You haven’t landed a new client in quite some time. Sales are dropping off. Even the mail carrier is scarcely in the building. Time to figure out what the deal is.
Should you bite the bullet and invest in marketing?
Investing in marketing doesn’t necessarily mean hiring a marketing agency to evaluate your current practices and put a new plan in place; although, if you don’t have the capacity to otherwise invest, that might be the answer. (And, if you don’t have a marketing plan at all, you might start there.) But it can simply mean carving out time to concentrate on certain marketing processes, focusing existing employees in a new direction, or hiring new employees specifically for a marketing team.
Here are 6 indicators that you should, in fact, start investing in marketing.
1. Your website kind of sucks.
We weren’t allowed to say, “that sucks” growing up, but my dad obviously hasn’t seen your site. If he had, he might let you know that even he can tell it needs help. When you hear of a new business or brand, do you Google it? Same here. And typically, the first hit is the associated website. It’s important to put the time and money into your website in the event someone stumbles upon it, or, more importantly, seeks it out. Content should be accurate, 404s should be rare, and the footer had better not be dated in the 1990s.
2. Your last blog post was…never?
These days, it seems like everyone has a blog. I’m not talking about the Hungover Owls and Putting Weird Things in Coffees of the world, but just regular old businesses. And that’s a good thing. Blogs and frequent blog posts put you in the SEO mix and keep you at the forefront of your brand followers’ noggins. Don’t forget to pack these posts with interesting and informative content. You want readers to return. Creating a calendar and assigning topics to employees/coworkers can keep you on track.
3. You’re the only you.
Being the only person in a marketing department can seem appealing—no one to micromanage you, control your to-do list, or judge you as you sit pantsless at your desk. But not having anyone to bounce ideas off of or provide a second set of eyes can be worse than the positives. You could get lonely and begin to wonder who you can donate your vacation time to. As the only marketer, you might be expected to send and respond to emails, maintain databases, monitor social media, write blog posts, and keep up with the latest marketing trends, but that’s really not a job for one person. That’s a job for a team. Or, at least a person and a half. Time to bulk up the “department.”
4. You don’t have the capacity to create or distribute valuable info.
Your company has a wealth of industry knowledge, but no one with time or ability to focus on creating educational content, like whitepapers, webinars, and ebooks. These resources can pay off big time because they prove that you’re an expert in your field—or at least that you have information relevant to searches by current and potential customers—and, thus, build trust. Or maybe you do have the content, but aren’t putting it out there. Having an organized schedule of educational resources, emails, and social media posts helps ensure you’re disseminating the appropriate material through the appropriate channels.
5. You’re not connecting with potential leads/customers.
You might be getting plenty of visitors to your website and many followers on social media, but if you’re not engaging with them or giving them what they want or need, you’ll fade out of their minds as quickly as you can say, “where’d all my leads go?” Find out more about these potential leads by creating forms and collecting information like what they do and where they’re from. Hell, ask ‘em what their favorite food is.
6. You aren’t aware that you should be collecting data.
Not knowing what to do with data or how it is collected is one thing, but not even knowing you should be collecting data is a problem. Data holds the answers to what’s the next step? According to the Department of Marketing, “you need to capture data and analyze it before making a decision on which way to steer the ship.” You’ll be able to find out who’s visiting your site, who’s viewing your social pages, and, most importantly, where they go from there. Do they click on another page on your site? Do they opt into your newsletter? Do they prefer burgers to pizza?
Are these signs all sounding familiar? If you don’t yet have the capacity to outsource your marketing practices, it’s important to at least invest internally. Consider dedicating the same day or time slot every week to your own company. Here at Face First Creative, we dedicate Fridays to eating amazing breakfast sandwiches and updating our own site, blog, and resources.