Today we’re going to talk about the false promises of marketing tactics. I promise you that this is one that you need to hear, because if you own your own business, are a solo consultant or a big business, you invest a lot of money in tactics.
Are You Headed in the Right Direction?
Imagine that you need to get to the closest gas station from your house. Which way would you go? In my case, I’d get out onto the road and go North.
Let’s say your significant other is going to go to the store for you. You watch them get in the car and go in the exact opposite direction of the gas station. How would you feel seeing that?
That’s what these marketing tactics are like. You can spend the money and time, but if you’re not headed in the right direction, it doesn’t matter how many videos you record, how many social media channels you’re using, how many blog posts you write. Those do not matter if you are going in the wrong direction.
That’s the problem with people who are selling marketing tactics and tools. They will still take your money. A really good example is HootSuite, Buffer, CoSchedule. On any of those platforms, you can sign up for a subscription right now. You can pay them today because you’ve decided that you’re going to use social media as a tactic. If you make $0 from that effort, does HootSuite care about that? No, it’s a tool.
That’s all it is, but it’s marketed often in such a way that small business owners think that it’s just going to solve their social media problems. It’s not going to do that, not without a strategy behind it.
Does Your Content Align with Your Business Goals?
I connect with a lot of service providers, and I used to be a freelance writer myself. I wrote blog posts, eBooks, and all sorts of stuff. I still do that, but I don’t do it without a strategy. If you outsource social media creation, you can go on Upwork, Fiverr, ask your network. You will find somebody who can do that for you, and they will probably create great stuff for you on the surface. But what if it’s not stuff that aligns with your business goals?
If you outsource social media creation and you don’t have a strategy in place, that person will be going in the wrong direction. The gas station is to the right up the road North, and this person is now driving South. They could drive super fast and still not get there. And if I get out on the street and I walk North, I will reach the gas station before they do.
That is the point of the strategy. You can go so fast and do everything completely right in terms of using a tactic/tool, but without a real strategy, it’s just going to fall apart.
Blogging with No Strategy
Let’s take blogging SEO. Most B2B marketers will say that SEO is the most effective marketing tactic, at least in terms of driving site traffic. Also, blog posts that are somewhere between 2000-3000 words are the ones that get the most traffic.
Did you know that that long-form blog content is really where everybody says that you need to focus? A tool is not what solves the problem; taking action with a strategy in mind is what solves it. It’s like throwing spaghetti to the wall and hoping it sticks. You can throw a whole bowl, but you’re throwing at the wrong wall. What you’ve got in the bowl isn’t the problem, your direction is wrong.
So blog posts that are 2000-3000 words long get the most traffic, and most marketers will say that SEO is still the main driver of site traffic for them. But do you want to know the quickest way to waste time with blogging? Create blogs with no strategy or plan.
Another stat I read just this morning is that most people who write blog posts professionally say that it takes on average 4 hours to write a blog post. What do you value your hourly rate at? If you’re creating these blog posts and professionals say it takes them 4 hours, how long do you think it’ll take you to write 2000 words?
This is what that process looks like for me. We’re going to write it. We’re going to create the graphics. We’re going to upload it. Then we have to create social media posts for it and promote and distribute. Between me and Sílvia, I would probably carve out a chunk of 6 hours at least. And that’s on a topic I know well. If you have to research the topic, then it’s going to take you longer.
The math there for outsourcing that type of content creation is already there. If you value your hourly rate at $500/hr and you spend 4 hours on a blog post, that’s $2,000, but you could outsource that for less. But whether you do it or outsource it, if you don’t have the right strategy in place, it’s going to be money down the toilet.
How Everyone Messes up Marketing Tactics
Not Having a Content Plan
You’ve got that bowl and you’ve put in your spaghetti in it. But you could be covering the wrong topics. By wrong topics, I mean topics that aren’t aligned with your business goals.
If your business goals aren’t necessarily brand awareness because you’ve already got it, then why are you covering brand awareness topics? It’s not to say that that topic is not valuable, but is it the best use of resources right now? If you just have resources to throw away, I have a list of things that you can buy for me, but I’m assuming that you don’t.
Sílvia does a lot of repurposing content. Repurposing is huge. And we have a podcast episode on content repurposing, so be sure to check it out. If she receives a blog post to repurpose, there’s only so much you can do if the blog post is not good.
Let’s say the blog post is good, but the topic is wrong. You may see a ton of engagement on social media. You may see people coming to it and you may even rank for keywords, but it doesn’t serve your business. You’re not getting revenue-generating activity because you covered the wrong topics to support where your business is at right now.
Not having a content plan is a really fast way to waste a ton of time on blogging. This is also true for video, as it involves a lot of editing.
Not Having a Promotion or Distribution Strategy
You could be covering all the right topics, but you don’t have a promotion or distribution strategy. That is part of your marketing strategy. So you’re creating all this great stuff, but you’re not promoting or distributing it. So it’s not so much that you’re going to get no ROI, but if you’re going to spend on average 4 hours creating a blog post, don’t you want to get as much ROI out of it as possible?
Interactive video is becoming a thing. I’m about to share a mistake with y’all. I got super excited when I saw the interactive video, so I paid for it even though their target audience is actually small local businesses. I have made one interactive video.
So when I tell you, “Hey, don’t make this mistake”, it’s not because I’m coming at you from a holier-than-thou perspective. I’m telling you because even as a professional, it still gets me. I’m like the dentist who has cavities.
So if one of my clients comes to me and says, “Hey, we should do interactive video.” I would have been, “Ok, so how does that fit into the marketing strategy that we’ve put together based on your business goals and what drives you as a person. How does that fit in your marketing strategy?” And they would have been like, “Maybe we should talk about it and see if it fits or not.” And that would have stopped them right there. They said they were going to do interactive video quizzes and I’m still waiting on that feature, so that’s pretty disappointing.
That is really the big thing I wanted to talk to you about today. As you’re going through Facebook and seeing ads for MarTech, what I want you to think is, “What would Ruthie say if I were to buy a package with this social media marketing company?” “Is this social media marketing company going to create a social media strategy that ties to your business goals?” If not, you need to have an additional pause.
Be sure to check out The Defiant Business Group on Facebook, because we’ll be doing the live stream series Thoughtful Thursday, which is exclusive to the group.