Just because you're down doesn't mean you have to stay down.
I mean, we've all been in the trenches at one point or another. Emotions start running high, the whispers about job security enter, and a series of long days (and longer nights) appear on the horizon.
Knowing that the whole "sleep deprived/highly caffeinated" look doesn't do anyone justice, it's important that you and your team start talking about what can be done to redirect your efforts before it's too late.
While the communication that accompanies a slow month is often riddled with excuses, finger pointing, and minor profanity, the following conversations are designed to be a little more constructive.
"Are we speaking to the right audience?"
If you're trying to market to everyone, it's likely that you're not seeing much success reaching anyone.
With your numbers on the decline, it's critical that you stop spreading your message thin across an audience who may or may not care about what you have to say, and start focusing on the ones who do.
Revisit your buyer personas. If they're not in a place where you can easily reference them, do something about it. Print them out and pin them up next to your desk for everyone to see.
In an effort to improve our own adherence to creating content for our personas, we created seperate Trello boards for each of our personas with their credentials attached to the top. Now every time we go to write a post, we're forced to identify which persona it lends itself to.
If you don't have well-defined buyer personas in place, no wonder why your KPIs are down. Quick! Get to work with our buyer persona kit before it's too late.
"What resources do we already have?"
A lot of the time it's not about pushing yourself to create 15 new blog posts, but rather creating one remarkable piece out of what you already have "in stock."
For marketers in a pickle, recycling your existent content is the simplest, most cost-effective way to pump up your content creation without compromising the quality of your resources.
This could mean that you revisit an old ebook and pull an excerpt that you feel is particularly powerful and turn it into a blog post with the CTA for the offer at the bottom. Or conversely, you can string together a series of related blog posts to create a quick lead generating offer to get people converting.
Another option would be to get your hands dirty with your analytics. By picking out the pieces that have performed the best in the past and finding a way to reinvent them, spin them, or pull from them, you'll have a greater chance of seeing quick success.
Are you currently alienating visual learners? An infographic serves as a great way to extract the juicy stuff from your existing posts and reformat it into something highly shareable.
"Are we working efficiently?"
While finding ways to put a unique spin on some of your existing content can certainly help, it's not the only solution.
In fact, it's not always about doing more (more blogs, more email, more offers) but determining how to better distribute what you have in front of you.
If you're stuck in a routine in which you share your daily blog post to Twitter and Facebook once in the morning when you get in and then hope for the best, you're not working efficiently.
To start, you might want to reconsider how you're presenting the article on social. Are you just sharing the title? Are you including an image? How long is the copy that accompanies the link?
There are a number of elements that contribute to the performance of a post. If you're not seeing the engagement you want and need, try representing the information in a way that would resonate better with your audience. Touch on a pain point, create a sense of empathy, or even better, a sense of urgency.
The platforms you're participating on might also be the problem. Did you ever stop to think that maybe Facebook isn't the best place for you to be sharing your blog articles?
For us, getting an article shared on a website like Inbound.org has a lot more impact on our numbers than when we post something to our Facebook account.
The goal here is to indentify the Inbound.orgs of your industry and work on getting your content shared where the ground is more fertile and the audience is more targeted.
"How can we leverage our network?"
Contrary to popular belief, who you know does matter.
If you're feeling like you've given your goals everything you've got and you're still falling short, it's probably time to call upon your network.
While you don't want to take advantage of the relationships you have initiated, what's the sense in having all these business cards and phone numbers if they're just going to collect dust?
If you already have a working relationship with some of the thought leaders in your industry - great! Round up some content that you know will be well-received by their audience, and ask them to share it.
If you have a guest blogging connection, consider the benefits of getting a fresh post up. It's likely that they'll share the post from their account too, and at the end of the day, two targeted audiences are better than one.
Don't have any influential connections? Now is a better time than ever to make them. But how?
Start by identifying who has the most influence in your industry. These are the people that have a strong presence, a respected voice, and a ton of involvement in terms of the community and industry events.
From here, you'll want to start engaging with them on social platforms. We suggest adding them to a Twitter list to make it easy to monitor who and what they're posting about.
Once you start sharing their content, you'll be on their radar, which will ultimately make it easier for you to initiate a connect.
Often times they start focusing on quantity over quality, and it's all down hill from there.
While doing something like shortening a form may help you generate more leads in a shorter period of time, it's important to consider how the shortage of contact information will influence your sales team's performance. Are you setting them up for success or failure?
Rather than scramble to shrink your forms, consider an alternative way to lower the barrier.
We've recently implemented a new CTA format that incorporates a form within the blog post (you'll find one below.)
This switch is a reflection of our attempt to eliminate a step and make it as easy as possible for our blog subscribers and visitors to convert on an offer.
Sometimes that's all it takes.
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