30 Mar 6 Ways to Avoid the Trap of On-Again, Off-Again Marketing
An ad rep used to compare companies who ran stop-and-go marketing campaigns to a driver who gets on the interstate for a quarter of a mile, gets off and then gets back on the on-ramp again to drive another quarter of a mile. Sure they got where they were going, eventually, maybe, but more often than not they wasted a lot of gas and time getting off and on again.
In January, many companies make their own resolutions to do better about keeping with their social marketing. They promise to blog more regularly and to send out e-mail newsletters every month. For a while things go well, until business picks up six weeks later or they hit a spell of writer’s’ block. Suddenly, they are stalled.
As an inbound marketing agency, we hear businesses every day lament the time it takes to really market well on social media or their website or even pay-per-click advertising. When we started Momentum Consulting we originally focused on traditional advertising and helping companies create a consistent, planned strategy for their marketing dollars. As we’ve shifted into more of a digital marketing company, our goal remains the same: help companies create a consistent, planned strategy for social media, blogging, paid online advertising and e-mail marketing.
In traditional advertising you have an ad rep who comes by, tells you where you need to be advertising (or what their “special” program package of the month is) and they ask you to buy. Often the media companies help you put together your ad and even your message. The good ones are pros at helping you create ads for the media they represent.
As more marketers have shifted to online marketing, it’s really become a DIY landscape. Without some training, many companies falter not sure how to create an online marketing campaign or even what their best options may be. So they find themselves on the on-ramp, revving up for a new social media platform or the start of a blog or their first e-mail newsletter only to take the exit ramp a few weeks later and try it all again in a month or two.
Save yourself some gas and time by using these tricks to avoid the on-again, off-again cycle.
- Start small. If you aren’t sure you can manage a full online marketing campaign, don’t try to start one. Find the social media platform where most of your customers have accounts and commit (really commit) to posting there 3-4 times a week. Set one day a month or a week to schedule out posts. Then check back at the same time every day to respond to comments and messages.
- Plan ahead. If you’re starting in the middle of the year, that’s okay. Think about the next six to twelve months and create a theme for each month or each quarter. What events are coming up? Can you write about it? Post a video? Take some pictures? It’s so much easier to think ahead than to wish you had gotten the video or pictures you needed later.
- Get some help. Maybe you enlist an employee to remind you to check social media every day. Maybe you hire an inbound marketing agency to write blog posts and landing page copy for you. Or maybe you look for someone with pay-per-click skills to teach you what you need to know. Without your trusty ad reps to guide you, it’s easy to get confused with all the options. You don’t have to go it alone.
- Reward yourself. If you’ve scheduled four posts for your company on Facebook for this week, allow yourself ten minutes (okay, we know it will really be an hour) to watch cat videos on YouTube without feeling guilty about it.
- Measure, test and report how your work stacked up. If you create the perfect newsletter but no one calls or even mentions it, what was the point? Set goals for all your campaigns. Decide on your most important metrics and see what increases your success.
- Give it time. I helped a group of small businesses run Christmas ads on a local television station one year in a previous job. Within 48 hours of the commercial running, the retail stores had people walking in, mentioning the commercial and buying. It was like magic. Unless you are a retail store skilled at social e-commerce, online marketing doesn’t usually work like that. It takes time to cultivate a relationship with your customers. Don’t expect immediate results.
The great benefit of our social marketing culture is the content you post to social media and your blog will live on, even if you take the off ramp for a pit-stop. Like traditional marketing, however, the more you have a consistent presence with your customer, the more likely you will be to win their business.