We live in an impatient society. From overnight shipping to the most responsive smartphone, everything in life is geared towards speed. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day. The quicker we can get through everything, the better. When it comes to marketing your small business, however, waiting for results can get old-fast. While different strategies have different timetables for measurable results, how long should you wait before tweaking your approach? More importantly, when should you expect to see results from your marketing efforts?
Everybody Wants Results
Every business owner wants overnight results. Ideally, folks would be lined up at the door before you even open the doors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. With that said, best practice for digital marketing is geared around long-term efforts, not quick fixes. That’s the reason we’re seeing content marketing becoming an integral part of so many marketing strategies across the board.
Real digital marketing results are measured by things like ROI, website traffic, and conversions. The more specific you set the objectives of a campaign, the more measurable your results are. For example, say you develop a campaign to garner more subscribers to your monthly newsletter. To determine the campaign’s effectiveness, simply measure the number of subscribers before and after you launched the campaign.
Any marketing company can employ bots, black hat SEO techniques, and manipulated links to deliver “instant” results, but these results aren’t genuine. Bots aren’t real customers, and an influx of fake customers to your social media feeds won’t fool anyone. To get real results, you have to stick with it. What kinds of things contribute to long-term success when it comes to your digital marketing strategies?
What to Look For
Similar to marketing strategy, one size does not fit all. That means your results will depend on a number of different factors, including what kind of business you’re in, where you are geographically, and how long you’ve been in business. For example, if you have a questionable reputation, it’ll be more difficult to get yourself back in the good graces. Conversely, if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll have a better time setting yourself up for success.
The effectiveness of your marketing efforts is also largely related to your budget. Obviously, the more time and money invested in marketing, the faster you’ll see results. At the same time, it’s important to focus on the areas that will bear the most meaningful results, like SEO and PPC. You can’t make everyone a customer, so you shouldn’t try to reach everyone. Taper your marketing messages to appeal to your target audiences and align your strategies to complement one another.
When it comes to marketing, the work is never over, even when you start to see results. Maintaining those results means a constant commitment to the continuous implementation of your strategies. You can’t take your foot off the gas, and you can’t mail it in. Even when goals are met, new goals are set. It’s a continuous, constant effort that never stops, but it’s worth it. Every day there are new potential customers, but you have to remember to balance your efforts between appealing to new customers and current ones.
Techniques For Success
While it may take over a year to see the effects of SEO work, the efforts are well-justified. More than half of all web traffic comes from organic searches like Google. That means when it comes to helping customers find your business, SEO is your best friend. Search engine optimization also drives 1000% more traffic than organic social media, so even if you have a robust social media presence, don’t sleep on SEO.
The most important thing to remember is not to give up. It may be demoralizing to stick with a campaign for a few months and see it coming up empty. Before you throw in the towel, you have to determine what the problem is, if any. Perhaps you made the wrong appeal. Maybe the competition came out with a better product or service. It may even be possible that you’re using the wrong channels to communicate your message. Remember to collect and analyze data regularly. When it comes to measuring results, nothing is more valuable than data.
Most importantly, don’t try to do it alone. Even the most powerful brands in the world work with marketing agencies. Figure out what you hope to accomplish from marketing your business or brand, and determine whether a larger or smaller agency would fit better with your unique circumstances. A professional marketing agency will help you get real results, measurable by an increase in customers, revenue, and visibility. Remember to stick with it; real results don’t come overnight. Be patient, trust your data and analysis, and set SMART goals.