By Sharon L. Hadden on December 05, 2017
I thought it might be fun to expose some of the marketing lessons we’ve learned, here at Social Savvy Consulting. People always compliment us on our fabulous website and awesome portfolio of work, but I’m not sure if anyone understands the amount of time, care, and consistent improvement that goes into our digital presence.
Take a look at some of the noteworthy marketing lessons we learned in 2017. Hopefully it will lead you to discover learning lessons in your own business.
1. What We Learned About Managing Our Own Content Calendar
In past years, top focus has been placed on putting the client first. After all, content creation and social media management for women owned small business is no quick task.
We spend a lot of time designing graphics, taking original photography, and writing blog, email and social content. Then, we have to make sure it’s published, promoted and measured. It leaves little room to take care of our own social media and web presence, but we couldn’t go any longer without practicing what we preached.
This year, we committed to producing an integrated marketing campaign, for our own agency. Rather than creating and posting content when we had time, we planned strategic content themes, content calendars and delivery dates, as if we were sending it off to a client for review.
We ran our content like a magazine, and produced blog articles, social posts and content offers one month in advance, while still keeping ourselves available to real-time opportunities.
The Result: In just 6 months, we saw a 63% increase in website traffic, and a 175% increase in email subscribers. The lesson here is to do the work, and trust the process. There were some months where we could only produce content a week in advance, and other months we got two months ahead.
We learned that content creation is a fickle process (particularly when no one’s paying you for it). Instead of missing a blog post or letting our social media run dry, we watched for what worked and what didn’t, then did more of what worked. Now when chaos breaks out on the client side of our work, we don’t have to sacrifice our agency content to put out the fire. We can also consider ourselves a walking case-study after running a full-scale content marketing program for the past year.
2. What We Learned About Our Sales Funnel
Not all customers are created equal, and time after time, we felt like we were getting the wrong business leads for our marketing consulting services.
A large part of our initiative to produce content like a magazine was to create content for every stage of the sales funnel. At the time, our marketing consultation was the only point of entry to gain new contacts.
We would find ourselves investing hours at a time, discussing new project opportunities, when the contact was really looking for DIY marketing resources or guidance.
We started listening to the challenges they faced, and this lead to a series of free marketing downloads that could help women in business solve their biggest marketing challenges, without having to speak to a marketing specialist.
The Result: We updated our marketing consultation form, to a marketing assessment, so our team would be better prepared to give expert advice, versus a summary of consulting services.
We tweaked our form submission, so we could get all of the information needed, to conduct an assessment, with little to no further action from the contact. This has effectively segmented our sales funnel into contacts who want to work with us and contacts who want to learn from us. With just a few adjustments, we can now nurture both educational and transactional relationships accordingly.
What began as our least effective marketing asset is slowly becoming one of our top performers. Sometimes things don’t work out as planned, but as a business owner, it’s your job to review, adjust and improve, until you find what works for you.
3. What We Learned About Creating High Converting Content
By now it’s probably obvious that we take data and analytics seriously, and quite frankly, there’s no reason not to, when you’re running an online business.
We’ve carved out a target audience of women-owned businesses who want to reach more women customers. Our contact list, website visitors and social following are all strong indications we’re attracting the right people.
We’ve taken our audience targeting to a whole new level with buyer personas and noticed several highly engaged and high-converting customer segments. One of which is subscription box businesses.
Turns out, there’s a lack of resources available to entrepreneurs who want to market a subscription box. To date, the articles we’ve produced on content marketing for subscription boxes are our highest converting pieces of content.
The Result: In less than one year, Social Savvy Consulting has moved into the top 10 search engine results for terms like “best way to reach women customers”, “marketing solutions for women in business”, “social media management for subscription boxes”, and “social media tips for women focused business”.
We plan to expand our blog and email program, to include more industry relevant content for each of our customer segments. We’ve found what works for us and won’t take that information for granted. You can expect to see a stronger content program from our agency in the new year, now that we’ve had the chance to get to know our audience.
Reviewing our 2017 marketing lessons has helped us plan for the year ahead. There’s no doubt that these learnings will help make marketing easier, and we encourage you to take a look at your year in review, to start getting ahead.