Trying to understand let alone execute all the different marketing tactics out there can be overwhelming for any marketer. Which social platforms? How often should I post on Facebook? When should I send out emails? How long should my blog post be? We get it! Marketing can be overwhelming, but regardless of what kind of marketing you do on which platforms, there are certain constants that should always be followed. We like to call them the golden rules for marketing.

Always have an offer

offerNot that your marketing message should always be salesy, but you need to get a measurable result out of your marketing, right? That’s why marketing needs to have an offer, telling your ideal prospects exactly what to do and why they want to do it right now. It should be intriguing, and it should offer them value if they take action. The whole idea of marketing is to generate interest among your target audience so don’t leave them hanging…give them something to bite at!

Make it time-sensitive

time-sensitivePeople are bombarded with marketing messages all day on every form of communication out there. Even if you give them a reason to be intrigued, you need them to do something about that curiosity. Otherwise, they’ll keep scrolling, change the channel, flip the page…wherever they are if you don’t get them to do something, you’ve lost them, which means your marketing efforts and expense was for nothing. Don’t let them “put a pin in it”; make the offer time-sensitive so they take that step. If it’s a sale, set a specific day when the sale ends. Quantities limited? Let people know! Early bird pricing for signing up by a certain time? Let them know! If your ongoing marketing doesn’t have a true deadline, you can still point out how, by not using your product or service, they’re losing money, spending too much time, etc. Time can be the value in this case; the sooner they bring you on board, the more time, money, etc. they’ll save. Create a sense of urgency.

Make the next steps clear

next stepsMake it clear what you want people to do and how to do it. It’s not that people aren’t bright, it’s just that spelling out that specific sales steps for them remove many of the roadblocks people have when purchasing or considering a purchase. Tell them where to click, what to look for, where to sign up for the free trial, etc. Make it as easy as possible for an interested buyer to take the next step, even if that next step is simply to get more information. The buyer’s journey needs to be completely unencumbered or you’ll lose them before they visit your site, send that email, or pick up the phone.

Measure everything

Not every marketing message resonates and knowing which messages work on which platforms is critical to good marketing, so measure everything. Where are people coming from when they visit your site? Which offer seemed to interest them? What piece of content led them to your site? Measuring is a big deal in marketing; without it, it’s just guesswork. There are plenty of tools to help or enlist a small business marketing professional to help you.

Adjust your marketing as needed

adjust your marketingNow that you’ve measured your efforts and know what works and what doesn’t, don’t be afraid to make changes to your marketing approach. Marketing is dynamic and ever-changing. You need to know which efforts are bringing in good leads and which ones need to be kicked to the curb. More is not better when it comes to marketing: better is better!

These are all fairly simple rules, but they’re effective and should be applied to all your marketing efforts. Follow these golden rules of marketing and you’ll see better results from your hard work.

Patty Hughes
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