Posts tagged digital 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.

Five email list builders that WORK

I love working with entrepreneurs who understand how important it is to build their email list and send emails on the regular. I often get asked how someone can entice a website visitor or social media follower to drop their email in exchange for something of value. There are a gajillion ways you can do this but here are a few that have worked well for me.

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Checklists

My audience devours these. I guess because when you’re slammed trying to parent, build a business, keep up with the chores, manage your time well and feel productive, a good checklist comes in handy.

I love to boil my advice down to actionable lists that are easy for someone else to apply to their life. If you’re familiar with Adobe Acrobat or Canva, these are pretty simple to make. If you want to make a big splash by promoting/advertising the list on social, you may want to hire a graphic designer to turn it into serious eye candy. If you’re looking for ideas, refer to your social posts or blog posts for inspiration on what you can break down into steps.

Free consultations

I’ve called these by different names before - a website audit, a strategy session, a content coaching session but essentially they’re all just a specific type of consultation. I’ve had a lot of interest when I offer these. Just be sure you can actually afford to give your time away with these types of opt-ins as they can really drain the clock. I like to put a limit on openings to prevent from over extending my time investment. These offers are probably the most effective for me in building my email list, and have often provided a no-pressure, soft introduction to a new client.

Referral incentives

I offer the deepest discounts to those who refer me. Referrals are gold so it’s worth it to put an attractive offer on them. I typically ask my current email list for referrals and a nice percentage off certain services in return. For these, you’ll want to make sure you give instructions on how the follower can get the referral incentive. For example, make sure you explain; forward this link to a friend and get 20% off such-and-such when they purchase. Just telling people to give you referrals without clear instructions will only make them wish they knew how.

Quizzes

I recently added a quiz to my site and it’s been very well received. Quizzes are kind of irresistible when they’re presented as a fun way to get great info, guidance or a silly, unexpected answer. Simply search Google for a quiz platform and you’ll find plenty to choose from that are created to help build your email list, many of which have free versions.

Access to free trainings

I give out a lot of free advice via social media, my emails and this blog but I am careful to save more in-depth training for those who give me their email or join my Facebook page. Want to get more instruction from me on a topic? You’re going to need to at least opt-in or join a page for that.

Sites like teachable.com are great for hosting educational videos, you can use a Facebook page for live videos (they save on the page so your followers can always view the content later) or upload to YouTube, make the link private and ask for email addresses in exchange for the private link. These are all ways you can become everyone’s favorite free advice giver.

Okay now your turn! I’d love to know what email opt-ins and list building ideas have worked best for you! Leave your comment below! Oh, and if you’d like to be on my email list to see what goodies my favorites get, email me to let me know.

How to write better email subject lines

This is one of the topics that resonates the most with my audience. Email subject lines are TRICKY to get right. And they have incredible power over whether your email gets opened or unsubscribed to. Yikes, no pressure! There’s a way to approach subject lines that takes practice and tremendous intentionality. First, watch the video. Then I’ll elaborate.

I often write a placeholder email subject line at first because I’m really weird about doing things in order. And I usually have an idea of what the theme of the email is going to be. But I almost ALWAYS come back to the subject line and study it very hard before committing. And, if you’re approaching your marketing writing properly, you’ll give everything - including the few words of a subject line - some time to marinate before committing.

After writing out the email, I’ll look through the content and intentionally put myself in the shoes of my perfect customer. What in this email is really beneficial to her? What would she need out of this the most? Of course, hopefully there are multiple values I’m providing in every email - see my Facebook live on how I put my marketing emails together - but there’s usually one thing that your best fans will grab onto. That’s the point you want to tease out in a subject line. It’s an art, I know. It takes practice. As everything in marketing goes, you will get it wrong as much as you get it right - but this approach will help. And it will train you in finding the point that will resonate with your audience in all of your marketing content.

If you found this helpful or are curious about making your emails, including subject lines, more effective, I’d love to read your comment below! Thanks for reading, friend :)

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.

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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!

Why not sending emails is costing your business

If you’ve followed me for long, you know I’m ALLLLLLL about simple, consistent marketing. I coach business owners that whatever they’re realistically going to DO is a better plan than aiming for what’s overwhelming and hard to keep up with. BUT….

Your audience still needs frequent messaging from you to actually convert.

47% of buyers view at least 3 to 5 pieces of content before deciding to speak with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report, 2016)

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Top digital marketing companies spend their time, money and talent orchestrating complicated customer journeys online. These journeys are strategized and scrutinized with the intention of “touching”, essentially sending some form of marketing message, a single potential customer several times a week. If your business is ready, you may be able to buy software or outsource a digital marketing pro to help create journeys for your business. Or, you can apply the same concept to a more basic marketing plan by increasing your “touches” - or messaging - by 2-3 pieces of marketing each week. If you’re not doing weekly or bi-weekly emails, that’s the first addition I recommend. Here’s why:

  • Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. – McKinsey

  • Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers "excellent" to "good" ROI. (Econsultancy, 2016)

  • Active email accounts are expected to hit 5.6 billion by 2019. (Statitsa, 2018)

  • About 49% of businesses use some form of email automation. (Emailmonday, 2018)

Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics

And for a personal anecdote, I began growing my email list and sending regular emails a few months ago. I can ABSOLUTELY tell a difference. My website traffic spikes after sending emails AND I’ve had followers who’ve been quietly observing my brand from the early stages engage more since I began sending emails to their inbox.

I could go on and on and bore you with more stats but here are three things I’ve observed from being in marketing for years - both in corporate and side-hustle world.

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  1. Email makes your audience feel informed, in-the-loop and special.

  2. You should NEVER hesitate to send emails, or increase the frequency of emailing, because you’re afraid of turning people off. Just like your social accounts, their freedom to unsubscribe simply means they’re not your ideal customer at that moment.

  3. Social media algorithms make it impossible to get your posts to ALL your followers. Email is far better at guaranteeing your message will get a chance at being seen by the recipient.

Of course, throwing emails into your marketing without a whole picture plan could make them more work than they’re worth. Learn what you need to do to choose the right course of action and tie it all together with a free consultation.

Also, join my Facebook Group and tune in for free trainings on email campaigns and all other things digital marketing related!