Posts tagged business marketing
How long it takes for marketing to work

Are you wondering how long it takes before your marketing should be expected to begin boosting sales or lead conversion? Do you get impatient to see marketing results? I do! 

As business owners, we should be interested in how our marketing is doing and regularly check performance, but I have also seen clients give up way too quickly on a strategy because they expected too much too soon. Or the wrong results from the wrong type of marketing.

How long should you wait to measure your marketing or make a call on its effectiveness so you can either keep it going or make improvements? It depends on the platform, your audience and what type of results you're after. 

how long for marketing to work

Paid search ads, for example, can take several days - even a couple weeks - to "learn" how to get in front of the right people at the right time. Google utilizes complicated algorithms and testing to help your ad get to peak performance. Facebook does the same and is increasingly allowing more defined targeting with its paid ads. As long as an ad is showing decent adoption each week, I recommend clients give it a solid month before making a judgement call on how well their ad campaign is doing. A good ads manager will make tweaks about once or twice a week but still give it space to let the learning happen. 

Social media posts can also take days to work all the way through your following. I try not to put insights down for a social post until at least 48 hours after posting to make sure it's run its course. Even then, you'll notice older posts still getting traction since they're available to new followers or anyone randomly browsing your account (that's not creepy at all).

SEO doesn’t register with search engines for a few days and can take months to really gain traction. This is because Google and other search platforms are looking for combined SEO tactics to rank your website. It’s the power of the consistent combo. I’ve had clients ask me to help them rank higher about 60-90 days after their website is built. Unless their site was built by someone with very little SEO knowledge (a website builder worth their salt will optimize it fine), the problem is usually that they haven’t given it time to prove itself in cyberspace.

My advice is to take SEO very seriously when you first build your website, it’s much harder to get it caught up after the fact. You can, however, make changes that help a lot - but it still isn’t an overnight solution. AND, while I’m harping on SEO, if this is a priority strategy, you need to have it handled by a pro. For realz.

Some marketing campaigns are more about brand awareness and others are pushing an audience already following you to take the next step to engage with your content or buy. Some strategies are to gain leads and others are about warming up leads for a big promotion you're about to do. These can all factor into how long you need to wait to see if your marketing is actually working. 

You also need to consider the product you’re marketing for. Some purchases - like buying a home, car or college enrollment - require a longer period for the client to make a decision about. If you're a luxury real estate agent pushing high priced properties, that's a BIG ask. You have to let a would-be buyer marinate on that big, important purchase for much longer than, say, a new pair of shoes. 

The bottom line is to commit to a marketing strategy and let it loose for a reasonable amount of time before you make any major changes. Usually, I recommend a solid 90 days for a well planned campaign. With some tweaking along the way, three months will give your marketing enough time to consistently do its job and reveal all its strengths and weaknesses for improving upon. 

Failing to give your marketing time to work will only cause you to assume it was a bad plan and remain in the dark on what your audience wants and will respond to, which is only going to hurt your business and have wasted your efforts.

If you’re tired of guessing and are ready to turn your small business marketing over to a professional marketing director, I’d love to talk with you about your needs and vision.

Why email marketing should be a cornerstone of your marketing strategy

Emails are my favorite marketing strategy. If you follow me on Insta, you’ll know how frequently I nerd out about emails. Especially directly following a social media outage (insert eye roll). If you’ve been a client of mine, you’ll also know I almost always add an email strategy to my services because, well, here are all the reasons why:

small business email marketing

No dodging the algorithm!

Emails are MUCH more likely to get your message to the part of your audience that's ready to buy. This is HUGE. It's a gamble when you post on social media or run online ads - will they see it? Will they see it enough to convert to a buyer? With emails, you're putting that direct connection right into an inbox. No algorithm to fight. When you’re concerned your message isn’t getting through a well timed, well crafted email can confirm you’re getting communication to the right people. Whether they choose to open it, read it or take you up on your offer is up to your audience, but you will know you’ve done your part in getting your offer as in front of their eyeballs as you can.

The happy medium of messaging

Emails can give just enough info without demanding too much time from your fans. A couple paragraphs of great advice or a few steps to success and they'll be hooked and appreciative. It's the happy medium between super short social posts that are difficult to craft and more lengthy blogs that take time and regular updating (if you want to stay SEO’d). Now, I’ve had a lot of practice writing emails - both for my business and slews of campaigns for the corporate job, but my weekly email only takes me about 30 minutes tops to write, refine, link check and schedule in MailChimp.

Automate that sucker

Emails can be AUTOMATED. Oh sweet goodness, this is the BEST part. I personally use MailChimp to schedule them and it's a time and life saver. I can create several at once, schedule and done. Or, if I feel the content needs to be extra fresh - say I’m promoting a monthly giveaway or a recent blog post - I can put it together and schedule to send that day. Today’s email platforms are versatile and offer tremendous convenience for set-it-and-forget-it marketing.

Oh, hey, I can just click right here. How convenient!

Emails help the user take immediate action. With social, you're always "link in profiling-it" - so annoying! That extra step your fans have to take to get to your website, blog or video link is actually a huge downside to the effectiveness of marketing. For every step required, the audience is more likely to bail and not move forward. With emails, you can link directly in the body copy and reduce the amount of steps your readers have to take to find your services or product or blog or video or whatever it is you're promoting. Or, add a fancy button to really grab their attention and encourage a click through.

It’s free!

For a small business with a few hundred people on your email list, you can get by doing emailing for free. Even a growing business with larger lists to manage can still keep email marketing very affordable. In fact, the first thing I recommend to an entrepreneur looking for a simple, no cost marketing plan is weekly or bi-weekly emails. There are other free ways to market, sure, but the amount of time most other methods take compared to half an hour a week on a great email that gets right in front of your audience makes this marketing tool a no brainer.

I hope I've convinced you to join my club as an email marketing lover! If you need help getting your email strategy off the ground, it's one of my favorite offerings. Check out my services list including pricing for full campaigns and one-off email creation.

A marketing checklist for your business launch
business launch marketing checklist

Launching your own business involves an endless amount of tasks. Between business planning, budgeting, developing out your product or services, licensing, supplies to purchase and on and on, you may struggle to catch your breath. Looking for a way to make it easier? Allow your fellow boss babe to lend a hand.

Here’s a quick checklist of the primary branding and marketing assets you’ll need for a successful business or product launch.

  • Name

  • Tagline

  • Business description (think elevator pitch)

  • Branding

    • Brand colors

    • Logos

    • Fonts

  • Website (a basic home page, about page and contact page is fine to start with!)

  • Marketing budget

  • Marketing plan

Do you need social content? Maybe. Emails ready to go? Maybe. A Facebook page? Possibly. Everything outside of the list above will be determined by your marketing plan. What you don’t want to do is throw time and energy into an extensive list of marketing must-haves before you map out goals, a budget, a strategy and a plan.

If you want pro guidance through the launch of your business or a new product or service, grab my 3-month marketing plan from The Marketing Plan Shop. It will help you go step-by-step through planning and even includes a nifty branding checklist so you can identify exactly what your business needs and keep track of all the marketing details.

Why your business needs a marketing journey, ASAP

Have you created a marketing journey for your audience, or a marketing maze?

Marketing Journey

If there’s one potent marketing lesson I could offer small business owners - and even some inexperienced marketing professionals - it’s that you want your audience on a journey, not forced to navigate the mess of a maze to buy what you’re offering. Here’s the difference.

A marketing maze leaves out important steps your perfect client is likely to take in their relationship with your business to shift from stranger to follower to fan to customer to repeat customer to referrer. A maze is inconsistent in brand identity, timing, message and/or calls to action.

A marketing maze is created when you get caught up in trying to attract new leads or clients without planning out the path you’d like to put them on once they respond. It’s confusing, and it’ll lose people along the way - oftentimes without you even realizing they dipped out.

A maze is not only messy for your followers, it’s deceiving for you as a business owner - you may think it’s working because a few people will persist and find their way to the end, but what you may not be aware of is how many you’re turning off with its twists and turns. (This is where reading marketing data is vital, another essential aspect of great marketing.)

A marketing journey is a clearly mapped out path from attraction to conversion. It’s a carefully considered plan that ties everything together from who you’re wanting to go after to where you’ll attract them to that first piece of content they’ll see to how you’ll keep them engaged, how you’ll push for response and where they’ll go to respond. Then, how you’ll continue to communicate so they’ll keep buying or give you a great testimonial. A marketing journey is very intentional and reduces the work your audience member has to do to get to each next step - preventing them from bailing along the way.

You know what I’ve noticed leads many small business owners to a marketing maze? Patience.

Not great ideas. Not creativity. Not budget - although if you’ve got the money for it, I HIGHLY recommend paying a professional to help you with a marketing journey. Not smart business goals and decision-making. What keeps most of us (I can be guilty, too!) from truly effective marketing is the patience to pause, reevaluate, and be as intentional with marketing planning as you are with your business planning.

If you’re concerned your marketing is more of a maze than a journey, here’s what you should do, immediately.

  1. Put a half-day block on your calendar.

  2. Get a marketing plan.

  3. Spend some concentrated time planning your marketing - from business goals to budget to which platforms you’ll use to how you’ll follow-up after purchase. The marketing plan will help you think through every aspect of an exceptional journey.

Of course, I’m always here to help you determine what’s next for your marketing. Sign up for a consultation.

When to hire a digital marketer or outsource your small business marketing

Should you hire a digital marketer? Should you hire a part-time digital marketer? Should you outsource to a marketing agency?

Is the investment into marketing worth the money? Is your business ready to support a full-time or part-time digital marketer? Or, could you outsource your digital marketing to a pro and save a ton in employee overhead?

As your business grows, you’ll go through alllllll kinds of growth pains and have to make alllllll kinds of decisions. Let me make the decision to hire for marketing a little clearer and easier for you.

First, there’s a difference in outsourcing your digital marketing and hiring a digital marketer to your company team. I believe in most cases, if your business is healthy and growing, you’ll eventually have to do both. Which is why I want to speak to both scenarios.

I have experience working as a full-time director of marketing in the corporate setting as a part of a team. I also know what it’s like to provide outsourced digital marketing to small/medium businesses that don’t have a dedicated marketing team yet. Here’s a checklist to help you confirm when you should outsource your digital marketing and when you’re ready for a dedicated team member or two.

When to outsource to a digital marketer

  • Early on, when your business needs a few online marketing tasks managed but not necessarily the full-scale marketing treatment.

  • When you can no longer justify spending your time doing marketing and you need to turn it over so you can make more money focusing on what your business bottom lines are.

  • When your own marketing approach is simply.not.working - get some pro help!!

  • When you can afford to spend at least $250/month on marketing management of some sort. This could be email marketing, social media marketing, website management, social or Google ads management, etc. Disclaimer: $250 isn’t necessarily my rate or someone else’s rate for a marketing service. To me, $250 signifies about where your business profit needs to be to start thinking of regular monthly outsourcing. Honestly, this is the lower end of many digital marketing services and you’re not going to get “the works” for that amount (beware super cheap vendors!!) but it’s a good place to start as you’re considering whether or not your business can begin to support outsourcing something and taking a little off your plate.

  • When you can afford to spend $1,000+/month on marketing. Um, if you’re profiting enough each month to put some serious dough into your marketing - DO IT. DO IT YESTERDAY. That means your business can’t afford for you to keep spending time on its marketing. Outsourcing will free you up to keep doing what you’re doing - and even better - and get you some knowledgable, professional marketing help that will take you to new heights in no time. This is a no-brainer.

digital marketer

When to hire a digital marketer to your team

  • When you can afford a digital marketer salary - and it’s less or equal to what you’re spending to outsource. This number will depend on where you live (you can easily look up local salary comparisons online) or how much you want to spend if you search for a remote team member. If you’re unsure, it wouldn’t hurt to put some hiring ads out and do a few interviews to get some confirmation that’s the route you’re ready for.

  • When you’re ready to manage/lead a new team member. Remember that leadership also requires a time investment, so consider whether you’re ready to lead them, cultivate their career, bring them into the culture of the company and facilitate their interactions with you and other team members first.

  • When you’re ready to have an in-house marketing team. If you run a company that could truly benefit from dedicated, in-house marketing, a digital marketer is a must. There are many roles that can still be outsourced but someone to oversee your digital marketing plan and work with those outsourced vendors is a good foundation for building a full team upon.

I hope this was helpful! As always, put questions in the comments below or let me know if you benefitted from this blog. I love feedback and to know someone’s reading :) Best wishes as you invest in your business marketing!