Sometimes it seems like everyone has an opinion on marketing. Not just marketing experts but other business owners, employees, suppliers, and even your well-meaning friends and family members want to give you marketing tips.
There’s advice coming from every direction. Don’t do this, do that. Don’t do that, do this. And it doesn’t help that there always seems to be some new marketing platform popping up or some new marketing jargon to get your head around.
So how on earth do you know which marketing tips to follow and which to politely ignore?
In this article, we’re looking at how to cut through the noise and focus on the tips that are right for your business.
Context is important
When you’re getting marketing tips from other business owners, it’s important to understand the context of their advice.
They might tell you Facebook ads are a waste of money because they spent thousands of pounds on them with zero return. But there could be a very good reason Facebook ads didn’t work for them.
Maybe their ads were unclear or badly written. Maybe they didn’t spend time narrowing down the audience their ads were shown to. Perhaps they got a lot of click-throughs, but their website copy wasn’t strong enough to convert.
Equally, someone else might have had huge success with a particular marketing tactic, so they encourage you to go down that route. But before you follow their advice, you need to understand why it works so well for them.
Perhaps SEO works brilliantly for them because they’ve focused on a niche search term, built up lots of organic backlinks, and have an extremely strong landing page. If you don’t focus on the right keywords, you won’t get the same results.
Maybe they get great results from their email marketing because they’ve spent years building their subscriber list with loyal customers. If you’re building an email list from scratch, it’ll take you longer to see results.
Don’t take other people’s advice on what works or what doesn’t work at face value – there are always more factors at play. What works for them might not be right for you, and vice versa.
Their ideal customers, products and services, prices, objectives, budget, resources, and strategy will all be different to yours.
Get the basics in place first
It’s easy to get caught up in the latest marketing trend but is it right for your business? More importantly, is it right for your customers?
Marketing channels change and evolve, but the basics remain the same – you need to get your message in front of the right people.
So the first thing to understand is who your ideal customers are. If you don’t know who is likely to buy from you, how do you know where to reach them?
There’s no point getting loads of Instagram tips if you’re ideal customers aren’t there. There’s no point spending a fortune on Google Ads if people aren’t searching for your services.
Figure out who your customers are and where you can find them. Then you can seek out tips and advice on how to utilise the most relevant platforms.
Utilise your existing resources
You don’t want to keep investing money into stuff that doesn’t generate a return, but you also need to be patient – it takes time for marketing to work. Constantly jumping from one marketing trend to another will impact your results and drain your budget.
If you’ve already built a large following on a particular platform, but aren’t generating quality leads, don’t give up on it. Look at changing your approach, not the platform. How are you engaging with your followers? What content are you sharing? Are you promoting the right products and services?
If you already have a bank of content – videos, articles, guides etc. – how can you utilise these or repurpose them for a new channel or campaign?
What skills do you have in-house that you aren’t tapping into? Maybe one of your finance team makes video animations as a hobby. Perhaps one of your sales team loves writing blog posts. There could be a wealth of potential right under your nose.
What are your customers telling you? Customer feedback can be a goldmine of valuable content. Not only can you share your customer feedback to help build credibility, but you can learn from it too.
Ask customers how they found out about you – this helps you understand which of your marketing activities are working. Ask them what made them get in touch – what attracted them to you rather than one of your competitors? This can help you hone your messaging.
We’ve already talked about getting the basics in place, and this is vital. The reason so many marketing activities fail is not because of the activity itself, it’s because the goals and strategy aren’t clear.
What’s the point of upgrading your website if you don’t have a plan to increase traffic? If you want to send out email campaigns, how will you build your subscriber list? If you want to invest in content creation, how will you ensure your content gets maximum reach?
Consider the entire marketing process, not just an individual element.
If you don’t know what you’re trying to do with your business, if you don’t have clear marketing objectives, and if you haven’t taken time to understand your customers, your marketing won’t be as effective.
So rather than looking for tips on specific activities or channels, start broad. Look for tips, advice and support around strategy. Once you have the fundamentals nailed down, it’s easier to determine which platforms and tactics will help you achieve your objectives.
To help you get the basics right, we’ve pulled together our 50 top marketing tips. We’ve kept these broad, so at least 80% can likely be applied to your business.
Or, if you’d like something a little more hands-on, our marketing health check will help you understand the fundamentals and get your strategy under control.
Because we have no vested interest in promoting specific marketing channels or tactics, our recommendations are impartial and based on what will generate the greatest return on investment for your business.
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