How to Make Online Marketing a Priority in 2017

In recent years, the web has changed the game completely. Thanks to platforms like Google and Facebook, which make it easier than ever to connect with potential customers no matter where you are in the world.

The world is a bigger place, and competition is fiercer than ever. According to HubSpot Blogs research, only 17% of marketers consider themselves to be extremely effective online marketers. While 75% of marketers feel that they are effective marketers in some areas and extremely ineffective in others.

That’s a lot of tension in the air! If you’re not careful, it can easily become too much pressure. What if there was a way to change that narrative? What would happen if we could align effective marketing strategies with the ever-changing world of online marketing?

The answer may lie in prioritizing marketing over traditional methods, and that’s what we’ll explore in this article.

Prioritizing Marketing Over Traditional Methods

Traditionally, marketing has been regarded as a tool or method for drawing in as many customers as possible and advertising and engaging with them so that they come back for more. However, the landscape has changed. Thanks to Google and other platforms that make it simpler for customers to find information online, and social media platforms that help businesses connect with existing and potential customers, marketers need to shift their focus to drive marketing success instead of just marketing activity.

It’s not enough to just have a website or social media accounts. You have to drive traffic to those accounts so that they can engage with your brand and become interested in what you have to offer. That’s where the focus of today’s marketers should be: driving marketing success instead of just marketing activity.

Why Should Marketers Focus On Driving Marketing Success Instead Of Just Marketing Activity?

There are numerous benefits to focusing on driving marketing success instead of just marketing activity, the most essential of which is the attention that it garners from the top down. That’s because when marketers set out to drive marketing success, they are placing a clear emphasis on what comes next: ensuring that every part of the process is working toward the same goal. When you have a clear goal in mind—driving inbound marketing activity—you can be more certain that all the moving parts of your strategy will operate toward that goal. It also means that you can measure your progress against that goal, which provides a clearer picture of how well you’re doing than you would if you were focused solely on results at the expense of the strategy.

If you’re interested in exploring how to make inbound marketing a priority in your organization, continue reading.

How Can Marketing Managers/Departments Help?

Marketing managers and departments can play a crucial role in helping to drive inbound marketing success. Thanks to their knowledge of the process, they can help to ensure that everything is working toward the goal of generating inbound marketing activity and not just advertising and engaging with customers on social media platforms. The more a marketing department can do to tighten the connection between marketing strategy and execution, the more they can help to ensure that inbound marketing is a priority throughout the organization. That means that marketing managers and departments can be invaluable in helping to develop a strategy that will guide the direction of both marketing and digital marketing across the organization.

How Do I Go About Driving Marketing Success?

The first step is to set a benchmark and review why you are where you are in terms of website traffic and social media engagement. Are you seeing the results that you are hoping to? If not, it may be time for an organizational overhaul. Having clear goals in mind—such as increasing website traffic by 20% within the next month—can help you to focus on what needs to be done and to measure your progress against that goal. To increase website traffic, you may need to consider investing in organic search engine optimization, content strategy, or paid search to name just a few.

What About Measuring Marketing Success?

Once you’ve set your benchmark and determined what you need to do to achieve it, it’s time to set about measuring your success. That’s a crucial step, and it’s difficult to determine how well your strategy is working without first having clear measures in mind. When you set out to increase website traffic, for example, you may decide to measure that goal against the number of sales that you expect to generate from that traffic. That’s a fairly straightforward objective and clear measure of success. The same goes for most other marketing strategies. When considering how to measure the success of a marketing campaign or program, it’s important to set a benchmark and review why you are where you are in terms of website traffic and social media engagement. Are you seeing the results that you are hoping to? If not, it may be time for an organizational overhaul. Having clear goals in mind—such as increasing website traffic by 20% within the next month—can help you to focus on what needs to be done and to measure your progress against that goal.

Use This Information To Formulate Your Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve determined what you need to do to increase marketing success, it’s time to use that information to formulate your strategy. This phase starts with a clear benchmark and ends with a plan of action. You can use this article to help you form your strategy, or feel free to use the sources below as you continue to build out your plan.

Formulating A Plan Of Action

A plan of action is essentially the next step after formulating a strategy. This is where you’ll flesh out the details of how you intend to achieve success. Your plan of action should include the following:

  • The specific benchmark that you’ll use to determine your progress (e.g., reaching 500 website visits per month, which equates to a 20% increase over your previous average)
  • The specific actions that you intend to take to move toward that goal (e.g., upgrading your content to attract more search traffic, optimizing your social media profiles, etc.)
  • The specific people or teams that you’ll require to carry out the actions in your plan (e.g., a content strategist, SEO expert, social media marketer)
  • The scheduled date for the plan to be implemented
  • The regular reviews of your progress toward the goal (at least once every quarter)
  • A realistic timeframe for when you expect to achieve your goal (e.g., three months, six months)
  • A summary of any necessary changes that you’ll need to make along the way (e.g., re-evaluating your target audience, determining your keyword strategy, etc.)

A marketing strategy is only as good as the plan of action that it forms. This phase of the process is where all the moving parts come together. You may find it helpful to refer back to this article as you continue to build out your plan.

Make Sure That Everything Is On The Right Track

Before you can determine how effective your strategy is, you’ll need to make sure that everything is on the right track. That means performing regular reviews of your progress and taking the time to reevaluate and reassess where you are and why you are there. Regular reviews of your progress will also help you to identify necessary changes along the way so that you can continue to improve your strategy. The important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t confuse reviews of your progress with excuses for why you haven’t achieved your yet. Excuses won’t bring results, but clear feedback will. All it takes is some time to re-evaluate and adjust as needed.

How Do I Evaluate If This Strategy Is Working Or Not?

Once you’ve gotten to the point where you’ve formulated a plan of action and started to implement it, it’s important to re-evaluate if your strategy is working or not. This process requires dedication and patience, as you’ll need to track the results of your plan against the benchmark that you established at the beginning of the process. The good news is that this process is much easier said than done. That’s because, as marketers, we’re always looking for the easiest way out. After all, if it’s easy, then it must be good, right? Well, not necessarily.

The easy way out may be tempting, but it also has its flaws. When you have an easier way of doing something, you may be tempted to use it without focusing on the long-term consequences. That’s exactly what happened to a lot of marketing departments. They relied on PPC (pay-per-click advertising), which is an easy way of getting traffic to their sites. However, because that’s such an easy way of doing things, a lot of the time, the campaigns that they ran didn’t achieve the results that they were looking for and ended up being a complete waste of time.