09 Apr DIY Marketing: 4 Projects Better Left to the Pros
Depending on what industry you’re in, you might suddenly find yourself with a little more time on your hands than usual. Time for some DIY marketing? Sure, why not?
I’ve been talking to a lot of companies who are focusing on marketing right now. Yes, really. When we get back to “real life” – or whatever the new “real life” is going to look like – they want to be ready to hit the ground running. Smart.
Not all marketing projects are suitable for DIY, though.
DIY marketing: 4 projects better left to the pros
Let’s make sure you don’t waste time or money (definitely not money!) on these four projects. Call a professional for help.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
There are two kinds of SEO – SEO lite and SEO for realz. I’ve written about SEO lite before, though I haven’t called it that. You can do very basic keyword research for your blog to understand what keywords people are searching for.
SEO for realz is much deeper than that. “Real” SEO optimizes your entire website for search based on the best keywords for your company. It is based on many factors, such as what your current ranking is; what keywords you are ranking well for; what keywords are competitive versus less competitive; etc.
Once all that research is done – using special tools that I couldn’t even name without Googling it – each page of your website is optimized. It’s a whole process. Depending on how big your website is, it can take a long time.
Needless to say, proper SEO that actually helps you rank for the keywords you want to be found for requires an expert. And not just someone who says they’re an expert, but someone who has a track record.
I have mentioned Google AdWords exactly once in all of my blog posts, and when I did mention it, this is what I said:
“This is not an area of expertise for us, so my advice is to work with a company that specializes in it (and has proven results).”
Google AdWords is nothing like social ads. It’s about as far from a DIY marketing project as you can get.
First, it is an auction. Instead of bidding on a painting or lamp, you bid on keywords. Cost and placement depend on the competitiveness of the keywords you’re bidding for.
Here’s how bidding works (courtesy of Wordstream):
The actual position of your ad is determined by your ad rank (Maximum Bid times Quality Score). The highest ad rank gets the 1st ad position. Your actual CPC (cost per click) will be determined by the ad rank of the next highest ad below you divided by your Quality Score. The only exception of this rule is when you are the only bidder or the lowest bid in the Google Ads auction; then you pay your maximum bid per click! AdWords bidding heavily penalizes advertisers who bid with low quality scores. Conversely, those with high Quality Scores get higher ad ranks and lower CPC.
Are your eyes glazed over? Yeah, me too. As you read above, you also need to meet certain Quality Scores for this to work.
Second, you need keywords that are relevant to your company. If the best keywords are too expensive, you might be tempted to bid on less relevant keywords, which could be a waste of money.
Third, writing ad copy that converts is the hardest type of copywriting out there. Trust me.
Web design and development
SquareSpace, WIX and other web builders are DIY marketing dream tools for small businesses that just need a basic, no-nonsense website. These platforms are built specifically for non-web designers and developers, and therefore they are pretty easy to use.
A custom website that includes a lot of functionality is not a DIY project. What do I mean by “a lot” of functionality?
Think about a membership site or online learning site. Those require a member portal, dashboard, chat function, resource library that supports videos or audio, learning modules, module tracking/grading, etc.
Then there are companies who want a custom design, not necessarily custom functionality. These sites use unique fonts, scripts, graphics and art. They’re the ones that make you stop in your track (OK, maybe that only happens to me, but believe me – these are the sites you notice).
Anyway, my point is: a custom website is NOT a DIY marketing project.
Lead generation strategy
A lead generation strategy requires you to hunt down new opportunities in new places. How can you be expected to spot a lizard in the jungle when you’ve only ever looked for ants in a desert?
A great lead generation strategy requires an outside, objective perspective. Heck, I don’t even do my own lead generation strategy – I hire someone (Nicole at SocialLight) to do it for me.
When a pro does the strategy for you, he or she might uncover:
- Completely new audiences – or new segments within existing audiences
- Messages, offers, products or services that will better resonate with your target markets
- Different communication channels to use
- Topics that your target market cares about most
- When to reach your target market (and how often to reach out)
You can’t be expected to uncover all of this, and you won’t be able to do it as quickly as an expert.
Speaking of which, if you need help finding experts to help with these projects, give me a shout. I’ll pass along the names of some great people.