09 Sep How to Audit Your Marketing Strategy (as Painlessly as Possible)
As we gaze down the road towards Q4 and a successful close to 2021, it’s a great time to audit your marketing strategy and start making plans for an even better 2022.
And while I know “audit” is a scary word, it doesn’t have to be. You simply want to take stock of what you’re doing, what’s working and what’s not.
Because I’m a content marketer, I focused this article on three content-heavy marketing tools: your website (including your blog), email and social media. If you have questions about other marketing activities, shoot me a note.
How to audit your marketing strategy
Your website is essentially your company’s home base on the internet. All marketing activities should eventually push people to your website where they can be converted into a lead or a sale.
So, the first thing to ask is: Do I make it easy for people to engage with my brand and take action?
Calls to action
“Taking action” encompasses a variety of activities. The most common are:
- Entering an email in exchange for a coupon code
- Registering for an event
- Downloading a free guide or ebook
- Making a purchase (a class, a book, an event)
- Signing up for a newsletter
- Requesting a consultation
- Contacting you for more information
How many actionable options do you offer people on your website? And are people taking action? You could have thirty options, but if people only do three or four things, it’s time to rethink your offerings and/or how you’re positioning and promoting them.
I can’t emphasize enough how important your blog is to your website. One, it is a great platform for showing off your expertise on a platform you own. And two, Google looks favorably on websites that are updated on a regular basis with high-quality content.
Do people comment on your blog? Most blogs do not get any comments, so even one on occasion means you’re doing something right. Good on you!
When you share the content via email or on social media, pay attention to the topics people respond to the most. You could create a simple grading system. Topics that get the most love (comments and shares) are awarded an “A” while topics that fall flat (tepid or no response) get an “F”.
Next, look at how much traffic they are getting on your website. Assuming that Google Analytics is set up on your website, you can find what pages people are landing on by looking at Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. (While you’re in Google Analytics, here is some other stuff to look at.)
Once you’re on that page, scroll down a little bit and click on “page title”. Now you’ll see the full title – not just the url – for each page people have visited. This will be ranked by page view (highest to lowest).
If you’d like a more in-depth look at measuring blog success, this article has you covered.
Lead generation content
You spent all that time putting together free, valuable and downloadable content – guides, workbooks, one-pagers. They’re supposed to be generating leads. Are they?
Every couple of months, dig into the data. I can’t tell you exactly how to do this, because I don’t know how your site is set up to handle leads. If you’re not sure, ask your web developer for help.
The downloadable resources on my site are linked to MailChimp. When someone enters their email to get an ebook, an automated lead generation campaign is triggered in MailChimp. I simply go to the appropriate list (each download has its own) to see how many people have downloaded it in the past month. (Don’t ask me how to set this up. My web design/dev team, led by my friend Nicole, handles this stuff.)
Spend quality time with your subject line because it’s the reason people open your emails. Look for patterns. Do people prefer subject lines that are in the form of a question? That include a statistic? That are funny or use a clever play on words? That integrate an emoji?
You’ll know what subject lines people like based on your open rate. Open rates vary by industry, but a decent open rate is typically in the 25-35% range. If an open rate is particularly high or low, the subject line and topic are the reason (for better or worse!).
Click rates are usually in the depressingly low 1-3% range. Just like with your open rate, spend time looking at your click rate. What call-to-action do people click on? Color button? Kind of offer?
Finally, take a look at the day and time you send emails. This has a big impact on your open rates. B2B emails are best sent on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays around 10am. If you want to reach an entrepreneur or executive, 10am on Saturday is best. (I never check email at night or on the weekend, so I guess I’m an anomaly here.) B2C emails can be sent any day at any time; open rates don’t vary by much.
It is extremely hard to get traction on social media networks. They are all so saturated with content, and paid ads are easy to ignore. This is one of the reasons “likes” aren’t worth measuring. It’s so easy to scroll through a feed and react without reading an entire post or clicking through the link to learn more.
When you’re looking at your social media strategy, pay attention to comments and shares.
Comments means people took the time to stop scrolling and respond. Maybe they like you, maybe they like what you post and /or maybe they want to get on your radar. What matters is they took the time to engage with your content. Pretty cool.
I often refer to shares as the holy grail of social media marketing. Someone loved what you wrote or posted so much that they felt compelled to tell everyone in their own networks. It’s word of mouth on steroids!
Anyway, your strategy should be generating both comments and shares at least occasionally.
How’s your marketing strategy look?
If you finish your audit and think, “Great googly moogly, I need help,” drop us a line. Let’s talk work together to create a kick-ass strategy and set you up for an incredible new year.