“The traditional marketing playbook is broken,” said HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan at a recent conference. What did he mean?
In the old days, you could buy attention for your business through ads and mailing lists. Today, with so much competition for your customers’ or clients’ attention — from 500 channels of cable TV, satellite radio, outdoor ads in places where billboards have never gone before and of course the whole online world of millions of websites accessible through myriad mobile devices — attention is harder to get than ever.
With ads, once is never enough
If you just run an ad or two, it may be nearly worthless. You may have to run hundreds or thousands of ads just to get anywhere.
But that would be totally old school, says Halligan. Today, you don’t need to spend big money on marketing. You just need to be smarter — and switch most of your marketing online.
How you do you get them? Halligan says you need to start “Top of the Funnel” marketing, or TOFU: create, promote and optimize content. That means blog posts. But also videos, slide presentations and white papers. Then, go on to Middle of the Funnel, or MOFU marketing: collect leads and qualify them so you can contact the most likely ones.
But how do you know if it’s working? Simple: just measure it.
For TOFU marketing activities, these metrics include number of web visitors and web traffic rank, number of Twitter followers, number of pages on your site, number of domains linking to your site, blog statistics, etc.
MOFU metrics include turning visitors into leads, conversion percentages, and the overall shape of your sales funnel. (Hint: trending up is good.)
Fortunately, when it comes to measuring results, it’s easier to do that online with all the free statistics available than with your old-timey print or broadcast ads, measuring the effectiveness of which was largely guesswork and gut feeling.
So maybe it’s time to fire your newspaper ads and hire Facebook and Twitter. And if you don’t have time or interest to do your own social networking, why not use the money you’ll save from print ads and contract with a smart social media marketer to help you out?