Just like at the beginning of every year, you’ve seen a million articles talking about how you can be your best self and improve your business and marketing in 2018. This is one of those blogs, and somehow you’ve landed here – yay for SEO search volume on “2018 makeovers.”
This blog, however, is different. Below you’ll find some hard truths along with our recommendations on giving your marketing a makeover in 2018.
Consider this your ‘how-to’ guide to doing things differently and becoming a marketing rock star.
Step #1 - Start with a content audit
There are a million and one resources related to organizing your life better. However, in our organizational adventures, seldom do we stop to audit our content, determine which resources we have and ways we can re-purpose old things for new. Begin your year with a marketing audit. Determine which current offers you have, what needs to be updated, and what can be rewritten to gain new traction.
If you’re looking for the most value with the least effort, start with what you already have. Chances are your content pieces and offers will fit into one of the following three categories:
- Crappy. Just delete these – they’re unsalvageable
- Have potential. Edit these – you can repurpose them
- Jackpot! Keep these – you’re still getting leads
Look at the content on your website page by page and individual offers and categorize them. Crappy content is useless, so get rid of it. Content with potential you may want to invest some time into improving, as it presents a new opportunity for improving your conversions.
Step #2 - Set realistic goals
I’m sure you’re over new year’s resolutions/goal setting. However, if you want a 2018 marketing makeover, you need goals. Brace yourself – you need to do some math. The best marketing efforts are those that are measured, so sit down with your team and determine what matters to you.
If you value marketing qualified leads, decide what constitutes an MQL, how many MQLs your website is currently getting for you, and how many MQLs you need to get a certain conversion rate off your website. Use metrics and tools like Google Analytics to determine where you are in your website’s effectiveness and where you want to be. Track the metrics you choose monthly.
Some good metrics to track, depending on your goals, include:
- Number of visitors per month
- Number of conversions on any given offer
- Click through rate on calls to action
If you start to record this monthly, you may notice patterns and opportunities for improvement and start to address weaknesses and exploit strengths. For example, if you notice a page is getting visitors but no conversions, you may need a more alluring CTA or a new page structure. Knowing this will allow you to have a living site that responds to user needs rather than a stagnant one.
Step #3 - Rewrite some content
Chances are, your website copy is 3-4 years old – that’s the case for most websites; even recently launched sites sometimes have outdated content no one has edited in years. It’s time to spice it up. More and more users want content that’s short and sweet. They don’t want to read long paragraphs – bullet points are better – and their short attention span means you should use the KISS method. Keep It Simple, Sue. (Or Stupid, I’ve heard it both ways).
Ultimately, you want to give the reader the information they need without overwhelming them. You can always offer a ‘read more’ and expand the text if they’re curious, but at first glance you need to drive home the point of any given page with the title, a helpful sentence, bullet points, and imagery.
The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is particularly applicable here. Write your content short and to the point and let the images speak for themselves.
Step #4 - Refresh your look
A beautiful website alone won’t get you leads, strategy and functionality will. But don’t forget aesthetics altogether – a nicely designed website will capture your visitors’ attention longer. Try using space to appeal to visitors and draw their attention to calls-to-action (which help with conversions) to keep the visitor on your site longer.
When considering refreshing your look, start with the goal and purpose and then design to that purpose. Make sure you work with a reputable agency (shameless plug – learn more about our services here) and remember: you’re refreshing your website’s look to get conversions, not just for the sake of a pretty website.
Step #5 - The Last Tidbit
Whatever you do in the new year, this will be your single most helpful tip.
Strategy before tactics.
Always. If you’re unsure about core information like your target audience, ideal client, buyer persona, buyer’s journey, or the language your customers use, it will be difficult to set goals or build content to support those goals. Choose your marketing strategy, then move forward with the steps above. (I put this last so you’d remember it, you’re welcome).
When discussing strategy, consider the following questions:
- What is the buyer’s journey for my customers?
- How do my customers speak about the problems we solve?
- Who is our ideal customer?
- How does our content support the ideal customer through their journey?
- What are we missing? Content? Understanding? Proof of our work?
These strategy questions will set you on the course of executing marketing with a strategy in mind so all your efforts are in alignment. (Another shameless plug – if you’re unsure how to do a marketing workshop/strategy session, you can learn more about our workshop service here.)
Ultimately, with the new year just getting here, there are plenty of opportunities for you to improve your marketing and get your business more leads. However, it’s necessary that strategy is at the center of any efforts and that you compulsively measure the success a strategy is having on your business. Otherwise, your efforts will be multidirectional and therefore lack the impact you were seeking. Follow the 5-step plan above and you’ll be off to a good start.
Happy New Year everyone! ❤️