Great products sell themselves, is one of the most commonly quoted marketing myths.
While quality is the cornerstone of every successful product, it’s marketing that spreads the word about it and makes it visible in a saturated marketplace packed with similar solutions.
Nowadays, when competition in all fields is fiercer than ever, it’s hard to cut through the noise and find your way to your potential customers and their wallets, that is, to generate new, high-quality leads.
More than 60% of marketers say that generating traffic and leads is their biggest challenge.
There are many reasons why this is the case, but instead of relying on pure guesswork, what you should do if you aren’t satisfied with the number of new business opportunities your company has, is conduct a marketing audit and tweak your marketing strategy accordingly.
Here’s how to prepare for this complex process and what you have to know about it.
What Is a Marketing Audit?
It’s a detailed review of your marketing plan, goals, strategies, and all other marketing activities. It’s like a general medical check-up of your overall marketing strategy.
The point of this undertaking is to examine your marketing assets and establish what’s working and where there’s room for improvement.
By not conducting marketing audits regularly, you’re not only throwing darts in the dark, but also pouring your hard-earned money into potentially ineffective strategies that won’t bring any substantial results.
Here’s a quick recap of the reasons why you actually need a marketing audit:
- Reconnect your marketing activities with your long-term business and marketing plan. It’s easy to lose track and drift away from your initial idea, and an audit can remind you why you have come up with your current marketing strategy in the first place.
- Evaluate what is working and what isn’t. It’s important to reassess your marketing strategy and see how every activity is performing.
- Analyze your business and research external factors. This research will help you find out many important things about the market itself as well as your competitors. There’s a chance that you’ll come up with new ideas based on your findings. For example, you might realize that something your competitors are doing brings them a lot of traffic, and could implement it just as easily.
What Should You Measure and Assess?
There are different types of marketing audits that you can perform, and we’ll discuss some of the most important metrics that need your undivided attention.
The point of having a website is to promote your business, but what’s equally if not even more important is attracting traffic and converting it to leads.
After you establish how much traffic your website generates and how many leads you actually convert, it’s important to see what you can do to increase these numbers.
Some of the elements you can tweak include:
- Content. Is your content relevant enough and do you use it to convert leads?
- Value proposition. Does your value proposition capture the essence of why your prospects should convert? Are the benefits clearly stated? Does it differentiate you from your competitors?
- Calls to action. Are they clear and placed above the fold? Is your copy enticing and compelling?
- User experience. Is your website easy to navigate? Can your visitors easily find what they’re looking for? Have you implemented a chatbot which would engage your leads and offer them customer support 24/7?
If your conversion rate is low, some of these factors might be responsible.
Content is the building block of every sound and successful marketing strategy. In other words, if you fail to provide great content, you’ll be in a pickle no matter how amazing your product or service is.
Apart from being informative, educational and entertaining, your content should also be consistent – you can’t publish a blog post and then wait two weeks to release another one. That’s a surefire way of losing your audience.
The amount also matters big time. Stats say that websites that publish more than 16 blog posts a month score almost 3.5 times more leads than those with less than four.
It’s important to emphasize that content doesn’t only refer to the blog posts you publish. You need to have content types suitable for every stage of the buyer’s journey. How-to guides, white papers, customer studies and helpful videos should help your prospects understand whether your product is a good fit, as well as how to use it for the best results.
Your product or service pages are also part of your content marketing strategy, so make sure your descriptions are precise, benefit-oriented and compelling. Don’t insist on your products’ features and specs – explain exactly how they can solve your prospects’ pain points.
All the content mentioned above won’t be effective unless you have a proper SEO and link building strategy which will improve your search engine rankings and place you right in front of the right people’s eyes.
Perform an audit to identify whether there are relevant keywords within your
- Meta titles
- Meta descriptions
- Image alt text.
Apart from that, you should improve your internal link structure by including links to several related posts within your content. Make sure to check whether there are any broken links anywhere on the site and fix them.
Backlinking is another essential element of your SEO strategy that needs careful consideration. Namely, building links can significantly improve the online reputation of your business, but only if these links to your website come from reputable sources.
That’s why you need to audit your backlinks and identify whether some shady websites link back to your content.
There’s an important step between generating leads and converting them, and that’s nurturing.
This process makes sure that your leads get all the information about your products and services in a timely manner.
Nurturing can be performed in different ways, including email campaigns, interesting content which helps your prospects overcome some of their obstacles, videos, and other activities that will attract your leads and engage them.
It’s a good idea to think about building a custom app as it allows your audience a more convenient way of exploring your content and products, as well as open an additional line of 1-on-1 communication, all of which is essential for engagement.
Tailoring your content based on the different segments of your audience is another crucial factor of successful nurturing.
Finally, having all the necessary customer information is a must, and that’s what marketing – sales and marketing alignment – is all about. Make sure to check how these two departments co-operate, as poor communication between them prevents qualifying good leads and obstructs proper nurturing. So, sharing intel and data between these two teams should be among your top priorities when it comes to improving your overall marketing strategy.
You value proposition is an ace up your sleeve – a secret ingredient which captures the attention of your prospects and tells them why they absolutely have to choose your company over your competitors.
It describes how your potential customers will benefit from using your product and what pain points it solves.
This audit should tell you how successful your value proposition is in convincing your leads to convert.
Your overall messaging should reflect this value proposition and be consistent about it.
Website Technical Performance
Again, your leads won’t have an opportunity to read all your great content, learn more about your products, and engage with your company if your website is slow and sluggish. They will bounce while they’re waiting for it to load.
So, it’s clear that you need to test and audit the technical performance of your website.
Check loading speeds, website design, mobile responsiveness, error messages, and everything else that might disappoint your visitors and make them bounce.
After you collect all the data from your research and pinpoint all the underperforming areas of your marketing efforts, it will be much easier to change and fine-tune your marketing strategy to make it more effective.
Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.