Staying consistent is one of the most critical aspects of marketing. As part of your daily business diary, marketing is a priority. The problem is that the business world can move very quickly, and that makes it very common for business owners to look for immediate results from their marketing department.Understanding just how long the right marketing strategy can take before having a positive effect can be jarring for those that want instant gratification and results.
The best marketing campaigns are going to involve time investment. Understanding where you need to invest your time is the key to getting more from your marketing. Here’s everything that you need to know.
Modern Marketing Basics
Marketing in the digital age has seen the rise of a number of basic elements that should be the foundation of your growth strategy. These include:
- Original content that offers value
- Personalized content that is targeted at your customer demographic
- Output that has been designed specifically to encourage interaction
The more that you follow these key steps, the more your marketing will help your business to grow. Marketing is less about advertising and more about building up sustainable relationships with your clients.That’s why the worst question that you can ask your marketing department is – When am I going to start seeing results?
This question is absolutely understandable. Marketing objectives are all about building the best in lead generation, increasing sales numbers, spreading a consistent brand image, and attracting new clients. Those are not small factors for a business owner, and it makes sense that they will want to have some idea of just how effective their marketing is going to be.
The main problem with this viewpoint is that results do not mean the same as the value that you’re getting from a patient and long-term marketing strategy. If you’re looking at narrow outcomes, then you’re missing out on the main priority of modern marketing:
Building relationships with your customers
Marketing is a long-term project, and your time is going to be the critical factor. Knowing where to invest your time is what will mark the difference between an effective marketing strategy and one that hits a wall very quickly. Here are the key areas where investing your time will pay off in the long run.
Learn about your audience
Content is going to be the foundation of your marketing strategy, and if you want to create the best content, then you’re going to need to understand your customers inside and out. Market research can be a slow process, but it should be an ongoing one. You can learn more about your audience through:
- Running local focus groups
- Social Media surveys
- On-Site questionnaires
Take time to collect and analyze the data that you get from these sources. Make sure that you integrate the knowledge that you take from your market research into your marketing campaigns. The effects will then be more visible over the long term. If you spend more time learning how to apply for a small business loan than you spend on your marketing strategy, then you’re doing it wrong.
Understand your Brand
Your branding is going to be a key factor when it comes to your marketing — the more that you understand what your brand is saying to audiences, the more that you can tailor your content to remain in the right tone of voice. Every member of your team is going to need to be on-brand whenever they interact with your audience.
Take time to build an effective team
Hiring the right people always takes time and money. If you need to hire experts to fit a specific role, you might be able to speed up the process through an interest only business loan so that you can afford an increased wage bill. If you’re looking for new hires to manage your marketing, then there are some common mistakes to avoid.
- The wrong field: Just because someone has technical computer skills, it does not make them a marketing expert. Graphic designers and even social media experts will rarely have the necessary skills to be good content creators. Similarly, the best writers in the world will not be benefiting you if you have hired someone to build e-commerce apps.
- Hiring assumptions: While recent graduates are often an excellent way to hire the people with the most up to date experience of modern technologies, don’t assume that just because someone has grown up using Facebook that they know how to interpret the analytics. This is one of the more common hiring mistakes that you need to avoid.
Being able to use a tool is not the same as being an expert with that tool.
Of course, social media is vital when it comes to digital marketing, so take the time to ensure that your new hires know the basics of providing value through social platforms. If your hiring budget is a limiting factor, then it may be worth taking out a commercial loan to cover the first year of wages.
Creating the best content
We live in a very hyper-connected world, and that makes it easy to get carried away with the need to keep up. The fast pace of the world means that you will probably feel pressure to create volumes of content without too much concern over quality. This is a very common blunder. Your content needs to work in a very specific way. At its core, content has to provide value. How that value presents itself will depend on your audience. However, the key to better content is:
- Storytelling that draws in an audience
- Information that is well-researched and informative, providing answers to your audience need
Both of these aspects of content creation take time. Research is essential.
Avoiding the ‘quick-fix’
It might be a shocking thing to think about, but the right marketing campaign can take years to develop and show those expected results. That’s why so many impatient business owners will ignore the slow pace of content marketing and opt instead for PPC advertising. While this is a useful option when combined with your SEO strategy and integrated with the rest of your marketing plan, PPC alone is a short-sighted solution. It may yield faster results, but without the right value being offered, those results can be largely wasted. If you’re looking for the best ROI, then content marketing with the right SEO research will be the best solution.
The most important thing to remember when considering your marketing strategy is that patience is going to be essential. The more time that you invest in building the best marketing campaign, the more effective it will be. Rush through the steps or dismiss them as too much unnecessary work, and your business will be much weaker as a result. Be patient, and your business will benefit.