Transform the power of your expertise into exposure for your practice.
In the ever-evolving world of marketing, stay on top of not only the latest sociocultural trends but also the algorithms by which search engines like Google sort and rank information on the Web. You don’t need to understand every detail, but ensure you have a secure handle on the basics that will make your marketing efforts truly shine. To do this, examine your marketing assets, assess the effectiveness of your website, and aim for your target audience.
Align your assets
When it comes to marketing assets, there are three different types: paid, owned, and earned. Paid efforts are those you pay for such as print or online ad campaigns. Owned media are items that you create and own outright, including photography, blogs, and published articles. Earned media coverage is the result of your expertise in a given area and, unfortunately, is the most underused form of self-promotion.
Owned media and earned media are most valuable to you because you don’t have to pay for them, and earned media in particular will greatly increase your credibility. Have you ever been featured or used as a source by a media outlet? If so, get that information out front and center on your website and social media channels. If you don’t yet have any content that falls under the scope of earned media, now is the time to start building relationships with organizations that can recognize your expertise.
Align your website
Next, take a closer look at your website. A strong business website is the foundation of any marketing efforts you choose to deploy. Did you know that in April of this year, Google changed its algorithms to prioritize mobile-friendly websites for those conducting searches from a mobile device?
In other words, if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, Google will automatically prefer the websites of the businesses that do for those conducting a search from their smart- phone. And in case you were wondering, that’s just about everyone these days. If your target audience includes anyone from millenials to baby boomers and you don’t have a mobile- friendly site, you are losing business.
And that’s not the only reason to make your site mobile-friendly. Beyond what the search engines are doing, you are turning off any customers who find your site while surfing the Net on their smartphone if your website isn’t optimized for mobile. Inadvertently, you are telling these customers that they don’t matter by making it more difficult for them to read and interact with your site. You might have the greatest content in the world, a slew of amazing accolades, and earned media all over your site, but if users can’t easily read and engage with your content, it’s all for naught.
Align with your audience
Finally, review your social media. Many have asked the question: Does social media still matter? Is it still relevant?
And the answer is yes. For better or worse, consumers and media giants alike are looking for a strong social media presence when determining which businesses are credible.
This is especially true of millenials, but also across the board. That alone is reason enough to maintain your social media accounts, but another equally valuable motive is the traffic and link- backs that these platforms provide to your website. Search engines still favor unsolicited, unpaid traffic when it comes to rankings, and inbound links are also a strong ranking factor. Use social media to drive traffic to your business and simultaneously improve your reputation.
5 marketing don’ts
Here are several more suggestions to heed if you’re looking to align your marketing efforts with your highest business goals:
- Don’t waste earned media. If you’ve received media coverage, you need to be shouting it from the rooftops in your marketing. If not, the time to connect with the media is now.
- Don’t live in the Internet past. A mobile- friendly website is an absolute must. If yours isn’t optimized for mobile yet, it’s time for an upgrade.
- Don’t ditch social media. Media and consumers both look to your social media presence to help determine your credibility.
- Don’t run a muddled website. What is the purpose of your website? Are you trying to get people to sign up for an email list or purchase a product or service? Do you want them to understand the finer points of what you’re all about? If the mission of your site isn’t strong and clear to visitors, your message is muddled and it’s time for some guided Web support.
- Don’t hide important details. Can visitors to your website quickly and easily tell where you’re located and what you do? If your business name is on the esoteric side or your customers can’t tell if your office is local to them, you are in need of a content—and possibly a branding—reboot.
Don’t waste another day letting poor marketing strategies drive down your business opportunities. Use the tips outlined here to start moving in a positive direction and align your marketing with your business ideals in a purposeful way. The health of your practice will show for it.
Drew Gerber for 30 years has been inspiring those who want to change the world. As the CEO of Wasabi Publicity, he sparks conversations that lead to personal and business success. His PR firm is known for landing clients on Dr. Phil, Oprah, Anderson Cooper, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, and other top media outlets. Wasabi Publicity lives to launch conversations that make a difference and change the world, providing the best industry leaders and change agents for the media.