Online marketing can be as complex as a labyrinth; navigating its twists and turns is tough for any business owner. Luckily, having a structured strategy in place can help you avoid the minotaurs lurking about, waiting for you to drag your brand name down. However, you need to tweak your strategy every now and then to ensure that you remain unscathed in this labyrinth and ahead of the competition.
If you need more incentives, the following lines will give you six of them.
Reason #0) You Do Not Have an Online Marketing Strategy
Mindlessly churning out content is not a strategy. Your thoughts, content and plans will be all over the place and far from effective. So, plan and develop a strategy if you do not have one already. Even if you cannot invest your resources in creating one (which is farfetched considering how important this document is), it is always better to have a bad strategy than no strategy at all.
#1) You Have No Idea What Success Looks Like
A study shows that 55% of businesses are unsure about what effective online marketing looks like. You do not have to be part of this group any longer if you have a documented online marketing strategy or tweak your existing one. Because your strategy acts like a plan, you can define beforehand what a successful online marketing campaign is and set metrics and milestones. As you compare your progress with these, you can determine how successful you have been and make necessary changes.
#2) Your Strategic Goals are Vaguely Defined
Everyone knows what the major goal of marketing is: Defeat your competition and earn more profit. Short and sweet, yes; but not very useful in the real world. A strategy needs specific goals that include numbers, dates, the whole nine yards. You need to think SMART(Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) while establishing your goals.
So if your current strategy includes goals such as ‘Win!’, ‘Be the Best’ and ‘Increase Profit Margins’, it is time to do some major tinkering. Applying SMART, you can come up with better goals than the three examples below.
- Increase revenue by 30%
- Raise 10% capital by the end of the fiscal year
- Maintain profit margins of 25% and boost revenues by 10%
This may look difficult but companies are able to do it. Some good examples of attainable aims and success stories can be found online, just like iExpertMedia’s San Diego SEO, other marketing companies are also able to come up with solid and attainable goals, which is the most important thing in a marketing plan.
#3) You Tried to Incorporate Every New Shiny Tactic
A strategy is not a list of tactics. Most marketers make the mistake of focusing on increasing SEO, the number of likes, followers, social media ROI, etc. All of these are tactical factors. A business with improper segmentation or imbalanced marketing strategy will not be able to improve in the long-term if the marketers take a tactical approach. So, remember that a good strategy will connect marketing factors to your overall business goals, contain repeatable tactics, and specify metrics.
#4) Your Current Strategy is Too Complicated
Some online marketers try to not only kill the proverbial two, but all the birds with one stone. They factor in a ton of KPIs, tactics, a dizzying array of marketing goals, and the kitchen sink into their online strategy. This will get you nowhere fast. Strategies like these are impossible to implement as there are simply too many variables at play. Instead of an all-encompassing marketing strategy, a simple strategy best serves your goals. Remember, when in doubt, KISS (Keep It Simple and Straightforward).
#5) Your Strategic Objectives Do Not Line Up with Key Problems
If you have been in the business for a while, you probably have identified the key problems your business wants to solve. Unfortunately, if your strategy does not tackle these, you need to begin tweaking it. Your next step after reading this post is to create strategic objectives that line up nicely with all the issues your business faces.
#6) Your Strategy is Not Data-Driven
All businesses need to gather behavioral and transactional data from customers. Online behavior yields even more detailed data, such as mail subscriptions, install widget or tool, downloads, retweets, and social media sharing. The secrets to capturing the market and increasing revenue lies amongst those thousands of tiny data points. Data-driven marketing strategies work because they allow you to prioritize and customize your methods. So, change your strategy accordingly.
Tweak your current online marketing strategy if the aforementioned six criteria apply to you. And remember: to keep up with the demands of a constantly evolving market, you need to have a malleable marketing strategy. Sit down with major stakeholders and work out what changes are needed to maintain your edge over the competition.