You’ve run the Facebook ads, sent out the emails, written the blogs, and have gotten no responses. Seriously, what’s the deal? The thing is, just because you are doing marketing doesn’t mean you are doing marketing correctly, and that makes all the difference in the world. Only 5% of marketers say that their marketing efforts are currently “extremely effective”, which implies that 95% of people feel that there’s something in their marketing that isn’t working.
If there is a disconnect between what your marketing team is doing and what’s really working, it’s time that you isolate the issue and fix it immediately. This can be tricky to find – just because something is popular, visually stunning, or common doesn’t mean that it’s working for your business. The issue could appear to be working, but really be failing. Here are the most common reasons your marketing isn’t working.
You Don’t Have a Plan
You put in all the time and get to results. What’s the problem? Well, if you don’t have a seriously defined plan, it’s probably that. Over 50% of businesses say that they don’t have a successful plan in place for their content marketing. Maybe that is why 95% of businesses are unhappy with the fruit of their marketing efforts! Of successful marketers, over half have a marketing strategy – of unsuccessful marketers, only 15% have a marketing strategy.
A successful content marketing strategy starts with defining your key performance indicators, as well as what numbers are important to you – shares, views, likes, traffic, CTRs, conversions, etc – then track everything. This strategy should change over time – when your business grows and you realize that what you’re doing is not working as well as it could be. Here’s the key thing – publishing content is NOT a strategy. You must take in the big picture – audience, revenue, profit, and brand. Writing a blog is not a strategy.
You Don’t Spend Much on Marketing
Unfortunately, you have to pay to play. Marketing falls under the rule that you get what you pay for. If you spend a lot on marketing, you’re going to grow faster than companies who don’t spend as much. If you want results with marketing, you must spend enough money to achieve that. The most effective content marketers spent 40% of their business budget on marketing. The least effective marketers spend less than 20% of their business budget on marketing.
Yes, it’s expensive, but when the clients start coming in, it’s worth it – and you get your investments returned. Email marketing has an ROI of 4300% – and while generating a lead through traditional marketing costs will run you around $370, with content marketing techniques, it’s only going to run you around $150. That’s big savings! Be sure that you are clear – throwing a ton of money at marketing is not going to make you successful. Spend that 40% – but make sure that you’re spending it on things that align with your strategy.
You Aren’t Promoting Your Own Content
This is the absolute quickest way to kill your own marketing efforts. You spent all that time creating content – but then you did nothing with it. Slapping a post on Facebook means nothing if people don’t know they should go look at it! Marketing is NOT creating content. That is only part of it – the other part is promoting what you just created. You can promote your content by email newsletter, marketing email to a landing page, sharing on social media, pitching influencers in your industry who can share your content, mentioning your content when you comment on other websites and blogs, and more. If you aren’t doing content marketing promotion, change your approach to include it.
Your Content Doesn’t Provide Value
Your content has to provide value to it’s readers – otherwise, why are they reading it? The question is, how do you know that your content provides value? Well, think of it like this. If you don’t know what kind of content to produce and are just creating “whatever” to fill in a space on your social media, it doesn’t provide value. If your writer is inexperienced and provides you with quickly written, error filled content, it doesn’t provide value. If your content is boring (like, you wouldn’t read it instead of watching TV), it doesn’t provide value. Make a list of the things you could be doing to produce better content – or at least content that provides more value to your readers (and in turn, you).
You’re in a Tough Niche
If you’re in a really unique industry, it’s going to be harder to market yourself. If you work in an industry where people aren’t online, industries that not many people know about, or industries that are boring (such as stud welding instead of nursing or SEO), that’s you. You will have to double down and work harder than most other people at your marketing. Just strategize and do more of what’s working for you already. Perfect your target client, and go after them. List the most effective types of marketing for your competitors – and then imitate it. You should focus within your industry, not without. What works for an SEO business may not work for whatever you do.
Your Competitor is Huge
If your business runs a search engine, you’re up against some goliath competitors – Google, Yahoo, and Bing. In a competitive landscape this dominating, your marketing can’t just stop at being “good enough” – it has to be better than theirs. Keep producing content and don’t back down just because you are the little guy. Curate a small but devoted group of followers. It’s better to have one quarter than twenty five pennies. The best audience is the most devoted audience, not the biggest one. Then, out-content your competitors. Identify what sort of content they’re missing out on or producing poorly. Then jump in and take that opportunity.
You Haven’t Waited Long Enough
Marketing takes a while. You can’t expect results in two weeks – sometimes, you can’t expect results in six months. You have to give your content time to perform before you start seeing a flood of organic results. Sure, you could somehow produce the next viral content and bring in thousands of new clients overnight with one post as a miraculous fluke, but you can’t rely on that. Marketing isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon. Keep producing top-quality content, and you’ll soon see results.
Your Expectations Are Too High
One good Facebook ad isn’t going to make you a millionaire. Sorry – that’s not how it works! Take a step back and think of what is realistic for a company of your size. Perhaps doubling your traffic in a month or tripling your income in a year isn’t reasonable, but perhaps it’s reasonable to grow your audience by 20% and bring in five more sales than last month. If you’re getting results from content marketing, be satisfied. It’s working. You are looking for gradual improvements, not overnight, immediate success.
You Don’t Know Your Customer
We’re sure you have an idea of your ideal customer, but is that information getting translated into your marketing efforts? Are you marketing to that customer? You have to deeply understand your audience and then use that knowledge in your marketing to improve your ROI. What other options do they consider before doing business with you? Learn why they purchase from you, what steps they go through before they make the purchase, and the problems and issues they face that they expect your product or service to solve.
Your Existing Customers Aren’t Satisfied
Customers who aren’t satisfied will let others know about it. They don’t refer you to their friends and family, and they won’t become advocates for your company. Do you have a formal process to check in on your client’s happiness or do you just rely on your gut feeling when you wrap up a business process with them? If it’s the second one, you probably have a few unhappy customers that you didn’t know about. They may have been too shy to share their experience with you, but they are certainly comfortable enough with their friends to share their bad experience. It doesn’t seem fair – you weren’t even given a chance to fix things, after all – but it’s real and it happens. Since happy customers give referrals to new customers, make sure your current crowd is as happy as a clam before you move on to trying to bring in other people.
Marketing is an investment that drives sales and increases revenue – if you do it right. It requires structured and consistent action over a long time. There are a lot of reasons why your marketing may not be working, but the chances are high that the issue is one of these reasons above. Your clients will make 57% of their decision to buy from you before they ever talk to you – so let your marketing do the talking for you.
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