Elevate Your Brand with These 11 Marketing Tips
Updated: Sep 26
We’re now a quarter of the way into the year. How are you feeling about your marketing and branding efforts?
Don't worry about falling short of your goals. Instead, I want to encourage you to start something new today. The beginning of the year is an arbitrary goalpost we create for ourselves, so there's no need to feel restricted by it. You still have three quarters left to make 2023 your best year yet!
If the beginning of the year gets off to a slow start, don't give up on improving your marketing efforts. Whether you want to work on content, improve what you already have, build your sales pipeline, or learn from your current customer base, there are countless opportunities to grow your marketing and strive for improvement.
(P.S.: If you like this mindset, all 54 tips can be found in my eBook, available here or at the end of this post)
1. Easy Wins: The Power of Low-Hanging Fruit Content Creation
Writing content takes a lot of effort. Many people are turning to AI writing tools to avoid agonizing over a single paragraph, as it seems like an easier alternative to do their dirty work.
Even if you’re strapped for time, whether you use AI tools or not, here is one question that you can ask yourself to generate content ideas for your brand:
What are the five questions you get asked the most frequently that you could answer with blog posts, LinkedIn newsletters, long social media posts, or videos?
Rather than focusing on planning out the rest of the year, begin by answering this fundamental question. By doing so, you can generate at least 5 ideas that can be published on the platform of your choice. In my experience, where there are 5 ideas, more inevitably pop up.
2. 404 No More: How Banishing Broken Links Can Boost Your Site's Ranking
Have you stumbled on a website with a unique 404 message?
Maybe there’s a cartoon animal or a clever saying to inform you that you’ve arrived at a page that no longer exists? While fun 404s can be a delight, they’re also frustrating. Instead of accessing the content you wanted to see, you’re being told it’s no longer available.
Don’t let this kind of frustration happen to your web visitors. Not only can it erode trust, but it can also hurt your rankings on search engines like Google.
An easy way to boost your site reputation is by getting rid of any “page not found” errors. Most SEO tools can help you identify which pages are throwing this error. From there, you can replace links with new ones to route to different pages or delete links altogether if there isn’t a suitable alternative.
3. Spy on Competitor Ads for Better Marketing Strategies
If you’ve ever searched for your business name, only for a competitor ad to show up, you might have wondered what keywords they’re using to target your audience or what other ads they’re running.
Did you know that you can find out with tools like Spyfu?
Learning what your competitors are doing can give you ideas on what works well in your industry and what resonates with your target audience. This information can inspire new ideas for your own ad campaigns and organic content strategies.
Additionally, analyzing your competitors' content can help you differentiate yourself in the market. By understanding what your competitors are saying, you can craft a messaging strategy that sets you apart and highlights your unique selling proposition (more on that below).
4. Track Visitor Behavior on Your Website for Insights
Your website might have the most valuable, interesting information ever, but if your visitors aren’t seeing it, it doesn’t matter.
Misplaced buttons and crucial information hidden underneath the “fold” can be make-or-break on websites.
For example, if a button with a strong call to action is located too far down the page, it won’t be seen by as many people, meaning fewer people will engage with it overall. Say 25% of website visitors see the button, and out of that, only 5% click on it. If the button was placed “above the fold,” where the majority of visitors will see it without scrolling, it has the potential to get four times as many clicks.
User experience (UX) tools like Hotjar (free version available) allow website owners to see what visitors are doing on their pages - Where they’re scrolling, what they’re clicking on, and where they might be getting lost. With Hotjar, you can even add a feedback option that allows people to tell you exactly what they can’t find on your website. Observing actual behavior can be so enlightening.
5. Discover What Your Customers Really Think
Launching a new product or service can be scary!
There’s always uncertainty about how it will be received. If you have a well-established customer base, you can use it to gain insights before making any big decisions. Send a survey to your most active or relevant customers, asking them about their interest in any new offerings.
Gathering customer feedback is so valuable. It can guide you toward the proper course of action. Segmenting can take you even further: Consider sending different surveys to long-time versus new customers, ones who have used specific products or services, etc. By asking more targeted questions, you’ll receive more specific, actionable answers.
6. Keyword Strategy Beyond the Obvious
Keyword research often comes to mind when businesses are building websites or working on blogs. The more specific and targeted keywords are, the more likely your site is to rank well on search engines like Google.
However, keywords can be useful for more than just the obvious. You might be able to gather insights on how to best name a service, what to add to your FAQs, or figure out the best way to phrase a presentation you want to give at a trade show or community event.
Here’s a great example: There’s a good chance that one of your products or services has a name that makes sense to you, but no prospect will think to search for it. This actually happened to one of my former clients. They gave a service line a name that people in the industry knew, but no one outside of the field (aka their actual prospects) would search using that terminology. When I showed them the search frequency and common results between their current service line name and one I proposed to them, they made the switch.
You never know what you’ll find with keyword research. The most important thing is to keep an open mind and be willing to change your mind when presented with new information.
7. The Power of Testing New Technology
Testing new technology can be a powerful way to stay ahead of the curve and differentiate your brand in a competitive marketplace. While AI may be the trend of the moment, it's important not to overlook other new technologies that can enhance your marketing efforts.
Trying out new tools like chatbots, opt-in banners, or email flows can help you identify innovative ways to engage with your audience and improve your marketing performance.
By remaining curious and exploring new technologies, you can stay ahead of the curve and continually evolve your marketing strategy to drive business growth.
8. Leverage Social Media for Authentic Connection
Time and time again, I’ve cited Lee Frederiksen from Hinge Marketing for this analogy that has stuck with me ever since we talked: If you’re treating social media like a cheese plate at a networking event, you’re doing it wrong.
Have you ever shown up to a networking event when you didn’t feel particularly sociable? You walk in, feel overwhelmed, and go over to the cheese plate. When you spend your whole time on social media in isolation - not doing outreach, not encouraging engagement, not asking for anything or giving anything in return - you’re not going to connect with anyone.
One way to leverage social media for authentic connection is to prioritize transparency and honesty in your social media content. This can involve sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business, showcasing the people behind the brand, and being open and honest about your values and practices.
Another strategy is to actively engage with your audience on social media, responding to comments and messages in a timely and personable manner. This can help to build trust and show your audience that you value their feedback and opinions.
Lastly, businesses can leverage social media to create a sense of community around their brand. This can involve creating dedicated social media groups, hosting live events or Q&A sessions, and encouraging user-generated content.
By creating a sense of community, businesses can foster deeper connections with their audience and create a more authentic and engaging brand experience.
9. Honing Your Unique Selling Proposition
Last year, I was part of a research project where I had to look at 500 websites of businesses in the same industry. What I found was a lot of sameness. These organizations were telling me what set them apart by saying the same things that 100 other websites did. What’s so special about that?
Most unique selling propositions aren’t unique at all. We like to think they are, but if we don’t pay attention to what our competitors are saying and rush through our own content, there’s no way it will actually stand out in the crowd.
The best way to go about building a noteworthy USP is to connect it to your core values. I’ve been working with clients to do just that for over a year. In fact, I’ve even done the exercise myself.
My USP is: “Creating abundance from what makes you wonderfully unique. I’ll leave your business better than I found it.” This USP ties in my core values of abundance, wonder, and stewardship. Working to identify what’s deep and foundational about myself and my brand helped me build a USP that no one else will have. That should be every business’ goal.
10. Strategic Thinking: The Importance of Taking Time to Plan
This one might sound simple, but most people skip it. When you’re building your strategy for the quarter, the year, whatever, you need to answer the following questions:
What are you trying to promote?
Why are you trying to promote it?
What does success look like?
Your business’ success is going to look different from any other entity. If 100 pageviews per month on a key page of your website is success, that’s great. If it’s 50,000, more power to you! Defining what “success” is for you means you can evaluate whether your efforts are working, or if you need to pivot and try something new.
11. Switching to Google Analytics 4
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but one of the most important things to add to your to-do list if you haven’t done it already is this: Move your Google Analytics to GA4 today. Don’t wait.
I push all of my clients to have Google Analytics tracking their web metrics. Without this tool, you could miss out on learning a lot about your visitors, what they find valuable, and what you can add to garner even more traffic.
The current version of Google Analytics is going away and will be permanently eradicated by this summer. Waiting is no longer an option. Make the move yourself, or work with an analytics specialist to get everything migrated and tracked properly.
The Power of a Fractional CMO: Unleashing Growth Opportunities for Your Business
With a little something for everyone, these 11 innovative and actionable tips are designed to help you achieve meaningful growth and success.
As a Fractional CMO, it’s my job to be up to speed on the many ways businesses can work to boost their marketing, improve their brand presence, and build better systems for their business. Marketing is about a lot more than just posting on Instagram or writing a blog with no underlying objective.
When businesses choose to work with me, I dive deep into their marketing and business processes to identify areas for growth and opportunities to unlock their full potential.
If you're interested in learning more about how I can help you grow your business, please reach out to AcornOak.
And finally, for a more complete guide to unlocking growth opportunities, be sure to check out my eBook which includes 54 tips to help you crush your 2023 marketing. It’s never too late to keep building!
About the Author
Sammi Dittloff Fractional Chief Marketing Officer
Sammi Dittloff serves as a steward to brands uncovering an abundance of marketing opportunities. After years of marketing, analytics, promotions, and writing experience, Sammi helps her clients break through the noise by creating a unique voice that separates them from the pack. One of her speciality involves finding the right words to get through to their desired audience. She loves taking complicated ideas and looking for ways to make them understandable for an audience. Accessibility is an unsung hero in marketing - making a website and words accessible is not optional to stay competitive.
Companies can grow their brand voice in regular, meaningful ways that build over time and return dividends long past the initial investment.