Today is National Merry-Go-Round Day. These iconic amusement rides consist of a circular rotating platform where riders sit atop wooden animals as they run mindlessly in circles while the horses slowly elevate, lower back down, and come up again. This repeats until the ride is over, and it is the perfect metaphor for a failing marketing strategy.
Poorly executed marketing strategies have the same merry-go-round motion; their rinse and repeat cyclical offering continues to run a circle while engagement metrics and rankings raise and lower like a pointless carousel horse. When businesses get stuck in this motion there is no real growth, and like the classic carousel, it gives the illusion of progress but instead exists as the classic reason why businesses continue to invest in marketing services that give the semblance of motion but fail to garner growth.
All too often, digital marketing agencies meet with organizations stuck on this ride who aren’t even aware of their failed progress due to distraction caused by all the bells and whistles. So long as their sales cycle aligns and they the organization fits the ideal profile, investing in a digital marketing growth stack is the best move any business can make that will remove them from the cyclical ennui or carousel madness and set them on a steady path for measurable growth.
Here are five signs that you are stuck mesmerized on that wooden horse and need to get off before you lose your lunch.
1. You’ve Made Assumptions About Your Buyers
In order to reach prospects with meaningful content that inspires them to make a purchase, you must first understand your customers. This means there is no room for making assumptions about who they are, and why they would want to buy your products. It is important to understand how people engage your industry-related content, your brand’s material, and what their pains and needs are. Then you need to determine why your products provide the best solution to those needs, and also understand why people don’t buy from you.
Start by talking to your sales department; ask them to share all known pain points expressed by leads, as well as what lead them to make a purchase and why they chose to buy elsewhere. It is also well worth it to comb through your emails and look for any information that reveals more about who your customers are. You can also send out surveys to current clients, as well as those who never converted. Creating detailed buyer personas will help you create road maps for reaching your target audience with messaging and content that inspires them to buy.
2. SEO is Driving Traffic that Doesn’t Convert
Back in the day, search marketers would rank various web pages for broad keywords with high search volume and focused very little on conversions. It was all about ranking. Unfortunately, some SEO service provider still run their operations like it’s 2008. If you rank on page one of Google for a few keywords, your overall rankings fluctuate a lot, you get a steady increase in organic traffic, yet you have a horrendous bounce rate and zero to few conversions, then you are stuck on a ride that’s taking you nowhere. In order to run a successful SEO strategy in today’s landscape where Google’s algorithm runs on AI and machine learning, creating content that is written to satisfy search intent will not only garner better and consistent rankings, but also results in conversions. Keywords still matter; just make sure you use variations of them all within a context that provides the right audience with information they care about.
3. Your Content is Random and Scattered
Any business knows that blogging is highly valuable. It shows buyers you stay active in your industry, sets you up to be viewed as a leader in your space, helps attract new customers, and it improves SEO. The problem is that most blogs are randomly chosen, poorly written, and they focus on ranking keywords. When blogs are written without taking the reader into account, you might as well be writing to the trees. Continuously writing blogs with no direction will keep you firmly in place on that marketing merry-go-round. Instead, create a blog calendar of unique topics that address the primary buyer pains, needs, and questions your customers care about. Be sure to write each one with a contextual layer that honors the buyer persona, and link every blog to your pillar page–a primary product or service page you are optimizing. You can also link to other blogs that address similar subjects. Not only will this provide for structural content that Google can easily crawl, it will provide a better user experience for your customers.
4. Your Email Marketing Runs on Blast Mode
Another tell-tale sign you are a modern day Sisyphus is if you have a healthy email list and you blast out the same offer to all your contacts once or twice a month. Remember, your buyers consist of multiple personas and each has a unique pain point that’s driving them to seek out companies just like yours. In order to customize email content you must first segment your list according to buyer personas. You should also do some housekeeping and remove any emails that fail to click through. They are either outdated or completely uninterested. Either way, cleaning up your email list every quarter will help provide more accurate data.
Once you have segmented your email list you will want to invest in a marketing automation platform that not only sends specific emails to the right buyer persona groups at the right time, but one that allows for workflows to nurture leads into customers through various scenario-based messaging and content pieces.
5. Your Creative Development is Viewed as a One-Hit-Wonder
You are definitely stuck on the marketing merry-go-round if you don’t feel the need to switch up the aesthetic look and functionality of your website. Too many organizations invest in high-end websites that look and function beautifully. But this doesn’t necessarily mean the site is optimized to garner higher engagement and more sales. You might be surprised to learn that simply moving a CTA, making minor changes to page layouts, and even using different images can result in longer session duration, more viewed pages per session, and a higher conversion rate. Take a look at your web pages that have the highest engagement. What do they have in common? Compare them to your poorly performing pages and look to see what’s lacking. You can also run A/B testing by splitting your traffic and sending them to the original page, and one with modifications. Once you determine the preferred look and functionality, optimize as needed, and continue to test.
Are You Ready to Stop Confining Your Growth to a Circular Pattern?
Circular movement may give the semblance of progress, but there is never any consistent climb. If this article got you thinking about how to hit your growth goals, we think you will LOVE our FREE guide on growth marketing stacks. If you want to discover how to leverage strategies and tools to help you hit your growth goals, this guide will offer some valuable tips and even help you determine if your organization is an ideal candidate for such a customized strategy. Got questions? Give us a call and together let’s look for solutions to your problems.