It’s the start of a new year and the perfect time to do things differently. Take a good look at what you did last year and make some improvements. For many, a popular New Year’s resolution is to get fit and lose some of that extra weight gained over the Festive period… So you join a gym or start a fitness class.
As a regular gym goer, January is possibly one of the worst times to visit the gym. It’s much busier, you can’t use any equipment or book a class. You can’t really blame people for wanting to make changes and get fit, for many it’s an inspiration and the beginning of regular and improving fitness in their lives and we wish them all the best. But all too often many of the newcomers drop away after just a couple of months leaving the regulars to get on with the business of continued improvement. This got us thinking about marketing… joining the gym is very similar to marketing for your business.
Many people have the best intentions when starting out but they don’t have the willpower to see it through, they create a training programme, a nutrition plan, buy all the supplements, get all new kit and aim hit the gym three times a week, but their goals are lofty, misguided and unrealistic, they quickly become despondent when the results aren’t immediately apparent.
Long term fitness and increased strength take time and dedication, there is no quick fix. Much like a business, marketing isn’t about a couple of Facebook posts, trying a little SEO for one month or tweeting now and then. Marketing takes dedication, above all it requires a focussed long term strategy with realistic goals from which you can continually build.
Continuing with the Gym analogy, here are a few things you should be considering to shape up your business…
Training Programme – Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy is like your training programme. If you want to achieve your goals you need a plan to get there. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself.
- What do you need to grow? More customers, sales, enquiries, awareness?
- What kind of marketing is most appropriate for your business? SEO? Social Media? Blogging? Paid advertising? Email campaigns?
- How much time can you dedicate to marketing?
There are several ways you can market your business but you need to know which activity, how much of that activity and what combinations will be the most effective toward your desired goals.
Nutrition Plan – Daily Tasks
Your daily marketing tasks are like your nutrition plan and work in conjunction with your training programme (marketing strategy). You need to stick to it, be consistent and methodical. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself.
- How much time do you have to complete the daily tasks whilst running the rest of your business?
- How often are you going to generate new content for your social media accounts?
- How are you going to research your target keywords for SEO?
- What topics are you going to blog about?
- What is your link building strategy?
Supplements – Use The Right Tools
A well-rounded diet shouldn’t need supplements. However, in the world of marketing, a lot of money continues to be spent on unnecessary advertising supplements. If the person in the changing rooms is drinking a protein shake you start to think that you should be doing that too. But if you don’t know what you’re doing it can be a waste of money.
There are many ways to get your message across to your audience but which should you use? Do you just follow the herd and do whatever they’re doing? Are you wasting time, effort and money covering every social media network you’ve heard of, a tiny bit of SEO or building email lists and then propping all these up with a smattering of paid advertising and Adwords?
If your marketing strategy is healthy and balanced you shouldn’t need regular supplements. It’s all about using the right tool or combination of tools for the job as appropriate. In the long run, it’ll be more cost effective and less time consuming if you just focus on what you need, when you need it, rather than blindly mimicking those around you.
Frequency – Tracking Results
You have an idea of how many times you want to visit the gym but are you going to track the number of workouts and progress to keep your motivation up? Tracking results are massively important in marketing so you can see what’s working and more importantly, what isn’t. You can see which areas need more attention or need revisiting. Tracking your progress and results will lead to a more cost-effective marketing plan and a more accountable return on investment (ROI).
Magic Pills – Pay Per Click
There’s always a tempting shortcut, a quicker way to gain results fast. Back with the gym analogy, muscle gain or weight loss pills can help you reach your goals much faster. But once you stop taking them you quickly return to your old self, feeling disillusioned and with a lot less money in your pocket.
The quick route in digital marketing is using pay per click adverts to position yourself in a good spot on Google. But as soon as you stop paying for those adverts you will quickly lose your spot and your website will disappear along with your visitors. Like losing weight or gaining muscle a much better way is to take your time and improve naturally (or organically).
Using SEO properly to improve your organic search ranking will steadily improve your position, build authority and trust in Google over time. If you stop, your website will just slowly move back down the search results rather than fall off a cliff edge because you pulled the advertising spend.
Personal Trainer – Digital Marketing Agency
If you’re serious about getting fit and want to get results from the gym, you need to be in it for the long run. A personal trainer has all the experience and knowledge you need to get started, they will maintain their input with you and help to consistently improve your results.
Similarly, a digital marketing agency can do the same for your business. We have all the experience and knowledge to work with you toward a plan that will help your business grow. Yes, there is money involved but it’s quantifiable. Just like a personal trainer, we will regularly talk you through the improvements and the areas that need attention based on actual figures.
Just like some new gym goers, many business owners jump into online marketing using every bit of equipment, every supplement and magic pill available but quickly become tired and disillusioned by the lack of results. Others employ a personal trainer and find the whole process far less painless, often enlightening but most importantly, the eventual results are real and lasting.
What Should You Do Next?
If your business marketing needs a lasting fitness plan, drop us an email or call 0161 791 0100.
Let’s fast forward 6 months and see where you’re business is at.