Making your marketing more effective in 2018 requires you to ask, “What are my customers really looking for?” 

 

The one constant in marketing is that there is no constant. Marketing evolves. It changes over time. Approaches that worked just two years ago no longer pack the same punch. That’s why we promote the idea of “agile marketing” so heavily. Adapting your strategies to meet the desires of your customers, and to do right by them, is the key to long-term success.

One of the traps business owners fall into most easily is relying solely on analytics to drive marketing strategy. “My email blasts have a good click rate, so let’s email more.” Or, “I have 5,000 Facebook followers so let’s post our ads there.” These are common things we hear from clients, and that is troubling. The reason is that analytics just don’t provide a “big picture” solution to your marketing strategy.

Now, please don’t jump to the conclusion that we hate analytics. We don’t. In fact, we love them! We just see them for what they are: a powerful tool that makes measuring marketing efforts easier. That’s a good thing. But where analytics fail is in providing insight into what clients really want and what’s best for them. Yes, you have 5,000 Facebook followers, but have 90% of them hidden you from their feeds because they found your posts annoying? Facebook analytics won’t show you that. Yes, your emails get opened, but are your clients feeling like “enough is enough”? Will another email campaign be welcome? These are the things analytics cannot tell you. And the trouble is, relying on them too heavily inevitably leads to a marketing strategy that’s focused on the business and not the customer.

Let’s break the reliance on analytics only and focus on 3 ways to improve your strategy in 2018.

1.  Email isn’t the only game in town.

Marketers have been touting the death of emails for years. We’re not convinced that’s true, but we understand that it’s time to break our constant addiction to it. Why? Because the younger generation just isn’t that into it. Millennials, in fact, indicate that Facebook Messenger is their preferred electronic message delivery system. It’s easier, more focused, more spontaneous, more interactive, and creates a more personal connection. And that is what customers ultimately want: more engagement with companies and immediate responses to inquiries before they shop and buy.

Even if email is working for you, don’t neglect to explore other areas of message delivery. There is tremendous potential in that Facebook Messenger app alone to deliver your message. Have you looked into it?

2.  SEO has changed (again).

SEO is an ever-changing beast. Hubspot, a powerhouse developer and marketer of software products for inbound marketing and sales, says the future of SEO lies in topic clusters, which changes the blogging game significantly.

Google has been moving toward rewarding creators who create topic clusters for some time. This means that instead of Google looking at every individual post as its own SEO opportunity, it now looks at the scope of content being created by a given URL and sends more traffic to people who appear to be experts on a given topic.”

What does this mean for you? It means that blogging is still key, but standing out as an expert in your field is more important than ever. Quality content about topics in your area of expertise that are most important to your customer base will drive traffic to your site and ultimately change the direction of your business.

3.  Get comfortable with video.

Video marketing statistics are staggering: Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users; Sixty-four percent of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos; Views on branded video content have increased 258% on Facebook and 99% on YouTube as of June 2017; Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more. These are just a few! Video is suddenly critical to your overall strategy.

It can be intimidating to start, but try not to panic. Relaxed, short (less than 2 minutes each) videos housed on your website and social pages will work wonders. Begin by researching what your customer base needs to know, and then just address those needs via video.

What are all of these three tips pointing to? It’s the desire of customers to have real, intimate connections with businesses before they buy. That’s the secret, and it’s what analytics fails to gather. We advise you to implement these strategies and any others that will further true interaction with clients. Stress less over “hitting the numbers” in your analytics and more on quality connections with your audience. Less may be more.