The million-dollar question which we hear again and again from our clients, ‘why isn’t my marketing working?!?’ A landslide 89% of B2B marketers in the UK use content marketing but less than half of them believe their efforts are effective. So we need to look at the strategy at the heart of their content marketing to understand, what’s really going wrong?
There is normally one clear indicator which drives organisations to take a closer look at their marketing strategy: not enough leads. As experts in B2B lead generation, INCo help our clients find more opportunities and grow their sales pipeline – but if you don’t know what’s broken, you can’t fix it. So before you change your existing strategy, or scrap that and start afresh, let’s look at the 6 questions we ask our clients to unearth the root of their problem.
- What do you want to achieve?
If you don’t plan what you want to achieve it becomes practically impossible to analyse ROI. Many organisations think about goals at a very tactical level, for example their goal is to write more blogs – but what are these activities going to achieve? It’s important that you set SMART goals for your strategy, and reassess these goals throughout, to keep on track. Read our blog on SMART goals to learn how to set measurable goals that make an impact.
Developing messaging architecture is key in this process, to ensure your marketing team create content within which your business’ communication goals are embedded. Thus creating a coherent message which is aligned to your sales team messaging. Remember to find your unique space in the market – if you’re not unique you’re invisible.
- Who are you talking to?
Buyer Personas represent the characteristics of your ideal customers, and you really need to know your personas to understand your target market, around which your marketing activity should be shaped. The basis of your overall marketing strategy, creating or reviewing these personas should be the first step in developing a marketing campaign. Understanding their pain points is essential to creating content which attracts buyers and leads them down the buyer journey to your organisation as a solution to their problem. As with the market, your prospect’s buying habits and the challenges they face change – so keep refreshing your personas.
- Are you using a multi-channel approach?
Mapping out the buying process - outlining the information sources which your prospects utilise and where they live online - will allow you to identify the touchpoints where you can engage with prospects. Do they seek out information in LinkedIn groups? Do they devour blog articles? Don’t use every channel out there for the sake of it – use the ones that talk to your buyers. Do your research and test the channels out – if a channel is having little traction it probably doesn’t make sense to allocate a great amount of resource to it.
- Has anything been forgotten?
Consistency is key and will drive prospects to your site and increase your traffic. One huge error which many marketers make is forgetting to stick to a schedule. Other priorities get in the way – and suddenly your blog is gathering dust. Get your marketing team to up a content calendar and commit to it.
- Is there alignment between your inbound and outbound marketing?
In INCo’s experience, inbound or outbound efforts in isolation don’t provide the volume of leads to feed your sales pipeline. A massive 98% of marketers believe that both traditional and digital marketing activities should be integrated into one coherent strategy in order to maximise results, getting your message out there using less budget. Is your direct marketing supporting your digital marketing and vice versa? Discover the challenges of an isolated approach.
- Are you seeing results?
Not paying attention to important metrics can mean you are spending resource running a marketing campaign that really isn’t getting a just return. It’s important to look at the messaging which your buyers are engaging with and what channels are producing the most traffic. Don’t be afraid to take a hard look at your results, face what isn’t working head on and make changes. And don’t forget, there’s bound to be a lot of things you are doing right which you can capitalise and create quick wins (lots of leads!).
So now you’ve found the root of your problem, let’s get your strategy back on track.