My daughter Violet is now 2 years and 9 months old, which must be the developmental phase for questioning all things in life. That means I hear “Why, Daddy?” after literally anything I say to her. Just the other day on our walk home from daycare through Central Park, I was caught in a barrage of “Why’s” that led me to explain everything from why sports teams wear uniforms to why people play sports in the first place.
It was an enlightening experience for me considering I hadn’t ever contemplated why kids are drawn to sports. Try explaining that to a toddler who’s response is always “Why?” :)
It also reminded me that everyone, from toddlers to adults, crave explanations. It’s not nearly enough to hear that we should do this or that to improve our marketing. We must know why! If we don’t fully understand why we should use certain marketing tactics, then we’re not going to fully invest time, energy, and money into them.
So in this article, I’m going to address some of the most common statements about digital marketing that I’m sure you’ve heard, yet you may not fully understand why you should be using the tactic. After each statement, I’ll answer the question, “Why?” so you can make more informed decisions about your marketing plan.
“You Need to Be Blogging”
Everyone knows they need to be blogging, right? But why? Why should any business go through the hassle of installing a blog and investing time into writing articles? Is it really worth it?
The answer is yes, it’s worth it. Even if you hate to write, here are 4 reasons why blogging will help your business.
- Blogging gives you more opportunities to rank in Google. Each article you post can be optimized for relevant keywords your prospects are searching for each day.
- Blogging can increase your website conversion rates. Prospects tend to do their homework before making online purchases and that homework includes reading articles on your blog. Well written, informational articles can pre-sell prospects and position your business as the authority in your industry.
- Blogging forces you to stay cutting edge. The only way to consistently post unique, relevant articles is to stay up-to-date in your industry.
- Blogging helps you form stronger relationships with your prospects, customers, and even strategic partners because it forces you to follow up. Everyone knows the importance of follow-up, but we don’t do it unless we have something to say. Blogging gives us a reason to follow up and share a recent article.
“You Need an Email Newsletter”
One of the most misunderstand and underutilized marketing tactics is the email newsletter. Again, I’m sure you’ve been told or you read somewhere about how you need to create an email newsletter. But why? Like blogging, it sounds like a lot of work so is it really worth the effort?
The answer again is, yes. Imagine if you had a list of prospects who are interested in your product or service and those prospects regularly open and read your email newsletter. Now imagine writing an email that promotes your product or service, clicking send, and then generating leads and sales that same day! That’s the power of an email newsletter.
The beauty of an email newsletter is that there is enormous leverage. Consider this: It takes the same amount of effort to write and send an email to 10 prospects as it does to write and send an email to 10,000 prospects. Same investment, but likely 1,000 times the return.
Sure, it’ll take time to build your list of prospects, but if you continue to nurture them with an email newsletter, then over time you’ll have an asset to create leads and sales on demand.
“You Need a Mobile Website”
More recently you’ve been told that you need a mobile website. But why? For many businesses that could mean a costly and time-consuming website redesign. Is it worth it?
In this case, the answer is not so cut and dry. The first place you need to look is at your Google Analytics traffic. Take a look a the Mobile Overview report within the Audiences section of Google Analytics. In that table you’ll see how much of your website traffic is coming from mobile devices. Plus, if you have conversion tracking set up you’ll see how your mobile traffic is converting compared to desktop and tablets.
Another place to look is your online advertising campaigns, and review the breakdown of your traffic and conversions by device. It’s possible you’re losing money on mobile traffic because your website is not mobile friendly. If that’s the case and your prospects are clearly using their mobile devices to find your products or services, then you need a mobile website. If your prospects don’t use mobile devices as much when shopping for your products or services, then it’s not as big of a concern. However, over time more and more people will switch over from desktops to mobile so I do recommend creating a mobile optimized website in the near future.
“You Need to Set Up Conversion Tracking”
If you haven’t heard or read this one, then I’ll be the first to say that you absolutely must set up conversion tracking. Why?
Because if you don’t have conversion tracking set up for all of your marketing channels then you will have no idea what’s actually working. Think of conversion tracking like the points on a scoreboard at a football game. When you want to know which team is winning, then you can quickly find the answer by comparing the two team’s scores.
Conversion tracking works the same way. When you want to determine which marketing channels are performing well, then you compare the conversions. Website traffic, ad impressions, and social shares are all great, but they are vanity numbers when it comes to managing your digital marketing. At the end of the day, your business needs leads and sales and conversion tracking measures which marketing channels are bringing in those leads and sales so you can allocate your budget accordingly.
“You Need a Marketing Plan”
Finally, I think deep down we all know we need a marketing plan. Why? Because a plan gives us confidence that we’re heading in the right direction. Every business is in it’s own unique situation based on available resources, budget, experience level, and marketing goals for the next 12 months. That means reading articles or attending webinars is not enough. You must take time to write down your own plan of attack that matches your situation.
To help you get started, I recommend my guide to create an effective online marketing plan, called The Online Marketing Action Plan. This guide condenses down everything I’ve learned over the past 10 years from creating and managing hundreds of online marketing campaigns for clients in dozens of industries.
Once you’ve gone through the guide, you’ll know exactly how to create an effective online marketing plan, so you start getting more traffic, leads and customers.