Have you created a marketing journey for your audience, or a marketing maze? When you think of your marketing as platform-based rather than journey-based, you are likely forcing your audience to jump through hoops to access what you offer. When a client contacts me about improving their marketing, they’re usually talking about sending some emails, maybe doing more social media, maybe improving their SEO.
One of my main jobs as their small business marketing director is to help them zoom out from individual platforms and create an effective marketing journey. When a business has a presence on a lot of platforms but none or some of those platforms aren’t working together, they’re probably losing more of their audience than they realize. Because they’re making their followers work too hard to get through the marketing maze they’ve inadvertently created.
A marketing maze leaves out important steps your perfect client is likely to take in their relationship with your business to shift from stranger to follower to fan to customer to repeat customer to referrer. A maze is inconsistent in brand identity, timing, message and/or calls to action.
A marketing maze is created when you get caught up in trying to attract new leads or clients without planning out the path you’d like to put them on once they respond. It’s confusing, and it’ll lose people along the way – oftentimes without you even realizing they dipped out.
A maze is not only messy for your followers, it’s deceiving for you as a business owner – you may think it’s working because a few people will persist and find their way to the end, but what you may not be aware of is how many you’re turning off with its twists and turns. (This is where reading marketing data is vital, another essential aspect of great marketing.)
A marketing journey is a clearly mapped out path from attraction to conversion. It’s a carefully considered plan that ties everything together from who you’re wanting to go after to where you’ll attract them to that first piece of content they’ll see to how you’ll keep them engaged, how you’ll push for response and where they’ll go to respond. Then, how you’ll continue to communicate so they’ll keep buying or give you a great testimonial. A marketing journey is very intentional and reduces the work your audience member has to do to get to each next step – preventing them from bailing along the way.
You know what I’ve noticed leads many small business owners to a marketing maze? Patience.
Not great ideas. Not creativity. Not budget – although if you’ve got the money for it, I HIGHLY recommend paying a professional to help you with a marketing journey. Not smart business goals and decision-making. What keeps most of us (I can be guilty, too!) from truly effective marketing is the patience to pause, reevaluate, and be as intentional with marketing planning as you are with your business planning.
If you’re concerned your marketing is more of a maze than a journey, here’s what you should do, immediately.
Put a half-day block on your calendar.
Spend some concentrated time planning your marketing – from business goals to budget to which platforms you’ll use to how you’ll follow-up after purchase. The marketing plan will help you think through every aspect of an exceptional journey.
Of course, I’m always here to help you determine what’s next for your marketing. Sign up for a consultation.