Businesses and organizations of all kinds want to revamp their marketing. They know marketing can be an effective way to grow and thrive; they just don’t quite know how to do it.
Marketing should help your business get attention, acquire customers, and grow. Doing it really just comes down to the following questions:
Who do we want to take action?
What do we want them to do?
How do we get them to do it?
Once you know these three things, you’re headed in the right direction.
Marketing Gets a Bad Rap
The word “marketing” in general gets a bad rap because, to be honest, marketing can be confusing and expensive. A lot of people spend weeks, months, and even years wasting a ton of time and money on marketing that just doesn’t work. When you do that, it leaves you feeling pretty frustrated and disappointed — and understandably so.
The reality is that marketing is ultimately an exercise in experimentation, but there are some very specific things that you should be doing, and in a very specific order.
The thing is, when you go into business or get into leadership at an organization, it’s not like someone tells you exactly what to do when it comes to marketing. There’s no playbook provided, so then they don’t even start in the right spot. And if you don’t start in the right spot to begin with, it makes it much more difficult to ever see any kind of success.
Basic Marketing Funnel
In every industry, there are three stages every customer goes through: first, they’re strangers; then, they’re visitors; and finally, they’re prospects who, hopefully, buy from you.
Are you making it easy for your customers to get to the finish line?
Every one of your customers starts as a stranger.
They don’t know you, they don’t know your business, and they don’t know anything about how to get connected to you. As a result, they’re unsure of why you matter because they’re just trying to solve a particular problem. They may not be looking for a certain product or service, but they are looking for a solution. So, you have to attract them in some way.
How do you attract people now? How do you get new customers? Most of you probably do it through word of mouth. And that’s great! That’s the best marketing you’ll ever have. Some people like to say, “We don’t really need to do marketing because we have great word of mouth.”
Wonderful. But what if you’re missing out on an incredible opportunity by having great marketing? In fact, if your number one way of connecting people is word of mouth, then having good marketing in place and good messaging along the way is going to help that word of mouth actually multiply.
Somebody’s a stranger and they’re attracted to your business in some way. Maybe it’s just word of mouth. Maybe they saw a post on Facebook or one of your friends’ Facebooks. Maybe they saw it on Instagram or on TikTok, or they saw a billboard or a magazine ad, or maybe they read a blog post that you wrote. Maybe they saw a video that you created on any number of channels.
There’s a lot of ways that someone could be attracted to your business. Once they are attracted and they want to find out more, they become a visitor.
Now in the context of this scenario, we’re talking primarily about web visitors, which very often is the first contact from a connection standpoint. People see your brand somehow, and then, if they’re interested or even a little curious, they’re going to check you out.
So what will usually happen in that scenario is they’re going to Google you. And when they do, they need to be able to find a good website where they can learn more about you. Once they’ve landed on your website, there’s a problem: You don’t know who they are. And if you don’t know who they are, you can’t follow up.
If you can’t follow up, you can’t get their business. So you have to convert them. Here’s how you do it:
You need to give them something of value (something free, something that is so helpful that it almost pains you to give away). In exchange for this free piece of content, they give you their phone number or their email address so you can follow up with them.
Once you have their contact information, you have the opportunity to turn that prospect into a closed deal, or a paying customer (this may also be a donor or volunteer, whatever you need). Then, once you close the deal, you’re going to serve them.
No matter what your product or service is, your goal should be to delight them in the process. What many businesses get wrong is that they think, “Oh, I closed the deal. Great. Onto the next one!” and then they forget about the customer that just bought from them.
That is a big mistake. If you do right by your customers, then they can build you a lot of business over time — not just their business, but the business of others’ via word of mouth.
So remember: Close the deal, and then look for ways to delight your customer. Then, they’re going to renew, they’re going to be upsold, they’re going to refer people to you.
It really is that simple. It’s just a matter of taking the time to understand these things and apply them to your business. Trust us, the time spent is worth it because the ROI is great.
A Small Start Can Make a Big Impact
Every business can use some improvement. Every business falls short. This is especially true if you’ve tried lots of marketing tactics that just didn’t seem to work or have skipped marketing altogether because it’s too much of a confusing headache.
You’ll never know what works if you don’t try. So, start small. Here’s where you can begin:
- Clarify your message. We recommend going through StoryBrand, but if you can just simplify what you do, how it can make your customers’ lives better, and how they can get your product or service, it’ll make all the difference. Think about what you do and how your offerings help your customers, then try to put that in 2-3 sentences.
- Identify your ideal customer. What do you hope for in your potential customers? What do they like? What do they buy from you? How much do they spend? These are things you should be thinking about because you can market to anyone — but you can’t market to everyone and expect to be successful.
- Know your key differentiators. Most businesses have a lot of competition, so it’s important to know what sets you apart. When you know this, you can share it with your customers, who will then see something different in you and then, hopefully, want to do business with you.
Ready to Revamp Your Marketing?
We know that marketing can be confusing and expensive. We make it simple and effective, and it all starts with one of our blueprints. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the marketing information out there, or just plain tired of trying to figure things out yourself, our team would love to help you. We follow a very simple process (plan, produce, promote) and keep you informed every step of the way, so you always know what’s going on with your business marketing.
Click here to get started with our StoryBrand Certified Agency.