One of the biggest frustrations I have with the current Online Marketing Landscape is that there is A LOT of people telling you about all the things you should be doing, but no real clear guidance is given about whether that particular tactic is right for you or if it’s the right time to apply it.
I see this all the time in Facebook Groups in particular.
Someone puts up a post like “I’m not getting sales for my business and need to turn things around, please help”.
Next thing they are receiving a long, long list of suggestions from other well meaning group members.
“You should look at SEO.”
“You should try Adwords.”
“Are you on Instagram?”
“I do Facebook Ads and they have worked amazing”
“I tried Facebook Ads and they totally flopped”
“You should be on Pinterest”
And so it goes… and goes.
But there is ONE big thing wrong with this picture: What worked for one person may not work for another – we are all different after all.
Over the past few blog posts, I’ve been talking all about marketing strategy:
– Why you need one
– The 4 Phases of Creating One
– The 5 Must-Have’s
All of this is the foundational stuff – that will help you create a simple, clear strategy that will help your business grow in a sustainable manner.
But no matter how well planned we might be, shiny objects will come along.
You might be given suggestions in these Facebook Groups. Or an Ad comes up for something interesting. Or your favourite podcast features an episode on a particular topic.
One thing is for sure, we will always be inundated with ideas – so how do we filter them out?
Here are 7 Questions to Ask BEFORE you try <that new shiny thing>
Question #1: Is it relevant to my Target Audience?
Everything should come back to your audience.
If they are not hanging out much on that social media platform. Or if they don’t have time to sit and read long blog posts. There is no point doing it. Simple.
Question #2: Does it Compliment or Complicate my Strategy?
Once you have a few good foundations into your marketing strategy such as an opt-in incentive, an email sequence and some effective sales pages. It is much simpler to add in some extra layers like different promotional methods.
This is because no matter where you promote you are sharing the same message and sending people to the same place.
However, there are a number of strategies that will add A LOT of work. Or might require you to do a lot of adjustments to your “sales funnel”.
Even what you think is a simple change can sometimes add a seemingly endless list of technical or brand updates.
Another way something extra can complicate your strategy is by confusing your audience. If you are trying to appeal to too many different people or provide too many different solutions or spreading too many different messages, the effect of what you offer will be diluted.
So always check if it is a quick compliment or if you are opening a can of worms.
Question #3: What purpose does this fulfil?
Nothing should be done without a purpose.
Have a check back to last week’s post on The 5 Must-Have’s for your Marketing Strategy. In it I refer to 5 different intentions that you must fulfil through at least one of your marketing tactics: Attract, Connect, Educate, Nurture and Convert.
Does this new thing fulfil one of those intentions?
Or, on a different vein, do you have too many things fulfilling one purpose but nothing filling another?
Question #4: If I Implement this, do I have the foundations in place to give it the attention it deserves?
How well are you converting with your existing tactics? Have you already ensured that once someone connects with your business that you have maximised the chance for them to buy from you?
Or are people just going to your website, having a quick look and going away?
There is no point adding in strategies to get more traffic if what you are driving traffic to isn’t working.
So if this is you, take this time to focus on getting that right first then move onto the traffic generation.
Question #5: Is it a Priority Right Now?
Yes, it actually might be a great idea. And something that could have an impact on your business.
But how busy are you already? Are there things that you have been meaning to get done for ages that you haven’t gotten to yet?
Sometimes these new things are a means to procrastinate on some more important tasks, so do a quick self check to make sure this isn’t the case.
If it is the case, write the idea down and come back to it later.
Question #6: Do I have the resources and/or the knowledge?
In other words, will you have to learn a lot of things to implement this?
Or will you need to buy a lot of equipment or software to carry it out?
Or do you even have the time?
Answers to these questions shouldn’t necessarily stop you from proceeding but it is worth looking into.
Maybe there is another option already out there that is better suited to your skill set.
Or, if you do want to go with it, could you look at outsourcing instead?
Question #7: What does your gut tell you?
I’m a firm believer in using your gut feelings when it comes to some of these things.
Sometimes things are put in our path as a sign of where we should be going.
Others, can just be total distractions.
So in the end, it will come down to what you feel is the right decision for your business.
Are you just interested in it for fear of missing out (FOMO)?
Are you just interested because you want to procrastinate on something else?
Or are you interested because you think it could be something that will make a huge difference?
Ultimately it’s your call. But it is definitely worth going through these questions each time just to make sure you are interested in that new thing for the right reasons.