This article is part one in a 4 part series to make sure you’re getting the most out of your online marketing efforts. This week, we focus on your overall strategy, the first and most important piece of your marketing campaign.
You can’t properly promote your business without a strategy. You’re throwing money away if you’re buying a Facebook ad here or a billboard there without following a strategy based on your business goals. [Tweet “Your strategy is like a compass for all of your other marketing decisions. “]If new opportunities present themselves down the road, you can ask yourself if they are in line with your end goals. Too often, people get pulled in a direction that isn’t parallel with an already determined strategy. (Remember Crystal Pepsi? Ouch)
1. After 3 to 5 Years, Your Website Looks Old
Ok – basic questions: Is your design up to date? This is the easy one. As a general rule, you should update your website’s design every 3 to 5 years. If your site looks old, viewers associate ‘old’ with your business. Sometimes, you luck out and ‘established’ is substituted instead, but make no mistake – your material is the face of your company. If you look outdated, why should I pay attention to you?
2. Keep Up With Industry Trends
This is a good opportunity to take some time to review your industry as well. Are there new promising new trends or ways of doing things? Has technology improved? Take some time to review new ideas and solutions within your industry. If your website or marketing material doesn’t address this, that needs to go on your list to update. Not next year, now. Don’t wait, and don’t let your competition step up in front of you.
3. Stick to Your Story
That being said, make sure all of your materials are consistent. This is where you allow your strategy to guide your decisions. What do you want to say to consumers? How do you want to say it? How will get your audience involved? ALL content needs to be consistent. People want to buy from someone they know and trust, and if you send mixed messages, you’ll confuse and alienate potential customers. It doesn’t matter if you need to reach distributors, manufactures, your client base, your board of directors – [Tweet “Your company has a voice and a story. Stick to it.”]
4. Focus on Your Customer
Finally, is your message about you? Are you speaking to viewers or are you talking about yourself? This relates directly back to the “what’s in it for me?” question in everyone’s mind. There is a fine line between saying how awesome your product and services are and filling the room with it. Give your audience a chance to connect with you and your vision (hell, have a vision in the first place – but more on that later). Rather than talking about yourself and how amazing you are, tell your audience what you can do for them. Speak to the benefit.
It’s 2014. Audiences need to connect with what they are spending their money on. [Tweet “Marketing is no longer about convincing them to buy. It’s about compelling them.”] If your message isn’t well designed and consistently compelling, it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy.
Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving south Louisiana and headquartered in Baton Rouge. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.