Every day you roll the dice a bit with your marketing efforts. Let’s face it; even though there is a definite science to online, inbound marketing, you still take a chance every time you roll out a new marketing attempt. That doesn’t make you irresponsible as a marketer. It’s simply the reality of doing marketing in an every-changing world. What worked yesterday may not work today—and almost certainly won’t work tomorrow.
As marketing has moved online, there has been a huge amount of emphasis placed on search engine optimization (SEO). It’s certainly understandable. If more and more of your business comes to you through the Web, you want to get found by the search engines. Getting found is essential. But a lot of attempts to optimize websites in order to get found have been unfruitful—at least those attempts to outsmart the search engines. Marketers who try to “game Google” end up paying a price. They can actually find their rankings get pushed lower because Google knows exactly what they’re trying to do.
And yet, a lot of companies are betting their marketing dollars on SEO. Some are engaging the services of outside SEO companies. Others are doubling down on social media platforms. They’re putting their money (along with the time and efforts) on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or one of the newer platforms in hopes of generating leads and sales. Others are convinced that email is the way to go (and you might be surprised at how effective email can be today—if it’s done properly).
Everybody seems to have an opinion on what they think will provide the best results. But here’s the bottom line: It doesn’t matter what they think. What matters is what actually works—what gets results. And that’s where a lot of companies are really rolling the dice and leaving things to lady luck; because they don’t know what’s working.
If you don’t know what’s working, that means you also don’t know what’s not working. And that means you’re throwing your money away. No matter what marketing method you’re using—direct mail, email, social media, mobile marketing, SEO, or skywriting—you’ve got to be able to measure your results. You have to know what it’s costing you, and you have to know how many people are coming to your website, then qualifying as leads, and then ultimately becoming customers.
Otherwise, you’re just placing your bets and rolling the dice.