It cannot be overstated that marketing is an iterative process. If you’re starting running your very first advertisements, don’t be saddened if business doesn’t begin booming immediately. If it does — congratulations, you must have designed some impactful, well-placed marketing materials.
For everyone else, we have some tips on how to make your marketing more effective. But, first, you need to understand why your existing marketing efforts might not be so effective.
Why Is My Marketing Campaign Not Working?
Let’s be clear: marketing is an iterative process, yes, but you should always know why you’re iterating. Maybe only one aspect of your marketing efforts is flawed. Nevertheless, it would help if you recognized what is and what is not working and act accordingly.
1. Lack of good content
What’s in your advertisement? What does the copy say? Is the visual design appealing? No matter what format or channel you’re using, the content of your advertisement has to be of a certain quality level.
Your ads represent your business out in the world, so you want to ensure they’re doing so as best as possible. If you’re feeling lost, work with freelancers, whether they’re designers or writers, to make the best marketing content possible.
2. Lack of context
Good marketing campaigns aren’t built in a vacuum. No, before you design your ads and purchase advertising space, you need to research your audience. Figure out what your primary buyer persona cares about.
Then, for your advertising to connect with your audience, you need to know as much as you can about that audience. This can mean speaking directly with some of your existing customers, looking up statistics online, or a variety of other methods.
Again, do not expect your advertising efforts to pay off overnight! It can take a while for your advertisements to pay off. There’s no exact length of time established for how long it takes someone to convert to a paying customer after seeing your marketing materials. Just know that it can take months, even as long as a year.
Just keep running your ads and keep iterating on them. Once someone sees enough versions of your ads enough times, they might be curious enough to patronize your business.
How to Make Your Marketing More Effective
You should now have a basic understanding of why your ads might not be working — or if you’re impatient, why you might think they’re not working. What about how to make your marketing more effective?
Not to sound like a broken record, but it comes down to iterating on both your marketing strategy and marketing collateral. Let’s break that down.
1. Change Your Messaging
You rarely have enough space to focus on everything your business does in a single advertisement. Nor should you — a good ad is focused and precise in its messaging.
Maybe it’s time to switch your messaging up and focus on a different value proposition. It would help if you did this about every couple of months. Even if your current ads have strong messaging, people get tired of seeing them and respond well to fresh material.
2. Marketing Channels
Let’s assume your advertisements themselves are quality. What channels are you running them on? Are you doing billboard advertising? Grocery store advertising? Are you advertising on Facebook and Instagram?
A good marketing campaign always uses more than one channel. A mix of physical and digital ads is best. What’s nice about digital ads is that it’s very easy to track engagement. What’s nice about physical ads is that they stand out — the digital landscape is much more crowded.
3. Audience Research
It’s always possible you don’t fully understand your audience. This is a constant challenge since consumer needs and desires are constantly changing. If you don’t feel well-equipped to do customer research, there are two routes you can take.
The first is simple and often free. Just ask other business owners for their insights. Connect with similar businesses in your area and elsewhere. Ask what works for them.
The second solution, which costs, is to hire a freelance researcher (or company) who does customer research for a living. This might be expensive, but it will help you focus your ads and other aspects of your business around what your customers want.
4. Document Everything
This is incredibly important! Keep a spreadsheet of how much you’re spending, what advertisements you’re running, where they’re running, what the messaging in each ad is, and so on.
Then, track your revenue at the time you start running each ad. Any metric you can think of that’s relevant to your marketing efforts, track it. This is the only way you can understand how effective your marketing campaigns are. Two words to live by in marketing: iterate and document.