Most of us have been there. Once, twice, maybe even three times. I'm talking about the situation when we have absolutely no clue what to do about marketing. The frustration over campaigns that are not generating the results we thought we earned really gets to you, and you can't figure out what went wrong. Do you recognise yourself in the description?
So, what is the problem?
A previous colleague of mine told me a story about a company she used to work for, that was in this particular situation where they were following evert best practice and doing everything right - without showing positive results. Not even close to what they expected.
- A great website - check.
- A blog updated on a regular basis - check.
- Some downloadables (guides, whitepapers, and such) - check.
- Newsletter every two weeks - check on that one too.
Social media posts were published where they thought their target audience was - mostly on Facebook and LinkedIn. Occasionally, they posted on Twitter and the Instagram account was used to build employer brand and tell the story of their "joyful gang".
Analysis and (lack of) results clarified nothing
On a weekly basis, and sometimes even daily, they searched for answers in Google Analytics hoping to se positive results. Did they have more visitors on their website? Did the visitors click to the next page? Where did they come from, social media or other platforms? They compared it all to the performance of the previous month, or months, before.
Even though they did all the right things, and followed every best practice in the book - the results never showed. Sure, a few more followers on Facebook, and a few more subscribers to the newsletter were added... but that was it.
They never went from 50 to 500 daily visitors - like the companies writing the best practice customer stories. No vast amounts of leads each month, like all other companies generated through their marketing efforts (similar to this company). So what was the problem, really?
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The Machinery Is Running Hot
It's easy to miss the big picture when you're focused on a project. The insufficient planning was put up for a real test. The company posted their weekly blog posts on schedule, and my colleague continues by telling me that they almost started to believe that the results was what they deserved. "It is too hard for us to get that organic reach", or "this topic is way too complicated for our readers, they won't base their decision off of a few blog posts" were things they almost started to believe.
And sure, organic reach is not the easiest nut to crack. Companies and influencers basically fist fight over the spotlight today, and to be a fairly new player in a field may not be a walk in the park. It could suck. And you might get really nervos. But those are not excuses to give up, or to go back to your old routines.
If you don’t like how the table is set, turn over the table. Well, that train passed - and no one from this company got on.
Planning, Sharp Goals and Processes - what was that?
To not apply any type of structure, without a campaign mindset, and publishing a blog post with a CTA and be done with it is not best practice. Creating only one blog post linking to a premium content and assume that "it must not have been of interest" is lazy.
Did you know that best practice for each premium content is to write and publish at least 12 blog posts promoting the content? Linking to each other.
At the end, they published blog posts about the same topics, with some alternation of course, over and over again. The goals survived the day - since they turned out to be met if anyone read the posts.
The main purpose may have been to earn market share, but the employees never agreed on the WHY. To earn followers? To attract visitors to the web? To convert leads? It all turned into a big mess, that no one took responsibility for, and there was no agenda or plan to follow.
A Simple Template Could Have Made All The Difference
That's really where the true pain was. No marketing plan with definitions, goals or content plan based on marketing and business goals. Also missing were structured processes and SMART-goals to aim for. There was no campaign plan to follow stating which content belongs to each campaign, or the purpose of them.
They were in need of a structured template to stay on track with each campaign and all the content that goes into each project. "Fill out your business goal here", "Marketing goals are identified here" and "please, list your KPI:s" - type of template.
Or even better: this is how you build a campaign, and it should focus on this type of content, with this downloadable guide where every conversion through a form will generate more names on your lists, and be enrolled in a workflow for the remainder of your buyer's journey. Promoting more content that could be of relevance for your new lead.
A template just like that would have helped the company to take control over the malfunctioning marketing operations that were carried out. They needed to sit down together to go through every part of the template, and identify goals and why they were set. The key is to unite around a common purpose regadring marketing operations, and start working towards the same goals.
We've Got The Template For You!
For these simple reasons we've created the template everyone's looking for. Precisely that type of template that the company we've described in this blog needed. A template to create a yearly marketing plan for your Inbound Marketing. Download it here.
Disclamer: the e-book is currently only carried out in Swedish, but keep your eyes open -- we plan on launching the English version later this spring.