It’s crazy to imagine just how different the world was one year ago. We were in the midst of rethinking our marketing plans and setting new standards for performance as events shifted and the produce industry began doing more business virtually. If you switched things up in 2020, now is a good time to re-examine your performance and consider whether the best path forward is to stay the course or pivot again. In fact, midway through the year is a great time for a gut check and to start new projects to improve your marketing performance - and you can do this in 6 months or less.
Why 6 months? Well, because that’s the arbitrary number I picked for the purposes of this article. But in all seriousness, the tips and projects below really CAN be completed and achieved in 6 months or less, leading to improved marketing performance that will stretch well beyond that timeframe if done well.
Here are 5 steps you can take to improve your marketing performance in just 6 months or less:
1. Reevaluate your goals & objectives
Who is to say whether your marketing performance is good or bad right now? And what does improved performance or success even look like? To answer these questions and set the course, you will first need to reevaluate your marketing goals and objectives.
Start by re-establishing what the driving force — or the “why” — behind what you want to achieve as a marketing department and for your organization as a whole. Your marketing goals should be aligned with the overall vision for where the brand needs to go and that will help you to prioritize your objectives and budget around the activities that will propel your performance forward.
Next, you will also need to ask yourself if your resources are properly aligned with priority marketing goals. For example, if “generating leads” for your sales team is a high-priority goal, do you have the right talent, technology and strategy to achieve it?
Finally, beware of shiny object syndrome throwing your objectives off! Sometimes as marketers we can latch on to the latest trend or something our competitor is doing out of a fear of being asked “why aren’t you doing this?” (Think of things like TikTok or working with certain influencers, etc.) When this happens, ask yourself if it aligns with the overall marketing goals and if it doesn’t - the answer should be that you aren’t doing it because it doesn’t fit with your strategy and priorities for the marketing program.
For a more detailed look at how to set & achieve marketing objectives, take a look at this article from Hubspot.
2. Perform a social media & website audit
Now that you have reset your marketing objectives and established a benchmark, it’s time to assess whether or not your current assets are on track. We recommend doing a deep dive audit of your website and your social media performance.
Website auditYour website is one of the most important communication tools for your brand. Without a strategically designed website that is focused on meeting your objectives, you could be missing out on the opportunity to capture important data and missed sales opportunities. A great place to start is to use a website grader like Hubspot’s free tool or Siteimprove’s free tool. These tools can help you identify issues or missed opportunities, most likely when it comes to your SEO performance and accessibility compliance. Making small adjustments to your SEO can make a big difference in helping your website get found, which will improve your overall performance in the long run! For a deeper dive into accessibility (ADA) compliance, check out Web Accessibility’s grader.
Beyond this, you will also want to take a deep dive into your analytics to review performance metrics and assess trends over time to identify areas of the site that are working and not working well for you. Not sure how to do this? Our team has years of experience creating websites that follow best practices and get the right results and we offer a quick website assessment project that can be a game changer for your brand. Visit the page HERE to learn more.
Social media auditSocial media marketing is time consuming and can also become a nightmare of a job to defend to your c-suite if there isn't a reporting mechanism in place to explain if your efforts are working - or not. Social media can be used to effectively drive demand for your products or to build brand advocacy - but you will need a set of specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) goals to get you there. We recommended measuring your social media performance on a monthly basis to defend your time and investment. You may also need to invest in social media advertising if you aren’t already. And if you are and you are seeing a cost-per-click or result of more than $1 per click, it’s definitely time for a deep dive to determine why your investment isn’t performing better.
If you suspect your social media performance is falling flat and you don’t know how to fix it, a social media assessment from DMA Solutions is sure to help you grow to new heights in approximately 60 days - way less than 6 months! Visit the page HERE to learn more.
3. Rethink your messaging
Storytelling and messaging really is an investment in your brand’s success and it takes more than just telling your company’s story to do this well. Successful storytelling isn't just the words or the message, it also includes a visual side. If your website bounce rate is high and you are having trouble attracting visitors or getting engagement on social media, it could be because your messaging is unclear or failing to communicate your purpose and the problems you solve.
Start here: is your messaging primarily about YOU or is it about your audience? We see a lot of brands in the produce industry focused to much on talking about themselves and not enough time articulating the benefits their products provide to shoppers or on the B2B side, the benefits they can provide to their customers who choose to do business with them. In an industry that can become commodity-centric, it’s essential to get this right to set yourself apart. Check out this article on how to make your audience the hero in your story and watch the replay of our recent Marketing Matters webinar diving into this very topic!
4. Don’t have a blog? Get one!
Okay, this one could depend on your overall marketing goals and objectives as stated above. But for most brands, a blog is something you should highly consider adding to your marketing portfolio. Blogs can be an affordable way for companies to turn their website into a content and traffic generating machine, bring in leads and help your brand be “found” on Google, but keep in mind you will need the time and resources to produce the content required to maintain a healthy blog performance. Learn more about why you need a blog here!
If you already have a blog, consider doing your own audit on your blog performance to identify opportunities for improvement. This article has some great insight into a few effective strategies to boost performance quickly, like making content skimmable or choosing the right keywords for SEO.
5. Stay consistentUltimately, one of the best ways to keep your performance on track is to simply stay consistent - stay consistent with your strategy, stay true to your brand voice, and maintain a consistent frequency of new content, posting, etc. This rings especially true for social media, where content can quickly become buried with the fast-paced nature of the platforms, so consistent posting is key. Read this article to learn more about why consistency is the key to having high performing social media accounts.
Marketing success rarely happens overnight (unless you just knock it out of the park with a viral TikTok video - but even that type of success can be fleeting for your brand) so staying patient and true to your objectives will pay off with long term marketing success and brand advocacy!
There are countless more steps you can take to improve your marketing performance in 6 months or less, but if you are feeling especially ambitious, our essential marketing solutions are all quick & affordable projects that will help you move the needle and accomplish your goals more quickly. Click here to learn more and get started on a path to improving your marketing performance today!