How do I get more sales from my small business marketing? This is the question I get all the time. While sales – or a lack of them – can stem from problems other than marketing, here are the most common reasons I see for poor sales results with our marketing agency clientele.
The marketing is too heavy on only one part of the buyer’s journey. This is so, so often the case. Every single entrepreneur I’ve talked to and partnered with leans toward a certain type of marketing – whatever they latch onto gets most of the backing. They’re usually either big on brand awareness methods like social media or ads created to target strangers, networking in on or offline groups, emailing to large catch-all lists or offering lots of incentives.
All of these approaches can be very effective, just not as effective on their own. Buyers don’t make a purchase decision based on seeing a couple impressive social posts or ads, they don’t remember to visit your website after a quick meet-and-greet, they may not even be paying attention to your emails (especially if those emails are poorly executed), and as fun as incentives are, they don’t immediately convince someone to become a loyal customer.
Marketing that leads to sales is built around a complete customer journey – providing touchpoints, solutions, credibility, and consistent reminders at critical moments in a potential buyer’s path from having no clue who you are to buying your product. Every buyer goes through a journey from cold to hot lead.
Here’s a basic example of this:
Unaware (stranger to your business) – you show up in their search or online activity through social media hashtags + Google ads
Aware (you start popping up enough that they recognize you) – this is done through repeated content where your target audience “lives” online. If there’s interest, they’re going to look for a solid website and/or helpful profiles (social account bios, Google listing, etc.) where they can easily find more info, follow and contact you.
Follower (they have some level of interest and choose to follow, opt-in, subscribe, etc.) – now that they’re connected, you want to give them consistent strong messaging that’s engaging and warming them up to buy or commit to joining your offer
Fan (they’ve been following a while and are closest to becoming a customer than ever) – they’re treated more exclusively through exclusive offers, updates and “insider” type messaging to build loyalty and buy-in. I recommend a FB group or email fan list for this.
Customer (they’ve made a purchase which means they’re likely to purchase again and/or refer your product/service) – follow-up emails or direct messages to keep this person engaged and referring
If sales are disappointing, my advice is to analyze where your marketing is focused. Chances are you’re relying too heavily on one part of the journey and your audience needs prompting at other decision stages to move forward.
Creating a strategic buyer’s journey with your marketing will ensure your marketing is working like it should, but there’s a second part to this – Stop expecting immediate sales.
I always let my clients know that the marketing strategy we build for their business will need one vital ingredient – time. This isn’t always thrilling to hear, but it’s true. I advice clients to give our new journey at least 6 months (with incremental improvements along the way) before considering any big updates.
With marketing, you have to stick to a plan and let it work on your audiences. And people take time to go through a full journey.
By the way, our planners at The Marketing Plan Shop are designed to help business owners think through and plan all a complete journey. They will teach you how to think about their marketing and do every aspect of it the right way – the way that will lead to sales.
If this was helpful, I’d love to know! Drop a like or comment for me!