One of the mistakes made most frequently by small businesses is that they fail to adapt to changes in the digital landscape.
Instead, they utilize outdated tactics without considering incorporating the newer methods proving themselves to be wildly effective, like inbound marketing.
Their old fashioned approach guarantees they're missing out on the portion of their demographic searching for them (and answers about their product/service) online, not in the newspaper, classifieds, or other limiting advertising avenues.
The most successful brands are flexible in adapting, or even being at the forefront of implementing new technologies and strategies to stand out within their industry and remain competitive.
How to Increase Brand Awareness
In order for your marketing to be effective, it must be focused on objectives that align with your business initiatives and values.
Your objectives must address the top, middle, and bottom of your funnel.
Top of Funnel
Top of funnel efforts inform and engage your prospects, increasing the traffic to your website organically.
In this stage you should not assume that everyone wants or even needs your product or service. Top of funnel content should be used to build your credibility, leading to thought leadership within your industry.
Use easy to consume blog posts crafted in the format your target audience prefers to help yourself be found by first helping your prospects.
Middle of Funnel
Many people consider middle of funnel content to be the equivalent of meat within a sandwich.
Crucial to bridging the gap between a prospects initial interest (e.g. someone hungrily scanning their meal options) at the top of the funnel, further to the bottom (the completion of a satisfying meal.)
Because the B2B sales cycle is often times more complex than others, a great deal more care needs to be taken in building and nurturing the prospect relationship.
Mid funnel content deepens that connection while demonstrating how your brand is a better choice than your competitors during this evaluative stage.
Not only informative, but persuasive, and much more targeted to those already existing in your CRM, delivering your message at the right time.
Types of content include: case studies, e-books, fact sheets, newsletters, and white-papers.
Bottom of Funnel
By the time a lead reaches the bottom of your funnel, they're ready to purchase and the only question is which members of this much smaller group will actually buy from you.
This is the stage where you provide your last pitch using comparative data showing your unique value and establishing your brands trustworthiness.
Types of content used are: testimonials, reviews and more.
How to set Smart Marketing Objectives
In order to receive the best return on your marketing investment, you need to develop measurable goals that allow you to track both your progress and efficacy.
The following are tips on how you can set your Smart Marketing Objective Goals:
- Be Specific. Set goals presented with hard numbers attached to deadlines. Instead of "I want to grow my following" say "My email list will be at 5,000 by the end of 2016."
- Make Them Measurable. Ensure that you can collect data to track your objectives. Your goals should not be broad based like "Increase engagement," instead shoot for 500 likes and 10 comments per Instagram photo.
- Attainable. Work towards your goal at a rate that is challenging but at the same time attainable.
- Realistic. You must work within the confines of your and your teams bandwidth. Plan for unexpected speed bumps ahead and factor these into your timelines.
- Time Bound. Give yourself a deadline to hit that you will keep in the back of your mind. This will propel you in your efforts daily.
Remember that any content you're creating is ultimately how you're speaking to your prospects, and determines how your brand will be perceived.
Consistency and authenticity build trust, while getting the right message to the right people at the right time grow your bottom line.
Interested in learning how a targeted inbound marketing strategy can grow your business? Schedule a complimentary consultation with Boston Content Strategy today.