Did you know that over 75% of business owners struggle with marketing (SBA study)?
It makes sense, most of us are really good at delivering value to our customers, but less experienced at attracting those clients. It’s expensive to hire somebody to focus on sales when you’re small and getting outside assistance can be confusing too. With that in mind, I’m going to cover three aspects of digital marketing that should be present in any system or process that you implement. I’m focusing on digital marketing because it is very economical and effective for small businesses.
If you build a system yourself or have one built for you, the key elements remain the same and should be present. Each is a critical fundamental or basic marketing concept, although they frequently get hidden behind the bright light of the latest shiny object.
Any marketing system that you put in place needs to use automation as much as possible, while still retaining full effectiveness. Automation helps you maximize your time and let’s you have a greater impact that if you tried to run everything manually. Having an effective system also means that your marketing will work around the clock in helping your build your business. Automation is particularly useful for building a flow from capturing prospects’ information through delivering value and then creating a “warm lead” for your business.
It can take time to set up, but that early investment in time (or resources) to create an effective system will pay dividends in the long run.
To understand if your marketing is as good as it can be, testing is important. I try to take each element of my process that can be measured and create multiple versions to see which one works best. The systems I build have this automation built in so I can switch any elements to try one version and then another version to see which one works best. Having this testing automation built into the system allows me to quickly adjust elements and make the marketing as perfect as I can make it.
For example, I might test a landing page by doing an A/B test (alternate views are shown every other time the page is displayed) on the picture. After 30 or so measurements, I’ll pick the best performing picture and set it as the default. Then I might change a headline or sub-headline and do another test. Once most of the elements have been tested, the page will be as perfect as it can be. I’ll go through the testing process on each element of my lead system so that it brings in as many leads as possible.
Tracking and measuring is the third piece of the puzzle. If you think of the A/B testing I wrote about, it can’t be done without being able to measure as many elements as possible. With a system built with this in mind, you can begin to understand how a dollar of marketing comes back to you in the form of revenue. Again, a bit of sweat up front, pays off nicely.
Elements that I track can consist of email open rate, click through rates, download rates, page views, call to action response rate, leads from each pipeline, and so on. When done properly, I can then accurately predict the number of “warm prospects” that will results from each system. Knowing this is handy when I want to grow my business, when I anticipate needing a few clients to replace clients who have completed their work with me and so on. It also lets me consider advertising budgets and determine how much it costs me to add a new customer to my business.
A side benefit of having these three elements built into your marketing is the reduction of “feast or famine” work, which is the bane of small business. A consistent and trackable marketing system will smooth the flow of customers and help you control the growth of your business without experiencing periods of too few clients interspersed with times that you have too many clients.
I’ve added a few links within the body of this article that will take you to pages that highlight the various examples and aid in understanding.
Have you tried a system in your marketing? What lessons have you gathered? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about your experiences and many other readers will benefit from them as well!