“I need results now” is a giant red flag during the sales process. The fact is, when urgency is the mentality, we’ve already lost. A buyer journey for most service industries is a lot longer than business owners expect and some parts of it even the best of efforts can’t cheat. Many users lose their nerve 60-90 days in and our data suggests that’s often just when things start heating up. Once we accept our own sales process, that marketing works, and Google’s processes are out of our control we must also accept that marketing is a marathon not a sprint. It doesn’t make sense to run a short lived campaign.
Awareness Is Effective
At a point of healthy marketing budget, awareness and engagement tactics are the best way to keep cost per acquisition metrics as low as possible. Our most successful campaigns use a lot of awareness and engagement tactics to push those users down the funnel. Often the audience is unaware that they’re being advertised to and it almost seems easy to engage and encourage buyers to become customers. We’ve seen this in data throughout industries. The more consistent and engaging our content is, be it blogs, videos, vlogs, TikToks, or Facebook posts, the more that our high converting search ads perform. Search ads by themselves perform but search ads perform better when there is an awareness ad running. Search ads with an awareness ad AND an engaging bit of great content perform best. One real estate agent we work with can see a direct correlation between his video content’s success and the call volume through the search ads.
Content Marketing Takes Time
Seems like a no-brainer. Let’s all create content!!! The rub is that for this to work, it takes time. Consistency in a content world can mean months of creating videos without meaningful results. It can mean months of learning and creating better content, reading comments, and engaging with search trends. It can mean being very flexible on platform choice while also remaining consistent on the platforms you’ve already built. Content and engagement are extremely valuable but like anything of great value, it requires patience and discipline. Even if you’ve gotten great at this and your content has instant virality, you’re still at the mercy of the Google Gods and no one is above their judgment.
Praise Be The Google Crawl
Google only crawls your website at most every few days but can take as long as a few weeks in between each crawl. Each crawl can reveal dozens of issues on your site and the only really true way to find out if you’ve fixed the issues is to wait until they crawl again. Incremental improvements in your SEO can have a big ripple effect. Improving from 4 to 3 in placement is the difference between the 2nd page and the 1st in terms of visibility in the bulk of searches. The difference in site crawls can mean you’re listed number 1 or you can be unlisted, meaning no one will ever find you. Managing this extremely important task requires a tremendous amount of patience and attention to small details. Once you’ve buttoned up your search optimization and your consistent engaging content, you’re well on your way to seeing results but there is still one factor, even the best companies forget.
Don't Forget The Lesson's You've Learned
If a business depends on hot weather (like an AC company) they might get nervous every year when the weather is just right. If we get 2 months of beautiful weather in a row, they might lay awake at night wondering why the phone calls have dropped. In July however, the results will be through the roof and those same companies will be buying everyone lunch. Most businesses experience some seasonality and this can create a lot of unexpected and difficult-to-measure results when ramping up a campaign. Don’t forget to consider the seasonality of your business when you’re analyzing results. Be sure not to buy a book of leads during a season when you’re likely to be slow. Great sales process won’t create a need where there isn’t one. If you’re a roofer, you won’t sell as many roofs when it’s not raining and if it’s a particularly wet month, you should consider that in the results as well. Looking back at an entire year is the best way to gather your industry’s seasonality and use the information to make great advertising choices the next year.
How Long Till I See Results?
Expect a full year of advertising before your campaigns reach a full maturity. Some businesses make the bulk of their revenue during one month and others make it consistently all throughout. It’s best to work with someone transparent who can manage your marketing in a way that allows you to analyze the data in a thoughtful way. The key to improving your sales and marketing processes is in your analytics but you can’t cheat it. Just as a scientist wouldn’t value an experiment with a sample size of 1, neither should you. Make an educated plan, execute it, and analyze the results. Trust the process and keep improving.
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