As artist and writer Austin Kleon puts it, “If your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.” Having an online presence is a must in today’s economy. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a local business, your customers are going online in search of products and services they need. Unfortunately, many online marketing campaigns fall short of their desired results leaving business owners frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. In this epsiode of the SMA Marketing Minute, we are going to look at the 2 most common reasons online marketing campaigns fail and what you can do to ensure your success!
Hey, what’s up everybody? I’m Ryan Shelley and you’re watching the SMA marketing minute. With more and more businesses continuing to go online to try online marketing, many of them have failed. Some of them have just really had an extremely difficult time really getting over the hump and getting any traction with their marketing. Over the years of being in this industry, there’s two things I’ve really run across that stop people in their tracks more than any other. It’s not a tactic, it’s not a tool, it’s not a resource. There is no magical formula to making online marketing happen, because every business is unique, every customer base is unique, and every individual that you come across online is unique and has their own biases and world views. What are the two main issues when it comes with succeeding in online marketing?
The first is focus. A lack of focus, a lack of clear strategy or a clear plan really just has you doing tactic after tactic after tactic, praying that something’s going to work. A lot of people refer to this as spray and pray. In the link building world, where we just kind of launch a bunch of stuff out and hopefully somebody gives us a link back or interaction back. Very rarely do these tactics work, because they’re not scalable. There is no way to really truly measure their effectiveness, because you’re just grabbing from one to another from one to another over and over again, just hoping something is going to kind of go viral. This idea of viral really is not what we should be shooting for. What we should really be shooting for is long term scalable growth. The only way that happens is focus, understanding what your goals are, what you are actually trying to achieve, and then putting into place tactics and strategies that are actually going to help you achieve that goal, and then staying focused on the plan.
When you put a strategy together, when you put a plan together, you need to really focus on that plan and give it some time to work, especially online. We typically say it takes anywhere from 3 to 6 and even up to 9 months to really see something work. Here at our agency, we make sure that we do things in quarters. That way we have enough data to understand if what we’re doing is helping us achieve our desired outcome. If we’re really not hitting the targets we want to see, we can make the minor tweaks, continue to stay focused on the goal, and hit what we want to hit in the end, for ourselves as well as for our clients. Focus is key.
The second thing that deters from really reaching our marketing goals online is commitment. We have to stay committed to the process, committed to our goals, and committed to the strategy that we have in place. It’s very easy to get weary and tired of doing things over and over and over again and not seeing that giant bump in traffic like we read about in all of these articles. There’s no such thing as an overnight success. If you talk to anybody whose had overnight success, it took years and years and years of working with commitment to actually make that happen. The same goes with your online marketing. Just because you tried something one time and it didn’t work, doesn’t mean it won’t work. It just means you may have pulled out too early before you really started to see the fruit of your labor.
For more than a year, I blogged 3 times a weeks by myself as a one man agency. It was hard. It took an extreme amount of consistency on my part. Determination. I had to get up and write, even when I didn’t feel like it. Why? Because I knew, one, that I had something to say. Two, that content was going to be a huge part of my strategy and if I was going to be able to be seen as an authority leader, somebody that actually others want to interact with and to learn from and even hire, I had to be doing the same things that I wanted to be doing with them. It wasn’t until after over a year of being consistent in my content, getting better as a writer, putting my ideas down on paper, that we actually started to slowly see our traffic grow.
I want you guys to know, I’m a procrastinator by nature. I procrastinate a ton. I’m also a sanguine when it comes to personality type, it means I’m all over the place. To get me to sit down and write, was very hard and it’s still a challenging thing to do, but I realize it’s such an important part of my business. I get to share my thoughts, my ideas, not only with the people who subscribe to my blog or come to my site to learn, but also with my clients and with myself. It helps my marketing get better, it helps my clients’ marketing get better. It also allows me to be a better writer as well, but I had to stay consistent. If I just gave up, one or two months in, I never would have reaped the benefits of the hard work. Month after month, I saw my traffic not grow as much as I want it to and it was frustrating. I was tired. I was angry, but I said, “You know what? I’m sticking with this.” I told myself I’d do it for a year, I need to hit this goal. I need to stay focused. I need to stay committed.
After a year, I started to see the results. I’m in the marketing industry, so obviously it’s very competitive. There are a lot of people writing a lot of content that has to do with a lot of the similar things that I talk about, but I wanted to give my spin on it. I wanted to create a personal connection and show that marketing doesn’t have to just be so ambiguous. We can actually talk to each other as human beings, learn from each other as human beings, contextualize and personalize the conversation. As I begin to write, I actually started to find my style. Now, I realize that writing is not only something that I like to do for my business, it’s therapeutic in that, but it is also just therapeutic for me mentally to get my ideas out, to test things, to try things, and to really start doing something that I may have never done before.
If you want to achieve your goals online, you need to do two things. You need to stay focused. You need to have a clear plan of action and you need to have a strategy that can point you in the right direction. Every so often, you need to check that strategy to make sure that you’re still headed toward your goal. The second thing you need to do, is you need to stay committed. Don’t jump ship before you reap the benefits. Keep at it, keep writing, keep putting one foot in front of the the other, day after day. Keep serving your clients, because we still have to do that, while we’re doing all this other stuff. Yes, it takes work. Here’s another thing that you need to do. Take a break. It is so important. When we work so hard to grow our businesses and we strive to be the companies that we really want to create, we can really work too much. That can actually hurt our marketing. It can hurt our sales. It can hurt our customer service. While you’re doing all this hard work, really make sure that you take a break every once in a while. Relax. Read a book. Watch some TV. Whatever you need to do to chill, so that when it comes time to put in that hard work and effort, you’re ready to go, ready to be focused, and ready to stay committed.
There you go. That wraps up this episode of the SMA marketing minute. Two things that can deter us from achieving our online marketing goals.