• Kelly Smith

How To Know If Your Marketing Efforts Are Paying Off

Are my marketing efforts paying off? Should I be getting more leads? Should I have more direct messages from interested parties?

33% of entrepreneurs do not know if their marketing efforts are effective (source). Of small business owners that I've talked to, many feel like they should be marketing their business more or better than they are right now, and when asked why they feel that way, the most common answer is, "to get more clients."

It's evident that small business owners can't tell if what they're currently doing is paying off or if they're spinning their wheels. It's true: Good marketing results in qualified leads, and leads are barometer by which most entrepreneurs measure marketing success.

Lead generation is one result of good marketing, yes, but the other results may be even more compelling, substantial, or dare-I-say-it: valuable, and here's an actual scenario to prove it:

You may not be able to quantify a new lead from your most recent LinkedIn campaigns, but you were offered an opportunity to speak at a symposium which resulted in 25 new leads and 15 new referral partnerships.

That LinkedIn campaign was really valuable, wasn't it?

Here's another: You write a blog post that has a unique point of view; perhaps goes against the mainstream belief system in your industry. You promote this blog post on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. A widely-read publication reaches out to you to write a piece for their next issue. This piece, which you promote on all of your channels and the publication promotes on theirs, results in more website traffic, more social media followers, more email subscribers, a few consultations, and an invitation to speak at an event in three months time.

Good thing your wrote that blog post, right?

Marketers use a term called Marketing Attribution to describe the point in which someone converts into customer. If someone started following you on Instagram and two months later signed up for your email newsletter, then one month later scheduled a free consultation with you, then 2 weeks after that decided to hire you, which piece of marketing content gets the credit for the conversion? The entire customer journey took 3.5 months, and all the while was getting education & insight via social media, then via email, then live (consultation). So was it one particular post that motivated them to sign up for your newsletter? Was it a testimonial that you included in an email newsletter? You get the idea...

There are many different models on Marketing Attribution and we're not going to get into that here, but this is a great article that explains it well. If you want to learn more about marketing attribution, send me a message here and I'll be happy to geek out about it with you.

Results of good marketing, other than leads, which improve your brand exponentially over time include market share, improved brand reputation, and authority in your field.

1. Market Share: Earned Through Better Visibility:

The opportunity to compete for market share in your industry doesn't come through word-of-mouth. Having a presence on social media, growing an email subscriber list, producing regularly scheduled original content to your own platforms like a podcast or blog, are a few ways that people can engage with you and get value from your brand.

Your digital marketing strategy is a differentiator and it allows for you to go from being the best kept secret in town, to accessible & in-demand. The ways in which people engage with you both online, in print, or in person are the very things that make your brand alive, necessary, and trustworthy. Improved recognition and brand awareness are necessary for bigger opportunities (which we'll cover next), as well as for people to want to work with you.

How to know if it's "working:" Increase in Followers, Number of Impressions, Reach, Email Open Rate, Monthly Increase Views/Listens of Consistently Published Content.

2. A Respected Reputation: Authority in your Industry

You don't shy away from saying the thing you believe to be true and your audience applauds you for it. In fact, they reward you for it. They trust you to show up consistently and educate them on the topics in your expertise. They share your content. They engage with it by liking it and commenting on it. By taking the bold step of "putting yourself out there" on a consistent basis, you're showing that you're a professional. You don't just hop in and out of content creation when the mood strikes. Your content marketing cadence is a reflection of how invested you are in your audience.

Your demonstrated expertise establishes your credibility which leads to bigger & better opportunities (see below). Referral partnerships are formed when others feel confident referring you within their network. Referral partners are eager to refer you because doing so makes them look good!

How to know if it's "working:" Increase in followers, increase in engagement on social media, increase in views/listens to your owned media (blog or podcast for example), website traffic, direct messages, click-through-rate, email open rate.

3. Better Opportunities: Invitations To Participate in Bigger & Better Discussions

Of all of the benefits of good marketing, this one has the potential to exponentially grow your business and change your life. By becoming visible by way of an intentional and specific marketing strategy, you open yourself up for opportunities like these, for example:

  • Keynote speaking,

  • Participating in panel discussions,

  • Being a podcast guest,

  • Guest presenting,

  • Being a guest on a webinar,

  • Having your written work published in a major outlet,

  • Lending your expertise to a news feature

  • Becoming a contributing author,

And guess what? All of these can become a revenue stream the more influential (read: visible) you become. You can charge big bucks for your time and thought-leadership when you have enough credibility and experience to do so.

Once a potential collaborator, publication, or event planner becomes aware of you, they will use your digital marketing content, consistency, following, and levels of audience engagement as the barometer to determine if you’re the right fit to hold space on their platform. Testimonials, snippets of your most valuable content, a highlight reel of your best presentations, are all great tools to help build confidence in inviting you to be a guest on their stage.

You want the attention of their audience, and they want the attention of yours. They want to know that your content will appeal to their audience as well as grows their audience and visibility.

Collaborators and partners want to know that you have something unique to say, a following who'll take notice of them, the professionalism to be consistent in your message, and nothing proves this out better than your digital marketing presence.

Marketing is more than lead generation and has the power to propel your brand forward if you're committed to producing high quality, honest content that educates, motivates inspires people to make decisions that benefit their lives.

If you want bigger opportunities, more of the right kind of visibility, and to be known as a authority in your industry, schedule a free consultation with us here.

Thanks for being here,

Kelly Smith