Marketing is not just a 1-2-3 process. If it were that easy, there would be a huge factory line of marketers on the way—ready and raring to go. Sure, attending events, being a part of conferences, and coming up with innovative strategies gives you some advantages. However, you need to fine-tune the process with each sector of business. It’s a more than meets the eye kind of motif.

Whether you’re a small business owner or a conglomerate, here are some truths you’ll face when you start your marketing strategy.

Commit to the Marketing Journey

Marketing doesn’t stop after one campaign. In fact, you’ll need to continuously optimize your business to fit the times because things evolve. With new technology, the dialogue between you and your customers may change in format. Also, social media channels are great, but they aren’t the end all, be all. Your focus should be on cultivating that into something deeper in terms of customer service channels, sales channels, operations, and even your company’s story.

Spending Money Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Making Money

Almost everything requires money to start up, but it’s what you do with that money that really counts. The quality of the product supercedes everything. If people can’t get behind your content, why are they going to spend money your brand? It’s a show and prove element that you need in order to persuade your core audience to buy from you. It’s about appealing to their emotions and causing a call to action to happen.

Jack Mitchell, author of Hug Your Customer states, “At the heart of every customer transaction is a personal relationship built on trust and on truly knowing the customer.”

When you mix a good budget with a sound relationship, then you begin to market in a more efficient manner.

The Customer Experience Matters Most

Make sure you work on the behind the scenes before trying to produce a highlight reel. Of course, an online presence matters, but it can be a nightmare if you don’t have the right customer service strategy in place. People take bad reviews as the gospel truth. Mabbly founder, Adam Fridman, says that part of the integration of creating a good website includes authentic reviews and user-generated content.

When one person writes a bad review, it’s not a big deal, and is in fact expected. However, if many people write bad reviews, then that’s a red flag against your business. People get discouraged immediately when your business seems to be constantly and publicly in the wrong. It’s your job to ensure that people’s experiences with your business are good ones.

You Need a Good Website in Addition to Social Media

Having a social brand is great, but there’s one major problem: you don’t actually own that content or the followers you’ve worked so hard to gain. What if Facebook goes away and all of your fans along with it? If you don’t pair social media marketing with something more correctly defined as owned media (like email marketing), then you’re setting yourself up for failure.

While social media is great for getting the word out, and making you relevant from a short-term perspective, your website acts as the hook to reel them in. While you could have a great social media strategy, your efforts may become less responsive over time, because you don’t own the algorithm. However, you can make things happen permanently on a website, by focusing on email acquisition, because you truly own these mediums.

Worry About Quality Over Quantity

Information gets cluttered on social media, so don’t be surprised if your message is missed. In fact, 59% of links shared on social media have not been read. People might see your content as share-happy and retweet worthy than actually readable. While on the surface it may sound good for your traffic and stats, it goes for naught when there’s a lack of engagement and you’re not able to use this content to build a relationship with customers.

That’s why the 41% of people that do pay attention are selective in what they digest. If something is actually informative, those generate the most backlinks, shares, and engagement. Search Engine Journal provides a list of seven kinds of posts that get the highest engagement (authoritative posts, infographics, how-to content, and research pieces are some that make the list).

Social media profiles with more followers can help, but it’s content engagement that counts at the end of the day.

Pick Social Media Sites Most Relevant to Your Brand

Don’t burn out by being on all forms of social media. Pick the site you know you can keep engagement going organically. You shouldn’t force content to be good; people should naturally gravitate toward your content because they “like” it. And you don’t want to post the exact same thing to five different social networks. If you’re niche is more lifestyle-based, choose Instagram or Pinterest. If you have a service business, Twitter is your best bet.

Every Business is Different

No singular answer will work for every business. There are different problems and solutions for every niche. You can use a competitor to get inspired, but realize that your goals are separate from theirs. Knowing your brand and audience will help you come up with a sound marketing strategy.

Marketing is a mix of science, art, and a bit of luck. However, one thing is consistent in all forms of marketing: communication with your customers. By knowing and building a relationship with them, you’ll create a more successful marketing strategy. Digital marketing agency Mabbly can help you take your marketing strategy to another level.

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