product, company, or industry.

For larger pieces of content like in-depth blogs, articles, white papers, or case studies, highlight and organize the most valuable nuggets of information with descriptive headings, chapters, or content pages. For the right target audience conducting technical research into a product or service, they will expect to spend more time with your content and appreciate content organization that makes their research less tedious.

Bottom line: the more time a digital content consumer invests in your content, the likelier they are to find it useful, leading to a higher number of shares and exposure for your business.

Creating shareable content doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it should always have a strategy behind it. For more information on maximizing the efficacy and ROI of your digital content, connect with one of our content marketing experts.


SEO and How to Build it Up

SEO: What It Is & How To Build It

SEO and How to Build it Up

We’ll start with the bad news first: there is no silver bullet tactic for getting found on Google. No one can become searchable overnight with a single widget, tool, or paid service. The good news? Leveraging Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the organic process by which a business can increase the number of unique visitors to their website using keywords, can absolutely help the right people find your business over time. Many companies specialize in SEO, for example, someone like Victorious covers SEO for different business types.

What is SEO Strategy And Why Do We Need Keywords?

SEO strategy is how marketers make Google your friend. For example, when a web user searches for “Milwaukee pet grooming,” all web pages with a keyword strategy for that search term will pop up in their results. Google’s bots use keywords to find and index your digital content, raising the SEO, or search rankings, of the highest quality, keyword-relevant content. What keywords a marketer chooses depends entirely on the business and their target market.

Unfortunately, legitimate SEO building does not provide instant gratification. With a multi-faceted SEO strategy, it can take several weeks to months to see a substantial impact on your web traffic. This is because Google’s bots (known as crawlers) need time to find new web content and index it. SEO building should be a process that marketers engage in continuously, adding new relevant content over time using keywords the target market is most likely to search for. This is why, if this is something that you are unsure about, then it might be a good idea for you to check out something like this seo audit guide.

Tactics For Building Your Website’s SEO Using Keywords

Choose Keywords Wisely. Simply going with the most popular search terms for your industry may or may not be the best strategy for you. Your chosen keywords should depend on the kinds of content your target wants and the words they use to describe it, whether that’s layman’s terms or technical seo vocabulary.

Write Useful Content. Fill your web pages with informative, helpful content, and intersperse your keyword naturally throughout. Google’s algorithms are designed to punish websites that try to game the system, or awkwardly stuff keywords into irrelevant surrounding content.

Strategically Insert Keywords. We can place keywords in more places than just the plain text featured on a web page. When used in web page headings and URLs, those strategically placed keywords help flag Google’s crawlers in finding the keyword-relevant content featured on the page itself.

Label Your Images. Marketers can make images function like SEO building tools by labeling them using alt tags. Search engines won’t otherwise register images as relevant content if we don’t tell them what they depict using alt tags.

Submit A Sitemap. We can tell the search engine which pages you want it to crawl by submitting a sitemap. This ensures that Google is able to find your newly written content more effectively, and properly index everything else on your site.

Keep in mind that SEO building is a marathon, not a sprint. Results won’t happen overnight, but measurable improvement is possible with the right keywords and the right strategy in place. For more info on SEO and how to build yours, contact us.


Tracking ROI

Tracking ROI With Digital Marketing Tools

Tracking ROI

It’s easy to know whether or not you’re hitting your revenue goals. Equally important, however, is understanding which marketing tactics or strategies are helping you hit those goals, and which ones aren’t. Luckily, there are several ways to measure the ROI of your marketing campaigns.

Using Landing Pages

When you create a website, you don’t know who will find it or by what means. With a landing page, you can dictate both of those variables. Instead of visibly anchoring it to a navigation menu, include the landing page link on marketing pieces connected to a campaign targeting a specific audience, allowing you to determine how well individual campaigns are working. Since you control who has access, it’s also the perfect opportunity to tailor messaging just for that audience. An added benefit of using a landing page is the ability to use Google Analytics to track the behavior flow of that specific audience as they navigate your site.

Of course, web traffic alone isn’t a strong indicator of ROI. Hopefully your landing page has a call to action leading to a contact form, RSVP portal, or a white paper download. In addition to generating a new warm lead, you may be able to track a future sale to that specific marketing campaign.

This strategy works for nearly any campaign. When using targeted marketing, you want to direct website visitors to specific content that’s relevant to them. Landing pages are particularly useful for targeted direct mail, radio, and PPC campaigns with a narrow marketing message.

Using Promo Codes

Businesses often use promotions to add urgency to their marketing campaigns. With a little extra planning, promo codes can teach you a lot about your audience! Rather than provide one code across many different tactics, use different codes so that you can measure which tactics or what types of messaging worked.

One thing to remember: make sure that you don’t mix your promo codes. Try to ensure that no single lead ends up with several different promo codes. This requires precise management of your direct mail and email lists, as well as careful consideration if you plan mass marketing tactics like radio or billboards. If you choose to use both mass marketing channels and your existing customer base, ensure that your current customers receive the better deal for being loyal!

You can use this strategy when employing several tactics within a campaign – like some people getting postcards and others getting emails. This would help determine which tactic had the better ROI. You can also divide up your lists and test out different messaging, and use the different promo codes to track which marketing messages connected more with your target market.

Using landing pages and promo codes are just two effective components of an overall marketing strategy geared towards measurable, calculated growth. In pursuing this end goal of calculated growth, businesses make both their marketing and their dreams sustainable. Want to chat more? Visit our Contact Us page and get in touch with one of our experts today!


Target A List Audience

Grow Smart With Targeted "A" List Marketing

Target A List Audience

At some point in their growth cycle, most companies learn through trial and error that not every paying customer will generate a positive impact on their business. Growth in the wrong direction can cause any business to stall or even regress. Smart, sustainable business development requires targeted marketing aimed at your most profitable customers in order to attract more of them. This is called finding and marketing to your “A List”, which involves strategically crafting services and messaging around the specific needs of your most ideal clients.

How to Identify Your A List 

Start by mining your existing customer list for the types of businesses that make the most profitable purchases or have the potential to make them. For a manufacturer, that could be a repeat customer that puts in the most lucrative product orders with the most reasonable turnaround demands. For a B2B service-oriented business, that would likely be the type of customer that signs up for a continuous program or contract. While we hope your most profitable clients are the ones spending the most with you, that may not always be the case. There are instances where your biggest customer may strain your resources, leaving you with a razor thin profit margin, in which case you don’t actually want more customers with similar orders. Even if you you consider yourself a “one-stop-shop” for a variety of industries and applications, identify customers who purchase the products and services with the highest profit margins.

Those customers are your A List. The rest of your customer list may still provide some business, and there’s nothing wrong with continuing to serve their needs when those less ideal customers find you, but your marketing resources should be primarily devoted to campaigns aimed at the top tier. The idea of targeted marketing isn’t to shrink business, it’s to grow in the most profitable areas with the most cost-effective strategy.

Use Targeted Marketing to Grow Your A List

When we retool messaging, recalibrate your Adwords strategy, or venture into new digital spaces in ways designed to reach your most profitable customers, not only do you keep those existing high-value customers engaged, more of the same tier will start to find you. By contrast, a business that directs resources towards less desirable customers will become swamped by their least-profitable customers and stunted in their ability to provide exceptional services to the customers they want the most of. That strategy not only drains business resources, it can damage your brand in the eyes of your A List.

A successful A List marketing strategy focuses on connecting and reconnecting with those specific businesses. Potential tactics could be as simple as sending your A List a targeted email campaign pertaining to the specific products or services they want, or offering them a referral discount. This is the easiest, least exclusionary way to market to your A List. Other tactics may involve retooling the aesthetics of your website and social media presence to reach your ideal customer. If your A List is a bulk-buying budget conscious customer, a minimalist, no-nonsense website makeover could be more appealing to them. When your A List is comprised of individuals with advanced degrees, taking an elevated tone to your messaging will likely give you more credibility in their eyes. These types of tweaks may not be appealing to D and C List customers, but it’s ok to allow your targeted marketing to filter out those who won’t benefit the long-term growth and viability of your business. As a matter of fact, that’s the point.

For more information on how to reach your A List and letting go of the customers you don’t need, connect with our team of marketing experts via the Contact page.