Top Ten Marketing Habits That Your Business Should Have
If you ask the question how long does it take to form a habit you will get a variety of different answers. 21 days, 28 days and 40 days are always popular. But wrong.
According to research by Phillippa Lally, health psychology researcher at University College London, it usually takes on average 66 days before a new behaviour becomes automatic. Sometimes longer – even up to 254 days!
The point being that habits take time and effort to establish. We are all well aware of this in our personal lives but in business it is no different. We set off with good intentions to do something new and they get soon swamped by the grim realities of everyday firefighting.
But if you want to succeed in marketing there are some habits that you simply must have. Whether you work in business or in a specialist field such as an SEO agency the message is the same: do the basics well on a regular basis and you are set for success.
So what are the basics of marketing. We’ve come up with the following list:
- Blog each week
One of the best ways to keep on the radar of existing customers and attract new ones is to continually post fresh content. This does not have to be a sales pitch: nor does it always have to be completely related to your product or service. You need to provide engaging content on topics that will appeal and be of interest to your target audience.
If your blog can get them onto your site and encourage them to stay for a while, then they are already moving along the sales funnel without even realising it.
- Create social accounts
With around half the world’s population using at least on social media platform, this is a tremendous marketing opportunity if used wisely. The best thing to do is to research and choose the most popular platform(s) with your target audience then spend time and effort engaging with them.
Choose carefully: it is better to have one platform that is managed consistently well than spread yourself too thinly and neglect one or more platforms. See our recent article – Don’t Throw the Baby out with the Bathwater – for a more detailed explanation of the benefits of using social media.
- Collect email addresses
Targeted email marketing campaigns can reap rich results. If you analyse these results after each campaign then you can improve the effectiveness of your campaigns more and more each time. For example there may be some customers who will be tempted by discounts and offers, others who are either seasonal shoppers or only buy certain categories of items, then the loyal customers who buy regularly and deserve special appreciation and rewards.
So email campaigns should never be one size fits all; you need to categorise customers for targeted emails that will be opened and acted upon. Be aware that the advent of GDPR means that you need to seek consent for email addresses to be used, but you can also use this process to your advantage by clarifying the kind of emails and contact that each customer does want to receive from you.
- Use SEO to drive traffic
The world of SEO is ever changing, but it remains a powerful tool to drive traffic to your website. It is important to keep up with developments in SEO and Google algorithms, whether you do this yourself or employ an SEO agency to do it for you. SEO factors that you can use on the pages of your website include using keywords in title tags, other tags, URL, images and links – as well as in the content itself. All of these will help your page to be picked up by search engines in organic searches.
- Paid search/PPC
As well as the organic searches mentioned above you can also use paid search. This means that you advertise within the sponsored listings of either a search engine or another website. You pay for your advert either each time your ad is clicked (pay-per-click:PPC) or displayed (cost-per-impression:CPM).
Google Adwords is a powerful tool to help you identify how many people are shown your ads, then either visit your website or call your business. You can therefore analyse the most effective type of advertising for you and can target specific categories of customer with your adverts.
- Submit articles to large websites
The old saying “content is king” still remains true in marketing. So as well as producing weekly blogs as in step 1 above, is it also valuable to submit articles to larger websites. This can gain recognition for your company, even to the point of you becoming a thought leader on particular topics. It is also an excellent way of creating links to your site from other better known sites.
- Build links with other businesses
Leading on from the above, it is really important for all kinds of reasons to build links with other businesses. Having links to your website from other businesses is not only a helpful way of driving more traffic to your website but also a powerful endorsement of your brand. There may also be ways that you can work collaboratively with another business, for example to run a marketing or training event or to present a one stop solution to a potential client.
- Provide value
Our recent article Keeping Your Clients Sweet explored the concept of providing value to clients so that they stay with you. It can be easy to overlook existing clients and take them for granted, and put all your energy into attracting new clients. But this is a sure fire way to lose clients and can also impact negatively on your reputation. So as well as providing value in terms of the competitive financial sense, make sure your brand gains the reputation of being a good business to work with.
- Review what the competition is doing
It is all too easy to become so immersed in your own little bubble that you forget to check what everyone else is doing. This does not necessarily mean that you have to copy other people, but it is important to check what is working for others to see if there is something you are missing out on.
So keep your ears open and talk to people who know the company, have used its products or services or who have worked there. There are also a range of tools out there to help you, such as SEMRush. This enables you to find out information such as which of your competitor’s display ads are performing the best , which sites they are running on, which keywords your competitors are ranking for, what their landing pages look like and where their backlinks are coming from.
- Get testimonials and reviews
As we stated earlier, around half the world’s population is now using social media. People listen to other people. This is why it is so important to have testimonials and reviews of what customers are saying about you and your brand. For many customers, a review is the key piece of evidence to determine that you can provide actual value to them. For more information about how to generate reviews and use them effectively see our recent article The Importance of Online Reviews.
If you are already doing all the above then you are on the road to success. If not, then consider it time to make each of them a habit. It may take you 66 days or more to do this but it will be well worth it!