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MARKETING STRATEGY

5 Reasons Your Marketing Isn’t Working

5 reasons your marketing isn't working (and how to fix them) - if you're feeling overwhelmed with marketing your business but aren't seeing results, here are 5 reasons your marketing might be failing you.

A lot of business of owners “hate” marketing, but if you want customers / clients who are not your mom – it's pretty much required. While marketing isn't exactly rocket science, it's more than just pretty pictures and strategically placed fonts – it's how you communicate your value and build relationships with potential buyers. There's not a single “right” way to go about your marketing, but there are a few things you should definitely avoid!

5 REASONS YOUR MARKETING ISN'T WORKING

1) You don't have a target audience

Marketing to “anyone with money” is not a thing. I've shared my thoughts on defining your target audience before, but I promise you – having a target audience will help you tremendously when it comes to your branding, your marketing strategy, your copy, and the products / services you offer. If you're trying to appeal to everyone, you're probably appealing to no one – so the more specific you can be in terms of who your product/service is for, the better!

Marketing without a target audience is really just putting stuff out into the world and hoping someone will buy it. I'm pretty sure that NO ONE would agree that's the best marketing strategy – or is that even a strategy at all???

FIX THIS: Define your target audience. Figure out what makes them tick. Figure out where they hang out online – What social media platforms are they active on? What communities do they belong to? What blogs do they read? What problems do they have? If you're just getting started, there's a handy worksheet to help you define your target audience linked in this post!

Marketing without a target audience is really just putting stuff out into the world and hoping someone will buy it.Click To Tweet

2) You don't have a strategic plan

You can spend hours and hours on “marketing” but if you don't have a strategic plan, you could be wasting a ton of precious time! You can't just post whatever you feel like on social media or spend hours taking pretty flatlays or writing blog posts or creating free downloads without a goal in mind. Your marketing actions should always have a purpose, and you should be leading your customers down an intentional path.

FIX THIS: Think about your client / customer journey – for example, most of my clients find me on social media. Either they come across my Instagram and click through to an opt-in form or they come across a pin that leads to one of my blog posts. From there, most people read a blog post or two and then may opt-in to my email list via a content upgrade or some other free offer. Once people are on my email list, they get a series of emails (depending on how they opted in) and eventually get pitched my paid products / services.

I find it easier to work backwards from your end goal (whatever you are selling) and reverse engineer your content paths. Mapping out a strategic plan will not only help you figure out what content you need to create and share, but it will also keep you on track to actually accomplish your goals.

3) You plan but don't take action

What's worse than not having a strategic plan? Actually taking time to make a plan and then not taking action. You can research and strategize and plan for months, but if you don't take action – you fail before you even get started. It's easy to get caught up in doing everything “just right” – trust me, as a recovering perfectionist (and former financial planner), I've spent wayyyyy too much time on “perfecting” plans – but in reality there's no such thing as a perfect plan. 

FACT: Some things will not go as planned. FACT: You need to learn to adapt. FACT: It will all be ok.

FIX THIS: Set aside time each week specifically for marketing activities. Put it on your calendar. Find an accountability buddy. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you're dedicating time to taking ACTION rather than just making to-do lists. If taking action is holding you back, I recommend setting specific goals to help move the needle forward – for example, instead of putting “do guest blog posts” on your to-do list, set a goal to pitch 5 different websites with specific guest blog post ideas. Instead of scrolling through Instagram and liking pretty photos, set a goal to connect with 10 potential clients and actively engage with their content leaving meaningful (not spammy!) comments.

Marketing isn't something you can do for a hot minute until you get busy + forget about it...Click To Tweet

4) You aren't consistent

For 99.9999% of people, success doesn't happen overnight. If you're not showing up consistently to connect with your audience, to build brand awareness, and to promote your products / services – then you're doing yourself and your business a disservice. Consistency breeds credibility. Marketing isn't something that you can do for a hot minute until you get busy and forget about it. Only a fraction of your audience is seeing your social media posts or reading your blog posts or opening your emails – so if you're not being consistent, you're not maximizing your reach.

FIX THIS: Scheduling + automation are your BFFs. When it comes to social media marketing, I definitely recommend scheduling your posts in advance. Create an editorial calendar for your blog/vlog/etc. and post as frequently as you can be consistent – quality above quantity, always. Here's a helpful post to help you plan out your blog content! You should also have a regular schedule for email marketing and if possible, using automation can help save a ton of time and ensure that you're communicating consistently (here are a few ways I use email automation)!

5) You aren't paying attention to your analytics 

If you “know” me at all, you should have seen this one coming (I'm an analytics NERD) – the only way to really know if you marketing is “working” is to track your results. 

FIX THIS: Use the available tools to track your marketing activities each social media platform or scheduler has it's own analytics, you should set up google analytics for your website / blog, and your email marketing service probably has it's own built in analytics as well. And for your analytics to be relevant, you need to establish specific goals – so for example, if one of your goals is to use Pinterest to drive more traffic to your website, then you should be tracking your referral traffic from Pinterest and identifying which pins / boards / etc. are driving the most traffic to your website so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn't. 

Plan your content in advance

The Best Resources For Instagram Props

Must-haves for your instagram prop box - keep small accessories, paper goods + more around to help you in styling your instagram photos and creating a more cohesive brand.

If it isn't obvious already –

My instagram feed is rarely instant.

I previously shared that I prefer batching tasks, and taking photos for instagram is one of the things that I tend to do in batches to save time. Also, since my “ideal” natural lighting happens mid day, taking a lot of photos at once helps me to get more consistent (and better) lighting. Throughout the week I might share photos of things that are more “in the moment” like when there's a really pretty sunset or a cute photo of my dog, but most of my photos are taken ahead of time.

For me, instagram is a curated gallery / highlight reel of my life and behind the scenes look at my business, so I'm very intentional about which photos I decide to share. 

Whether you're styling your photos for instagram or your website, it's helpful to have a prop box of items on hand to help you create more interesting photos. To build your own prop box, think about what types of items you already have around your home and gather them together in one place. From there, you can start to purchase additional props within your niche – for example, I work with a natural beauty brand that incorporates a lot of “natural” elements like flowers and greenery to complement their products.

Often I want to take a photo of a particular product like lipstick or jewelry, and having things like trays and coffee table books around helps to make my photos less blah. I try to only buy “props” that are things that I will actually use in real life and that relate to my brand – so you'll primarily see polished, feminine, and modern accents in black / white / gold / pink  anywhere that's associated with wonderfelle.

Whether your styling your photos for instagram or your website, it's helpful to have a prop box of items on hand to help you create more interesting photos.Click To Tweet

PROPS + BACKGROUNDS

You can find almost anything on Amazon, Target, or Etsy – but one of my favorite resources for stylish Instagram props is Shopbop, specifically for their curated collection of small home accessories + gifts. 

For specific props here are a few ideas that you can use for styling flatlays or behind the scenes shots:

Office supplies (pretty pens + pencils, notebooks, planners, folders, paper clips, scissors, post it notes, notecards, stationery, etc.). Find fun office supplies at:

Small home accessories + kitchenware (candles, trays, coffee table books, picture frames, decorative objects, coasters, plates, glasses, mugs, bar accessories, etc.) A few great places to find home accessories include:

Small personal accessories (jewelry, watches, keychains, scarves, wallets / clutches / pouches, makeup, glasses, headphones, etc.): Find cute options at:

Other: flowers, succulents, food / beverage items, technology (phones / tablets / etc.)

If you’re looking for resources to make the backgrounds of your photos more visually appealing, consider these:

What are your favorite resources for Instagram props?

BONUS: Download the FREE checklist of the 8 things you should be doing every time you post on instagram!

Instagram checklist - free checklist of the 8 things you should be doing for every Instagram post

10 Ways to Use Social Media To Increase Your Blog Traffic

How to use social media to increase your blog traffic - 10 free actionable strategies you can use to drive more traffic to your blog. If you're a blogger who wants to use social media strategically to get more blog readers, click through to read this post!

I spend a lot of time helping my clients grow their social media presence, but to me, what's really more important is why you want to grow that audience. Hopefully you're not trying to grow your Instagram following just because you want more followers – you probably want more followers because they want more clients / customers / blog readers / subscribers / etc. If you're a blogger (or business with a blog), using social media is one of the easiest ways to drive traffic to your website – so in this post, I'm sharing 10 ways to use social media to increase your blog traffic (and they're all free!)

10 WAYS TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO INCREASE YOUR BLOG TRAFFIC

Approximately 70% of my monthly traffic comes from social media, but just because you're posting on Instagram or Facebook or wherever you are active – that doesn't automatically translate into blog traffic. Using social media effectively to drive more people to your blog requires a having a strategy!

Instagram

  • Share your blog posts multiple times – Your followers aren't going to see every single post so it's TOTALLY fine to share them multiple times! For example you could share a sneak peek before you publish a new blog post, then share a Instagram post the day your blog post is live, then share a throwback post a few weeks later. If you have image-heavy blog posts, you could even share multiple Instagram posts promoting your new blog post in the same day – just make sure you're just giving people a “teaser” of your content so they have a reason to click through to see the full blog post!
  • Use specific calls to action – If you want to increase the number of times people click through to your blog from Instagram then you need to regularly tell them to click the link in your profile. Just adding “link in profile” at the end of your captions isn't enough. People aren't on Instagram scrolling through and looking for a reason to leave Instagram – so you need to give them a reason to leave if you want them to take action. Tell them WHY they should click on the link in your profile – what's in it for them – if you really want to entice them to click through.

Casually adding “link in profile” at the end of your captions isn't enough to increase click throughs…

CLICK TO TWEET

Twitter

  • Post often and at optimal times – This could be said for Pinterest as well, but it's especially true for a high-volume, low-converting platform like Twitter. Because the average “lifespan” of a tweet is less than half an hour, if you're only tweeting a couple times a day, only a small percentage of your followers are actually seeing your posts. This is a great post explaining in more detail why people aren't seeing your tweets, but the keys to seeing any real traffic from twitter are posting multiple times a day, every day, and tweeting during the periods when your audience is most likely to actually see those tweets. Using a social media scheduler like SmarterQueue (what I currently use) can ensure that you're tweeting at optimal times even when you can't actually be “active” on Twitter.
  • Use click to tweets in your blog posts – Getting other people to share your blog posts on Twitter can bring more traffic to your site than you sharing your own posts on Twitter, so you want to make it easy for people to share! Using social sharing plugins like SumoMe (what I use for the pink social sharing buttons on my blog) or Social Warfare can increase your social shares, but adding in easy click to tweet quotes within your blog post is another great way to increase Twitter shares in particular.

SmarterQueue - evergreen social media scheduling tool

Facebook

    • Take advantage of Facebook groups – Facebook is honestly not one of my favorite social media platforms – especially when it comes to using Facebook pages – but utilizing Facebook groups has made a significant difference in driving traffic to my blog. There are lots of different types of Facebook groups no matter what your niche is – and many of them allow for promotion of your blog posts. There are some groups created specifically for helping bloggers promote their posts (share for share type groups) and others where promos are only allowed on certain days or in certain threads. Make sure you pay attention to group rules before you start promoting your blog posts! The easiest way to find relevant groups to join is to search for keywords on Facebook – so for example, you could search “beauty blogger” if you're a beauty blogger or “entrepreneur” if you're looking for groups with other entrepreneurs.
    • Post limited text with an eye-catching graphic – Regardless of whether you share sharing your blog posts on your Facebook page or in relevant Facebook groups, you can tease you blog post content with a short intro but also include a graphic to catch your audience's attention. If you have images in your blog post, Facebook will automatically include one of the images when you share your link unless you click the option to display images, but if you want to share a different image, you can upload another photo/video instead! Text-only posts on Facebook are easy to scroll past, but adding a graphic helps you post to stand out in your audience's feed.

Pay attention to your analytics and do more of what works and less of what doesn't.

CLICK TO TWEET

Pinterest

  • Treat it like a search engine – Pinterest is my favorite social media platform for driving traffic to my blog (in fact it accounts for almost 90% of my social media referrals) – but in reality, it's much more of a search engine than it is a social network. Using keywords in your Pinterest bio, your board descriptions, and your individual pin descriptions helps other people find your content when they are searching for particular topics on Pinterest.
  • Join group boards – Joining group boards on Pinterest can exponentially increase you reach on Pinterest because your pins are seen not just by your followers but by the group boards' followers as well! I currently have 7,000+ Pinterest followers, but one of the group boards I belong to has 70,000+ followers which has a huge impact on the number of people my posts can reach on Pinterest. You can use sites like PinGroupie to find relevant group boards or “stalk” a few popular Pinterest users in your niche and see which group boards they belong to. Most group boards will have instructions in the board description on how you can join if they are open to new contributors. When you join group boards, make sure you're paying attention to the quality of the pins being shared on the board as well as the re-pin rates – if the quality/engagement is low then it's probably not worth joining the group board even if you get access to more followers.

Tailwind - best Pinterest scheduler for bloggers

Any social media

  • Create a schedule – For any social media marketing (or really, any marketing in general), having a schedule can help ensure that you are consistently using each platform. Since I schedule most of my social media posts in advance, I'm able to stick to a regular schedule and always post my best content at the best times for my audience.
  • Pay attention to analytics – In order to know the “best” when / where/ what of posting on social media for your audience, you need to pay attention to analytics. Not just what google tells you is the “best time to post” – the best time to post for YOU is when YOUR audience is active. “Popular” posts are only relevant if they are popular among your audience – so pay attention to your analytics and do more of what works and less of what doesn't.

You might also like: Scheduling Social Media – What to Share and When to Share It

So these are 10 actionable ways to use social media to increase your blog traffic – and they're all totally free! Keeping up with social media can be a lot of work, but here are 5 ways to save time on social media to help you out!

What other some ways are you using social media to drive traffic to your blog?

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