There are no true shortcuts to becoming great at something. You can’t wake up one day, having never painted a picture before in your life, and recreate the Mona Lisa. All great things require practice, patience, dedication, and hardwork.
The same is true when it comes to marketing for your business. You can’t expect the very first blog post you publish to go viral or instantly attract millions of followers your first day on social media. Especially in today’s world of digital marketing, there is no shortcut or “hack” for quick success. If you truly want long-term, sustainable growth, you need to take a consistent approach to your marketing.
It All Starts with a Plan and a Calendar
You can’t run a business on a wing and a prayer, and your marketing is the same way. You need to create strategies, schedule out time to work on them, and have a calendar detailing out your immediate and future marketing steps.
Before you start writing a blog or paying for ad space, you need to do research. Make sure you understand your target market, how they buy products, what kind of strategies work best with them, and how your business fits in their life.
From that research, you develop strategies. That could include producing content to attract leads, improving your website’s SEO, paying for ad space in relevant situations, and more. Once you’ve settled on what strategies to utilize, you plan out when and how often you work on it. You can’t just spend a single weekend on your marketing and be good for the rest of the year. You need to be constantly working on improving it.
Keeping Up With Your Marketing
Good marketing requires constant publishing, updating, and changing. No matter how good the ad you publish or article you write, if it’s three years old, it won’t be very effective. Once you start a strategy, you need to dedicate time to actually fulfill it.
If you don’t have somebody dedicated to your business’ marketing full time, consider setting aside one day a week or more to focus on it. That way, you can have time to produce content, analyze your analytics, and schedule out when things will go live. You can keep producing new marketing and improving without letting other parts of your business fall apart. Find a balance that works for your business so it can continue to grow without sacrificing other important parts.
In order to truly grow, you need to stick to a normal pattern of updating, uploading, and producing new content year after year, especially with content marketing. Taking time off, whether it’s a month or a year, can have disastrous results. You’ll lose momentum improving your SEO, fall behind your competitors, and lose current or returning customers. Even when you really don’t want to do it, push yourself to keep up on your marketing.
If needed, there are tons of tools available for marketers to prevent that from happening. Going to be away from the business for a month? Use scheduling tools to plan out blog posts and social media ahead of time. Struggling to coordinate your projects? Project management software like Trello or Asana might be exactly what you need to keep your ideas in one place. Got a barrier preventing you from succeeding? There is bound to be tech to help you out.
Consistently Re-evaluate and Change Your Marketing
Being consistent in your marketing doesn’t mean doing the same thing over and over. People change, industries adapt, and marketing is the same. If you do the same tactics year after year, eventually you’ll be way behind. It’s also possible your current strategies aren’t as effective as they could be, meaning you need to do some experimentation.
To help with this, keep a close eye on your website’s analytics and other useful data relating to your campaigns. If you aren’t seeing results from a particular strategy, assess if it’s worth your time and money. Maybe a webpage isn’t performing as well as expected. Experiment with it, try new things, perform A/B tests, and see what you can learn. If you’re looking to create the perfect landing page, it’ll take several re-works to get it just right.
You also need to be aware of future trends for customer service and marketing, and how they’ll impact your business. For example, it looks like AI is going to play a very large role in businesses in the coming years, including marketing. Chatbots could replace customer service, AI could help identify trends in your data, and even help with social media interactions. Early on, you need to figure out how new trends could impact your industry and marketing.
What to Do When You Get Too Busy
If you get too busy and can’t keep up with everything in your life, don’t let marketing be the thing sacrificed. It’s tempting to say to yourself that you’ll focus on a different project for a month and then restart your marketing after. Don’t do that. You’ll find it very hard to get your momentum going again. Either you need to better manage your time, or reconsider your priorities. If you can’t keep up, consider hiring more employees to help out, either with other projects or your marketing. That way, marketing can stay a top priority for your business.
You can keep up your current schedule, or you find somebody who could take it to the next level. That could include hiring a new employee, hiring a coach or participating in a mastermind, or utilizing a marketing firm. Just make sure you can keep it consistently evolving and grow your business.