I’ve had the opportunity to work with business owners in many different industries – from eCommerce to brick-and-mortar, business to consumer, and business to business. Often, many business owners and marketers develop the belief that their business or industry is somehow different from the rest of the business world. In some cases there are differences: different regulations, requirements, logistics, etc. However, what remains constant is that we are doing business with people.
People make choices and take actions based on the same psychological mechanisms whether they are purchasing for their business, for their home, for themselves, or for others.
Whether you are using white papers, Facebook, YouTube, email marketing, direct mail, or any other method for delivering your content, you will benefit from these five tips on improving your current marketing.
1. Define your Strategy Before Your Tactics
Sounds simple enough, yet so many get this wrong. Your strategy defines who you are, what you do, and whom you do it for. Once you define exactly whom you are speaking to, you can determine what it is you are saying to them, and exactly how/where to say it.
2. Be Clear Before Clever
You don’t get many points for being clever. If your prospects can’t easily figure out exactly what it is you do and why they should listen, they will move on. Your slogan or unique selling proposition should state the benefit of doing business with you.
At one point, UPS had the slogan “What Can Brown Do For You?” Really, what does that even mean? They are lucky they have a huge internationally known brand and that people are already well aware of what they do. They’ve recently changed this to “We [heart] Logistics,” it’s an improvement, but I still think they could do better.
3. State Benefits, Not Features
There is a time and place for listing the features of your product/service. It’s not when introducing your company or product to a prospect.
The online personal finance management company, Mint, does a great job of this. When you land on their homepage, you are greeted with “It’s easy to understand what’s going on with your money.” Perfect. As a potential user of this product, it speaks to my pain and lets me know exactly what I am going to get.
Notice that I am not being presented with the fact that they have an app, and give me graphs, charts, notifications, etc. I can find this information, but they aren’t leading with it.
Brian Clark from Copyblogger gives great insight into how to extract benefits in his post Does Your Copy Pass the “Forehead Slap” Test?
4. Have a Clear Call to Action (CTA)
What exactly is it that you want your reader to do? If you present too many options, they will be confused, and if you don’t present a clear CTA, they won’t do anything. Don’t expect anyone to chase you down waving their money at you.
If you want a reader to subscribe, focus your message on that primary action. Want them to try your product for free for 30 days? Then lead with this.
To use Mint again as an example, their homepage is an invitation to try their product for free, a clear CTA. There is nothing else competing for the attention of visitors.
5. Measure Your Return on Investment
If you create a campaign, but have no method of measuring whether or not it produced a positive return on investment, then how do you know whether you should do the campaign again or not?
If you run pay-per-click ads, but don’t regularly compare the cost to how much money you are bringing in, then you have no idea whether you should be tweaking your ad, cancelling your ad, or upping the spend. If you figure that every $1 you spend on advertising is netting you $0.90, then you had better find a way to fix that process or stop running ads. Conversely, if you know that for every $1 you spend, you make $1.10, then you might want to crank your daily spending limit up a bit to ensure you are capturing all the business you can.
Of course you should measure to see whether or not a certain marketing tactic is working for you in terms of a return, but this will also give you insights into how you can make adjustments to maximize your conversions as well.
These five tips serve as reminders to check in with your marketing. Remember, you should always test and tweak your marketing efforts to make them work for you and improve your results over time.
What would you add to this list? Please share your tips with other readers in the comments below!