4 Steps to Get Started on an Organized Marketing Strategy (That Gets Results)
Here’s a dirty little secret.
A huge percentage of marketing “strategies” these days could be charitably classified into one of two categories: “see what sticks” or “spray and pray.”
Spoiler alert: that’s not a compliment.
The “see what sticks” approach is basically marketing without a coherent strategy. You might have some sense of what general tactics to use, but without a deeper understanding of why they work, how to make them work, or when to use them.
Worse, they’re all isolated and disconnected—not part of any overarching strategy or long-term goal. So while you might see some short-term results, the momentum tends to fizzle out.
The “spray and pray” approach, meanwhile, is all about casting the widest possible net and blanketing the greatest possible audience with as much information about your brand as possible—even if 99+ percent of them have no interest whatsoever in what you offer.
Billboards. Radio and TV ads. E-mailing everyone on your customer list every day with the same information over and over again.
It’s an expensive way to market, and most of that money is wasted on the eyes and ears of people who were never your target customers in the first place. You might even lose the trust of some promising leads, or at least cause them to tune out.
You might argue that spray and pray is a coherent strategy. But for the vast majority of businesses, it’s a bad one.
So what is a good strategy? And how do you build one? Here are a few key steps to get you focused.
Establish Some Goals. SMART Ones.
Let me ask you a question: what is the purpose of your current marketing campaign?
If the best answers you can come up with is “uh, to get more business,” it’s time to take another crack at setting some goals.
What are your core business objectives? Are you looking to launch a new product or grow a particular service area or category? Increase new subscribers by 10%? What is the timeframe—when do you think these results can be achieved?
In other words, your SMART goals—things that are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-bound.
Your marketing needs to connect directly into these specific business goals. You have a series of objectives you’re trying to hit by the end of the month, the quarter, the year. Your marketing is one of the most important tools you have to get there. You need to craft those strategies with those goals in mind.
Perform a Digital Marketing Competitive Analysis
There’s a misconception out there that a “competitive analysis” is only focused on your competition.
A good competitive analysis starts with a deep dive into your own competitive performance in all aspects of online marketing.
For sure, you’ll want to understand how your website is performing. That includes basic analytics and SEO data like total sessions, bounce rate, and finding out which pages are most popular and generate the highest level of engagement and conversions. But it also includes looking a little deeper at things like backlinks, meta-tags, and whether or not your site has been properly indexed by Google.
But your website is just the beginning. You’ll want to dig just as deep into your:
In other words, all aspects of not just your active marketing efforts, but your online presence, full stop.
Once you have a really detailed grasp of your own digital marketing efforts, then you can perform the same analyses on your biggest competitors.
That allows you to quickly identify not only the areas where you’re strongest and weakest compared to your competition, but also the biggest emerging opportunities and threats. What’s the easiest and fastest way for me to get a leg up on my competitors? Where am I most vulnerable to a counterattack?
Do Some Keyword Research
So you’ve got a strong sense of your business goals. You have gotten in tune with your current website and digital marketing strengths and weaknesses. You’ve researched the competition.
Forgetting something? You still need to research your customers!
One of the best ways to do that is by using keyword research.
Basically, you want to know the answers to questions like:
- What questions are my customers asking?
- What information or products are they actively seeking when they search the web?
- What search terms are driving the most traffic to my website?
- What search terms do I want to rank highly for?
- Who currently ranks highly for those keywords, and can I realistically compete with them?
Keyword research is especially helpful for identifying “long-tail” keywords, which are super important for getting conversion-focused traffic to your website.
Why are they so important? Say you’ve got two keywords you’re looking at targeting based on your keyword research:
- Best Light-Up Blue Digital Widgets for Under $200
Now, there’s no question that ranking No. 1 for the first keyword is going to generate more overall traffic … but most of it is going to be casual browsers not ready to make a purchase. Plus, taking over the top spot from ABC Widget MegaCorp is going to be extremely difficult and expensive.
Targeting the long-tail keyword, however, is going to be a lot more beneficial in the long run. Not as many people may be searching it, but the ones who constitute high-quality visitors on the verge of making a purchase. And because there’s a lot less competition for that keyword, it’s much easier for you to nab the top spot on the search results page.
Think About Your Marketing in a Holistic Way
So at this point, you should have a pretty good foundation to start building some actual marketing plans.
- You’ve identified your top business and marketing goals with specific objectives
- You’ve analyzed your own strengths and weaknesses from a marketing perspective and compared them against your competitors.
- You’ve done your keyword research and identified some “hot” topics and keywords that you can build your marketing campaigns around.
Armed with this information, you should be able to narrow your focus and develop really specific, organized, and targeted campaigns that are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck.
But you’re not quite done yet.
Because even with this kind of data and organization, there’s still a real temptation to revert back to the “see what sticks” method, where everything is siloed and disconnected from everything else.
Instead, you need to be thinking about your marketing in a more holistic way, with multiple avenues (content, social media, e-mails, graphics, etc.) coordinating and building on one another.
That’s not to say you can’t have multiple campaigns running at once. You absolutely can.
But everything should be done with intention. At every step, ask yourself:
“How does this help me get closer to achieving my business goals?”
“How can I incorporate other platforms, services, or media to make this campaign more effective?”
“Do all these marketing techniques have a coordinated and coherent message?”
In other words, whether a new potential client finds out about you from a Google search, or a social media ad, or a video, or anything else, it should all be written and presented with a unified message and voice.
When you get all your marketing activities working together rather than independently (or, worse, contradictorily), amazing results can follow.
But it’s hard work getting there!
We can help.
At CP Solutions, we love rolling up our sleeves and building organized, customized, and effective marketing plans for our clients. We know and do it all—websites, content, social, video, SEO, and more—so that you can get full-spectrum digital marketing under one roof, with a single point of contact.
Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Get organized and get going on digital marketing that really drives long-term growth and success. Call CP Solutions today.