5 Signs Your Marketing Plan Isn’t Working…
Does your marketing plan work?
Before you answer, think a little harder. Think about the goals you set out to accomplish the last time you put a marketing campaign together – have you achieved those goals?
If you’re on the fence, we’ve come up with a list of FIVE signs that your small business marketing isn’t working, or needs a serious kickstart.
1# Your customers aren’t pre-sold.
Great marketing isn’t supposed to cost you anything. A solid marketing plan makes you money and kicks back a high ROI for your business. Besides simply getting your business name out there and showcasing what products and services you offer, intelligent marketing also saves you and your employees time.
Imagine you’re a car salesman. How many times does a potential sale walk through the doors of a dealership already knowing EXACTLY what they want? All the time. With constant marketing through slick television commercials, magazine ads, and dominant branding, companies like Ford, Honda, and Toyota do all the selling for you.
Now, imagine lines of people in your store, calling you on the phone, or emailing you everyday – all knowing exactly what they want to buy. All that’s left for you to do is close the sale.
Of course, most of us don’t have the money to shell out a Ford marketing campaign, and that’s ok! The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fraction of what those major brands do for great marketing.
2# You’re hesitant to give out your web address.
The number one sign that your website doesn’t help your business? That deep, aching feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when a potential customer asks you for your website address.
If you aren’t compelled to shout your website from the rooftops, then you may need to take a second look into how your website reflects onto your company’s image. Is your website informative? Does it ooze helpful information and links? Does your website direct visitors to contact you directly?
Here’s a great tool for checking out the overall speed and functionality of your website: PageSpeed Insights. Copy and paste your web address and let Google show you how well it is functioning. Pay close attention to the mobile score too! (A general guideline: any score below a 70 is bad news). The speed of your website is a crucial factor in how well it will rank in search engines. No one likes a slow website.
Your company website should be a valuable tool for pre-selling clients and giving them a description of who you are, what you do, and how you do it. Flashy sites can look pretty, but that doesn’t mean they’ll make you any money.
3# Searching your business name on a Google search doesn’t put you on the first page of results.
This might seem a bit obvious, but as a rule of thumb, if a google search for “Your Company Name” fails to get you on the first page of search results, there’s a major problem. Try it!
If you aren’t dominating that first page, you’re either not generating local SEO or your company name contains the word “Apple.” Always make sure that your business address is embedded using Schema Markup and have your social media profiles integrated into your website as much as possible, especially your Google+ profile.
We know you’ve heard a lot about Search Engine Optimization, and you probably have a spam folder full of SEOs and companies like Yelp and YellowPages telling you that you could be doing a lot better with your local SEO. They are annoying, but they are right about one thing: you probably could be doing a whole lot better with your SEO, especially in the immediate areas around you. The problem is, they are telling millions of small business owners the same thing, every day. Don’t let a large, nationwide company handle your local, small business SEO.
Instead, choose a small team that gets to know your business inside and out, then creates unique content and marketing strategies fit for YOU.
4# You can count your Facebook posts on one hand.
What’s a Facebook page worth to your business with only a handful of updates posted onto it?
Less than no Facebook profile at all.
Place yourself in your customers shoes for a second. They hear about what you offer from a friend and are now interested in your company, so they do what over 50% of all internet users do – they search for you on Social Media sites. When they finally stumble upon what they believe to be your Facebook or Twitter account and find 2-3 updates scattered across the previous 52 weeks, they lose interest.
What sort of first impression does your social media presence make? Do you look smart and savvy, or like a company who leaves things unfinished and doesn’t care about being engaged in their community?
Social Media is essential to SEO as well as keeping your customer base engaged. You need to be posting often, preferably daily. You also need to know which social media sites will be most effective. If you’re a painter, don’t worry about Urbanspoon.
5# You don’t have customer feedback to back up your marketing efforts.
If you spent $500 a month for a radio spot on your local oldies station, you’d hope to hear a few new customers say they came in after hearing it, right? Of course! If this never happened, you’d most likely cancel your advertisement.
Try taking this same approach with your website and other online marketing practices. Many business owners can get caught up in how artistically beautiful their new (and expensive) website is or get headstrong about their front page placement in a newspaper, but then fail to see the lack of customer interest and sales these mediums are producing for them. Your website should be drawing people in, educating them, informing them on what you do, and who you are. Give them the information they’ll need in order to feel comfortable calling you, eating your food, buying your services, or supplying their credit card information on your online store.
We don’t want to teach impatience here, and many marketing strategies do take some time to be effective. But if you aren’t seeing your marketing dollars working for you and your business in a few months after spending them, chance are they aren’t effective and your goals won’t be met.
So now what?
If reading this has left you with a pair of sweaty palms and a headache, you aren’t alone. But that doesn’t mean you have all the time in the world to wait around for a marketing miracle either.