Marketing Obstacles 2019

Let’s be honest: creating and implementing a digital marketing strategy isn’t exactly easy.

No matter what kind of industry you’re marketing in, there are certain issues that need to be addressed:

  • How should you be creating content?
  • How often should you be publishing your content?
  • How should your team handle daily operations?
  • How do you maximize the quality of the customer experience?
  • How do you generate traffic/conversions?

And if you think marketing veterans don’t have to deal with this, guess again. The digital marketing landscape is anything but static.

Make no mistake, even the savviest marketers don’t know which social media platform is going to dominate social in 12 months.

Which means that your tactics will need to constantly adapt to the marketing ecosystem. After all, yesterday’s revolutionary breakthrough is today’s cheap gimmick—and you can’t afford to fall behind.

So, what separates the savvy marketers from the novices? A deep understanding of key marketing principles that are relevant no matter the scenario.

Tactics change regularly, but the building blocks of marketing? Those aren’t going anywhere.

Once your marketing team has established that strong foundation, they can rest assured knowing their campaigns are based on something beyond intuition.

Understanding the dynamics between brand and consumer and what it means to sell in the digital age is the key to surviving in this ecosystem.

That’s why today, we’re going to take a look at five of the most common issues we’ve seen marketing teams struggle with.

By the time we’re done here, you won’t just know how to overcome these individual challenges—you’ll walk away knowing how to properly approach future marketing issues from here on out.

Sound good? Great, let’s get started.

1. Consistently Generating Traffic and Leads

If we’re critically looking at the issue of driving traffic to your site, we can focus on two of the biggest factors impacting your results: attention and value.

To put it simply, your marketing team should always be able to answer two basic questions:

  1. Can customers actually see our marketing campaigns?
  2. Have we offered enough value to drive engagement?

A mixture of top-notch SEO marketing and paid marketing is typically your best bet since you’re able to maximize your organic traffic while getting some fantastic ROI using Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads.

Still, if you’re looking to actually convert, it’s not enough to just generate cold leads. That’s where having access to the right metrics will make or break your marketing strategy.

Keep in mind that when you’re turning a ‘maybe’ into a ‘yes’, you need to be offering plenty of unique value.

Which leaves us with one simple question: how on earth do you offer value to customers beyond your product?

One of our favorite tactics is to answer relevant questions on Quora and refer readers back to our site if they have any questions.

Not only is this an easy way to offer value to customers, but it also happens to be a great way to establish yourself as an online authority in your industry.

Remember: the goal isn’t to just rely on some marketing gimmick for traffic. You’re looking to consistently generate more traffic over time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Create high-quality content that provides undeniable value to your audience. Target long-tail keywords and show Google just how relevant your site really is.

When it comes to traffic and lead generation, always pair ‘attention’ with ‘value’ to increase the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

2. The Perfectionist Trap

This is something plenty of well-meaning startup marketing teams struggle with, and it’s no surprise why.

Once you understand how important it is to create truly valuable content, it’s easy to become obsessed with making everything ‘perfect'’.

Of course, this attitude can end up causing more harm than good. Typically, you’ll see this manifest as micromanaging.

It might not seem like a big issue, but over time, this can make it near impossible to implement your marketing plans efficiently.

The name of the game is consistent execution. It’s not enough to just create a single compelling video or an interesting blog post. You need to regularly produce content that’s going to draw audiences in and drive them towards conversion.

But don't just take our word for it. Here's a quick clip of Gary Vaynerchuk offering some key content marketing insights.

Gary's very first piece of advice? Put out more content.

Fortunately, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel every week. You just need to maintain your momentum with marketing content that helps your audience address their pain points.

Our advice? Take the time to establish a content baseline early. When it comes to individuals, make sure that you’ve clearly established the value that should be conveyed in the marketing content.

Avoid micromanaging like the plague. If you’re the boss, you already delegated that task to them—there’s no reason you both should be working on it!

From there, resist the urge to overcomplicate things. Ambitious business owners have a tendency to want all the latest marketing trends baked into their own marketing campaigns.

And while there’s nothing wrong with experimentation, you should always aim to keep your testing as simple as possible.

For more on this, take a look at Neil Patel's quick 5 tips for creating an awesome blog post.

Keep in mind that, the fewer variables involved, the easier it is to see what’s actually working and what’s getting in your way.

Never introduce a third variable while you have an A/B test in progress. Identify what’s working, break down why it’s working and move forward with that information.

Most importantly, the perfectionist trap stems from marketers worrying that the content they create simply isn’t good enough. So, we’re going to replace that uncertainty with structure.

Keep the process simple and the content impactful. Establish writing guidelines, buyer personas, and an editorial schedule to provide the direction that your marketing team needs.

3. Efficiency and Timing

Listen, we get it. Even with strong content guidelines, creating quality content takes time.

While you never want to be rushing the process and cutting corners, it’s safe to say that plenty of marketing teams could be a bit more efficient.

Easily the biggest issue we see here is businesses setting vague, lofty goals for themselves. Shooting for the stars is a nice thought, but it’s not especially useful when your marketing team is looking for clarity.

Goal creation is a tool that can help guide your marketing team’s day-to-day decision making, provided you set the right kind of goals.

Realistic, achievable, and measurable goals can help provide your marketing team with clear indicators of what their marketing strategy needs to achieve.

It’s not enough to aim for “more conversions”. Instead, try aiming for a “15% increase in conversions over the next 3 months”.

And if you’re serious about improving efficiency, you’ll need to give your marketing team the tools they need.

You want them in a position where they can collaborate easily and quickly, and have access to the metrics they need to make intelligent decisions.

Using Social Report, your team can easily schedule social media posts in advance. Something as simple as having the right tool at their disposal can save your marketing team countless hours every week.

And if you're looking for improved workflow, our team management tool helps streamline the way your marketing team handles communication.

Why is this so important? Because in an ecosystem that constantly changes, your marketing team needs to have systems in place that let them stabilize and quickly adapt to those changes.

4. Communicating with Customers

Once you’ve started to turn some of that attention into page visits, you need to be prepared to interact with customers.

This is usually where we see new business owners drop the ball. Their approach to customer interaction can come off a bit too professional for their brand, or outright impersonal.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with having a professional presentation. The problems only start when you forget to put the ‘social’ in ‘social media’.

Customers (potential or otherwise) want to know that their problems are being considered and addressed by a real person.

So, if you want to make a splash, ditch the autopilot response and create a unique one instead.

Here's a fun fact, courtesy of our friends at I-on Interactive.

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In other words: when customer's feel taken care of, they'll take care of you.

Again, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. If it’s a positive interaction, genuinely thank them for choosing your business however you see fit.

If it’s a negative interaction, remember that there’s a disappointed person on the other side of that screen. If you can communicate to them that you understand their frustration, you’ll be one step closer to improving their experience.

We’ve found that your own workplace culture can be one of the biggest indicators of customer satisfaction. Everyone in the office, from the new hire to the C-level execs, should understand how to properly communicate with customers.

Why? Simple: if everyone’s on board, there’s less of a chance that a customer will walk away with a negative experience.

If you’re wondering why this matters, remember that the reason people interact with brands on social is to see the people behind the logo.

Customers are trying to figure out whether or not they like you and what you stand for. And if you’re sending boilerplate responses 24/7, you won’t be making it any easier for them.

5. Tracking and Identifying KPIs

This might seem like a minor challenge, but mastering this can actually set your marketing team up for success, regardless of the marketing campaigns they choose to run.

Confused?

Not to worry, we’ve got you covered.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the holy grail of metrics, and understanding them makes it nearly impossible to choose the wrong marketing strategy.

It’s worth pointing out that the concept of the KPI isn’t set in stone. To put it simply, there is no single KPI that takes priority 100% of the time. Your KPIs are going to change depending on your objective for this particular marketing campaign.

For the sake of brevity, we’re going to discuss 3 of the most common objectives that businesses have when implementing a marketing strategy:

  • Lead Generation
  • Conversion
  • Customer Support

For example, when we talk about lead generation, we could prioritize:

  • The cost per lead from social channels
  • Social media’s impact on the purchase process
  • Qualified sales leads from social

When we talk about conversions, we could focus on:

  • Direct revenue through tracked links
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Conversion rates from social channels

You’re probably starting to notice a pattern here. These KPIs aren’t randomly selected metrics. They’re metrics that have a massive impact on the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, particularly as it relates to conversions.

And when you look at customer support, you can focus on:

  • Cost savings
  • Average time until issue resolution
  • Change in sentiment surrounding support issue

Keeping track of a wide variety of metrics is nice, but having access to in-depth analytics is where you’re really able to step up your marketing efforts.

No matter which marketing tactic is popular this month, you should always aim to make decisions based on the specifics of your metrics.

When the average marketing team finds out that their Facebook Ads ROI is 200% higher than their Instagram Ads ROI, they just shrug their shoulders and focus on Facebook Ads.

If you really want to stay ahead of the pack, our social media analytics tools provide powerful insights across a broad spectrum of social media platforms.

Best of all, it's fast. We know that you need to be able to make decisions at a moment's notice. That's why Social Report tracks performance and breaks it down so you can quickly organize that data.

But your marketing team, armed with the right information, can figure out exactly what makes their Facebook Ads ROI so high. And once you figure out which components of your marketing strategies definitively work, it’s only a matter of time before you strike marketing gold.

Conclusion

Poor marketing efforts rarely happen in a vacuum. When marketers struggle regularly, there’s usually an underlying problem that needs addressing.

Maybe they don’t understand how to communicate with customers correctly. Maybe they don’t care enough about metrics.

Or maybe they just don’t understand how to generate more leads.

Understand that relying on new marketing tactics just treats the symptoms, not the disease. If you want your team of marketers to start driving more conversions, they need to be armed with the right tools for the job.

There's no getting around the fact that Social Report should be one of your marketing team's tools. Our all-in-one social media management platform boasts powerful features like post scheduling and social listening, while also remaining accessible.

Because what's the point of collecting all that information if you can't use it?

Make sure your marketing team understands the importance of consistency over perfection, that they care about streamlining their creative process, and that they’re comfortable with the customer’s state of mind.

Because a marketer that’s consistent, efficient, and in-tune with the modern consumer is a marketer that can make you money.

Thanks for reading! What the biggest issue your marketing team struggled with this year? Let us know in the comments below.

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