If you read our blog regularly, you’ll know that we’ve covered a huge range of marketing topics over the years, going into detail about conversion rate optimization, SEO, PPC, email marketing, and lots more. But if you’re responsible for marketing at your organization and you’re presented with so many different options, the truth is it can often feel slightly overwhelming.
And it’s true—unless you have a large marketing budget and a big team, you simply won’t be able to do everything. While there have never been so many ways to market your business online as there are right now, many marketers make the mistake of trying to do everything at once.
There’s logic in the decision. You want to try everything out, to be in as many places as you can, and make sure you’re not missing out on any opportunities. But often this logic is wrong and there’s a much better way to go about it.
Do One Thing, and Do It Well
When you get involved in online marketing, you will be presented with an ever-growing list of strategies. Proponents of these techniques will persuade you with impressive figures and the incredible ROI that each one promises.
It’s easy to want to do them all. But when you do everything, you can be sure that you are not doing anything as well as you should be doing. Unless you have the budget and resources, the odds are that you are spreading yourself too thin.
You’ll end up throwing a few bucks at every marketing technique rather than diverting your energy into one in particular. If you do this, it’s almost certain that you’re only reaching a very small percentage of your target market, and that you never manage to dominate any channel.
While there is value in reaching people in multiple ways on multiple devices, it only works if you’ve got a good impression share. A far better option is to concentrate your budget on one area (or a small number of areas) and increase your efficiency in each one.
Social Media: A Common Problem Area
Social media is a classic example of where marketers often end up spreading themselves too thin. So many businesses want to be everywhere when it comes to social media. You get a presence on Facebook and Twitter, but then you read an article about a business enjoying success on Pinterest, so you add that. Then another exciting new platform starts making headlines and you jump on that too …
Before long, you’ve created a profile on every social platform—and you don’t have enough time to keep on top of them all. Just like a stale blog that never receives new posts, a stale social media profile is often worse than no profile at all. Not only are you wasting your time when you get around to updating it, but it gives a bad impression of your brand.(Here’s an article from Convince & Convert about how to spot the signs that you are spread too thin on social media.)
The solution? Pick a small handful of social sites based on where your target audience has the strongest presence. If none of your clients or customers use Snapchat, don’t bother with it. (Even though it looks fun.) The chances are you’re wasting your time.
It’s hard to go wrong by starting out with Facebook and Twitter, but even these shouldn’t be automatic additions to your social media network. LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest can all be amazing places to connect and engage with your target audience. But again, only if your audience is there, and only if you have the resources to make your presence matter.
If you add another social network and find that you still have time to maintain a strong presence in each community, that’s fine. If not, give it a miss. There is so much more value to be had by becoming a member of a community and building a strong and engaging presence. Sure, you could just create one piece of content and share it on all of your social networks. But different social networks have different types of users. If all you are doing is sharing exactly the same content on all of them, you’re probably wasting your time. It’s a much better idea to spend some real time on each platform getting involved, answering questions, being active, and creating content specifically for that channel.
Base Your Marketing Activities on Hard Results
If you want to add more marketing techniques, that’s fine. But the best thing you can do in this case is to base all of your activities on hard results. So let’s say you want to add retargeting into the mix. Do your research, come up with a strategy, and then test results over a period of a few months.
If it’s going well and increasing your sales, now’s the time to think about investing further. However, if after a few months you’re still unable to make it work, it might be time to call it a day. Try it again with paid search, paid social, or something else. (Check out 25 marketing strategies that work right here.) Track results, and use the hard data to guide your decisions going forward.
Is Outsourcing a Solution?
There’s a good chance you don’t have the expertise or resources to manage a multi-faceted campaign, and that’s fine. A small team can only do so much. Rather than going and spreading yourself too thin, you might opt to outsource instead. As long as you have the funds, you could work with a specialist freelancer or hire a marketing agency.
Alternatively, if your company starts to grow, you might be able to bring more people in. But the same rules apply. Even with a large marketing budget and a bigger marketing team, only focus on as many strategies as you can reasonably cover.
Start Slow, Grow Fast
There are plenty of marketing activities that may be perfect for your business. But rather than jumping in and trying out everything at once, take a slower and more structured approach.
Try new things, by all means. You may find that one particular marketing technique is perfect for your business. But start slow, add them one by one, and test.
If your Facebook advertising is going well, try Twitter or LinkedIn advertising and measure your results. You may find they are not worth your time, and if that’s the case then don’t persist too long. Remember that being consistent on a small scale is powerful and much more effective than being inconsistent on a large scale.
Keep that in mind, and have a long look at your own marketing activities. Are you feeling stretched? Are you never getting around to updating your social media or post to your blog? It could be time to cut back and benefit from increased focus, more engagement, and higher ROI.