Think back to when you first learned basic algebra and the laws associated with it. Knowing how the laws interact and that they do not operate in a vacuum was essential to successful computing and problem-solving.
Likewise with the laws that guide successful marketing strategies. While 2020 made all of us realize that we could not rely on almost anything to be the same. Marketing was no different. The tactics changed; the strategies adapted. However, the laws guiding successful marketing strategies stood firm.
In any successful marketing strategy, the “whole” — the strategy and expected ROI — is truly greater than the sum of its parts —the tactics within the strategy. But if there is one marketing law that can help you master your strategy for 2021, it is the Law of Alignment.
Simply put, your marketing initiatives need to be in alignment with your company’s goals.
If you’ve ever driven a car that’s out of alignment, you know it. The steering is off, the suspension is probably getting messed up, and your tires will begin to wear unevenly. The lesson? Alignment is important, not only for a safe vehicle, but for a successful trip. The longer you let it run out of alignment, the more damage to your vehicle and expensive the repair costs.
If your marketing initiatives aren’t aligned to your goals, you’ll eventually have a tough time justifying the investment. On the flip side, if your marketing initiatives ARE aligned, the ROI will be evident, measurable and truly be a valuable investment.
The best marketing strategies start with goals, then expand into strategies, then identify and utilize a variety of tactics to support the strategy. The tactics and strategy MUST be aligned and accountable to the goals. The strategy can flex and pivot if it is still aligned with your goals.
A Goal in Alignment
What’s an example of a digital marketing strategy that’s in alignment? If your goal is to acquire 20 new clients in 2021, your strategy must be aligned to these goals and your tactics should provide specific alignment to your strategy. You may have other tactics in your strategy, and they should each align to the goal.
One way to approach this could be through an aligned content strategy. Instead of writing blogs for your website and hoping people will find them through Google searches, be more proactive with distribution to drive leads. For a sales goal, write blogs that answer specific questions your clients are asking when you consult with them. Post them with engaging images. Share them to social media regularly. (The same blog can and should be shared often!) Plan out several blogs that discuss a certain theme, and then roll them up into a gated eBook. (a contact must provide contact information before downloading). Link the original blogs to that eBook to drive even more traffic. Promote the blogs and eBook on social media, Google PPC, Bing and in emails.
The result? Organic traffic to your site will grow and be a more targeted audience. Your branding will speak to your client’s needs. And, you’ll start to collect new leads through your gated content and surround them with similar content on social media and other digital medium like email.
Here are a few questions you can ask to determine if your digital marketing strategy is in alignment:
- Do you have SMART goals written down for sales and recruiting?
- Is your content in alignment with your goals?
- Are you distributing content through multiple channels to surround your audience?
- Have you identified the tactics that provide the most value and have plans to invest more there?
- Where are sales and recruiting opportunities coming from? (percentages and real dollar amounts)
- Is the website providing leads? If not, it may be time for an audit.
- How is the website providing leads? (IP tracking software, gated content, talent request forms)
- Is my website outdated? (Design, navigation, mobile first, ADA compliant)
- Is the website optimized to drive traffic to collection points?
- What are we sharing in mass emails?
- Is my team on board with the strategy? For example, are they sending out content or engaging with the company social media accounts? This is another marketing law: The Law of the Stakeholder.