As business owners ourselves, we know there’s a lot going on right now. But then again, it’s also the most important time to take a step back to reflect and understand where to take the next year of your business. Acquire and expand? Shrink and tighten? Hold the course?
Whether you understand how or why, marketing can play a huge part in helping you achieve your business goals for 2021. Done right, marketing can effectively communicate to your current and potential customers and alley-oop your business to success by generating potential leads.
And while your exact marketing strategy can and SHOULD depend on your industry, your audience, and your overall business growth goals, there are a number of marketing efforts that nearly every business owner should implement regularly.
Be proactive about your marketing efforts in 2021 by following this general roadmap—and make an informed decision about which marketing services you may or may not need to implement.
Besides simply taking stock at the end of the year, we recommend going through a few basic marketing assessments as you prepare to grow.
Annual Marketing Efforts
Marketing Audit & Updates
At the start of the year, or ideally before that, you should take stock of the tools and assets you already have, including your website, social profiles, paid advertising channels, and other marketing automation tools and/or platforms. Make a list of each, including how much they cost and who on your team is in charge of managing them.
Then figure out what’s working and what’s not.
- Does it engage and challenge your audience to keep them coming back for more?
- Is there time or money you are spending on something that could be better served elsewhere?
- Are you using it in its full capacity? If not, why? Conversely, are you “double dipping” on marketing services?
This should also include your website(s).
A Website Audit
At least once a year, ask yourself, “Do I need a new website?” As a web agency, you would probably expect our answer to this question to never waiver from “absolutely.”
In all honesty, though, a good website redesign should last you for years. It should have the capability of growing with you as your business, audience, and overall offerings change or expand.
There are three important things a website absolutely MUST be able to accomplish for you to be a “good” website.
(1) It accurately reflects who you are and what you do. Does it tell your story in a way that helps your audience know what to expect when working with you? Does it list all of your products and/or services?
(2) It shows up in search results—and not just when you search your own name. Your website should index organically for search terms that relate to your products or service. That’s not to say you’re ranking #1 for every keyphrase imaginable. But if you’re not even on page 2 (or 50 for that matter), you might have a larger issue at hand that needs to be resolved.
(3) It converts users into leads. Do you receive regular contact form submissions? Semi-regular? Figure out, on average, how many leads your website generates over any given time period. Then go back and do some digging. How many of those leads converted into a purchase or appointment? Getting at least a general idea of your marketing funnel will help you determine whether or not you need a website redesign.
So even if your website is ugly, doesn’t load quickly, and uses questionable-quality photos—all the telltale signs of a “bad” website—but it’s still making you money, by all means, carry on 🤙
On the other hand, if your website isn’t hitting all three criteria, it’s time to let go of the past ⚰️ and look toward at LEAST refreshing your website, if not redesigning it altogether.
12-Month Content Plan
Create the next six months to a year of your marketing plan when possible. This gives your team enough time to adequately research and prepare, but not so long that you lose sight of your business goals or invest too much time into marketing services that aren’t working. And don’t ever be afraid to pivot. #Hello2020Struggles
Quarterly Marketing Efforts
A well-maintained website is a happy website 👍 At least once quarterly, you should audit your website for:
- 404 Errors
- Missing H1s
- Missing Metadata
- Spelling / Grammar Errors
- Broken Links
- Inventory Stock & Accuracy (if E-Commerce)
Research New Trends & Tools
What external expertise can you bring in to help? Whether it’s signing up for webinars, bringing in a consultant, or hiring an agency, we believe in never letting a business stay stagnant. Constantly seeking new knowledge can help you anticipate and capitalize on trends that otherwise would have passed you by.
Ask yourself a few key questions and decide what sorts of answers or solutions you’d like to find beforehand.
- What are your competitors doing? What did they do well last year and what did they do poorly?
- What market segments do you have a better handle on this year and how do you capitalize on them? Conversely, what areas of the business might you be struggling in and how can you concentrate your marketing on getting it back on course?
- How much does ~the thing~ cost and how much will it make you back? Always, always think like a business owner when it comes to new tools or trends.
Monthly Marketing Efforts
Stay on course with your marketing services. Continually measure your efforts. And constantly challenge yourself or your team to come up with new ideas, stay on top of trends, and keep the needs of the business and its customers top of mind.
It’s that easy 😉
Consider Bringing in The Big Guns
When is it time to bring in an agency to handle any or all of your marketing services? The answer should depend on the acquisition cost of your average lead.
If you’re not doing ANY active marketing at the moment, you can see that as “spending zero” to produce a purchase. Let’s say that your average purchase is $10.
Eventually, though, those purchases run the risk of declining, either in average purchase amount, in volume, or both. So what if we told you you could spend $3 to keep making $10 and gain new customers along the way? Or even better, spending $3 to make $15? Most business owners would sign on the dotted line.
Then again, what if you had to pay $6 or $7 to make $15…? Would you still do it? That might give you a bit more of a pause.
Understanding your current cost per acquisition, the lifetime value of your average lead, and how much you are willing to pay to acquire new customers is all part of the journey toward hiring a marketing agency.
Should I hire out for marketing services?
Whether or not to outsource your marketing is a lot more nuanced than most people realize at first glance. That’s why we often work with clients during a one-hour consultation before proposing any marketing services or other project contract.
Unlike most marketing agencies in Kansas City, Lifted Logic ends up saying “no” a lot more than we say “yes.” If we don’t believe we can make back the money you would spend on our marketing services and more, it’s better for us to be honest and upfront than to try to waste our time and yours on trying to “pretend” like you made a good investment.
While it can cut into your margin, the ability to get the robust capabilities and knowledge base of an agency for what is essentially the cost of one full-time employee may be worth outsourcing.
Here are the top 5 most important things to look for in a digital marketing agency →
Where you came from, where you are, and where you’re going
Overall, your 2021 marketing plan should be what best serves your organization and the people within it. It should work towards generating the leads you need to keep growing with the least amount of time and money possible.
✨ Updating your website as needed
✨ Implementing a multi-channel marketing strategy based on your target audience
So NOT Cool
🚫 Waiting on social media (or any other passively consumed marketing channel) to make you money
🚫 Over-automating your marketing for the sake of doing so
🚫 Not doing any of the aforementioned cool kid things, but ESPECIALLY not paying attention to your KPIs
Looking for marketing services in Kansas City?
Lifted Logic is a veteran agency in the KC community. But just because we’ve been around for a while (ahem, 12 years and counting) doesn’t mean we like to do things the way they’ve always been done.
We pride ourselves on offering flexible and strategic marketing services for everyone from small businesses and nonprofit organizations to multi-million dollar corporate operations. Our expert team of SEOs, content strategists, and business consultants are dedicated to providing well-rounded marketing solutions that make sense for your business and your audience.
Get in touch today or use our cost calculator tool to get started.