As marketers and business owners we spend a lot of time and effort trying to attract new prospects and customers. But are we unwittingly erecting barriers that get in the way of those prospects that potentially want to do business with us?
Sometimes it’s difficult to see the woods from the trees as we firefight from one scenario to another and become too internally focused or in some cases implement systems and process that are good for us but bad for our customers.
It takes a lot of time, effort and resource to attract those hard earned prospects. And we don’t want to lose them. But are your marketing efforts fanning the flames of frustration and causing the very people you want to attract to fall by the wayside or simply give up attempting to deal with you?
If so, not only are you losing that potential customer/client, perhaps forever, you’re probably driving them into the arms of your competition.
So take a step back, sit down, sip your coffee and ask yourself these 12 questions.
- Is your business getting found online?
It’s not a matter of “if we build it, they will come”. The internet is a busy place and you don’t live in a competitive vacuum. Make sure your site is structured properly and is search engine friendly. Today if you want to get found online, it’s all about content. So make sure you have a content marketing plan and you’re implementing it through an editorial calendar.
- Is your website projecting the right image?
If you went into a department store and the light was poor, the floor was dirty, the staff were surly and the merchandise was poor quality, chances are you’d quickly leave. So why do so many businesses forget that their website is the window to the outside world. It’s where many people come to check out your products and services, to decide if you are a creditable option for them to choose. Don’t neglect your site, give it the TLC it deserves.
- Is your website mobile friendly?
In case you haven’t noticed Google now provide a “mobile friendly” caption in the mobile search results for those sites that have a responsive design or have a separate mobile site. This is a BIG clue to the importance of mobile enabled websites. However, even from a common sense point of view, if you try to cram your home page into the small screen of a mobile device, don’t expect quality user engagement, expect a high bounce rate.
- Do you have a lead capture mechanism?
A high proportion of visitors to your site may not be ready to make a commitment but they may do in the future. So try to persuade those visitors to exchange their email address in return for something they may find attractive such as an enewsletter that keeps them up-to-date with your offers or a blog that educates readers in your target market or an ebook that provides information relevant to your market sector or technology. Implement strong Calls To Action (CTA’s) across your site, capture those leads and nurture them through email marketing.
- Are you asking for too much information?
How much information do you need? Yes I know, the sales team would love to have a telephone number, postal address or even date of birth. But each field you add has a corresponding drop-off in conversion rates. Take small steps, only ask for what’s relevant and build up the user profile over time.
- Are you actively encouraging social media interaction?
Make sure you focus on the platforms that are specific to your audience. Then make sure you have social media share icons on each page of your website. Post regular content on your site and distribute across those key platforms, encouraging your community to share with their followers and friends. It’s not easy and it takes time and effort because it’s not a broadcast medium. But give it a go. Build a plan and incorporate it into your content marketing activities.
- Are you confusing outputs with outcome?
At some time or other we’ve all witnessed the guy who walked around with the clipboard, looking officious and official and most of the time we’ve wondered what he did. Perhaps nothing but he looked busy. We only have so many hours in the day to get things done. Make sure you’re doing the right things and you’re doing them right.
- Is your online and offline marketing joined up?
The marketing evolution is driving us towards digital marketing channels but the buyer journey isn’t linear. It flicks between the offline and online so it pays to have a joined up approach. If you’re implementing an offline campaign make sure your messaging is consistent across all channels and media. Consistent messaging across multiple touch points is still very important. Customers collect information from various sources before making a purchasing decision. This is what Google call the Zero Moment of truth (ZMOT).
- Are you neglecting your current customer base?
As you continue to strive for new prospects it’s easy to forget that you have a database of customers/clients who already know you, are happy doing business with you and perhaps are still ignorant of all of the things you can offer them that would help their business. Putting together a cross-selling or up-selling process or campaign can bring in additional business from a captive audience in a much cheaper way. Don’t assume that your existing clients are aware of all of your products and services.
- Are you checking Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is an under utilized tool that can really help guide your marketing decisions. Most people pay it lip service by only checking some of the high level statistics. Hey we had 2,500 web visitors to the site last month – yippee. But what did they do, did most of them take a very quick look and leave? If so perhaps your content isn’t right or the marketing messages you’re using to drive people to your site is wrong. Diving a bit deeper into the stats can provide a whole lot more info.
I know, sometimes GA is a bit confusing and if you don’t use it often it can seem difficult, that in turn causes people not to bother looking. Google Analytics is important to your business, if you don’t want to get involved, get someone else to do it for you.
- You do have a plan, don’t you?
Considering all of the previous points can and will help improve your business and marketing activities. But most of these points are tactical. If you really want to succeed you should have a marketing plan that identifies your current situation and creates a number of stepping stones or milestones that take you towards your key objective. For example, if you decide that over the next 12 months you want 30% of your leads to come in via the web then it’s not just going to magically happen. You need to put plans and activities in place to make it happen.
- Have you considered external support?
I make my living as a digital marketing consultant and sometimes even I struggle to keep up. If you’re running your own business or managing your own department it can be twice as difficult. Think of the opportunity costs involved in keeping on top of this, if you think it’s detrimental to your own priorities think about getting outside help.
Rame Digital Marketing would love to have a chat about how we think we can help your business grow, so get in touch.
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