In digital marketing, you cannot put all of your eggs in one channel. Remember the frustration when Facebook reduced organic reach a few years ago? Instead, you need a balanced marketing mix to combines short term and long term marketing tactics.
#1. Long Term vs. Short Term Marketing Mix
In the past 30 days, how much effort and resources have I invested in the short term vs. long term marketing efforts?
If you don’t know how to answer this question, there are two ways to estimate it.
First, take a look at your email sent folder and social media posts. Make a list of how many of those messages are designed to create short term results vs. long term marketing results.
Second, use a time tracking tool like Toggl.com and track your time for a week.
In July 2020, I had the following breakdown between short term and long term tactics:
- Long Term Tactics: 17 hours (includes writing guest blog posts and writing responses for HARO)
- Short Term Tactics: 3 hours (mainly prospecting for clients and sales calls)
This distribution is weighted heavily towards long term tactics because I’m gearing up to launch a business book on Kindle in the fall.
#2. Why You Need A Marketing Mix?
The appeal of short term marketing tactics is obvious. These methods put cash in the bank right away! That’s fantastic. So, why bother doing anything else? The answer is that short term marketing tactics have two significant shortcomings.
First, short term marketing tactics usually do not enhance your brand or reputation. That means that you are less likely to receive word of mouth referrals in the future. Further, your ability to charge higher prices and protect your margins will be threatened if you focus exclusively on short term tactics.
Ultimately, long term tactics make your business more profitable. By creating a brand and a steadily increasing amount of traffic through content, your business will grow even if you pause advertising spend.
To combine short term and long term marketing tactics, we’ll borrow a concept from the investment industry: portfolio management.
Take your marketing resources (e.g., hours you have available to spend on marketing activities plus your budget) and allocate that budget between short term tactics and long term tactics.
If your business is just getting started, I recommend putting 80% of your effort into short term tactics and 20% into long term tactics. If you are more established, consider adopting a 50/50 allocation between short term and long term tactics.
#3. Build Your Marketing Portfolio: 5 Long Term Tactics
Two characteristics define long term marketing tactics. They typically take six months or longer to show results. However, these tactics can pay results long after you stop implementing them.
3.1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is the foundation of every marketing mix I create. It relies on presenting original insights, data, and even entertainment to help other people.
Content marketing gives people a reason to keep visiting your website even if they are not ready to make a purchase right now. Without content, it is much more challenging to grow your long-term website traffic, social media following, or email list.By the way, you don’t have to create content by yourself. You can enlist the help of experts. Find out more about this strategy in Daniel’s guide: Expert Roundup Creation Guide.
Useful Content Marketing Guides:
Closely aligned with content marketing, SEO is also a long-term tactic. There are a handful of cases obtaining fast results in SEO. However, I consider those success stories to be an outlier. Instead, SEO traffic is not permanent, but it can pay results for years after you put the initial effort in.
Your SEO efforts need to be grounded in research. To get started, I recommend using keyword research tools.
Useful SEO Guides:
- 10 Most Complete SEO Guides You Can Read For Free
- Keyword Research Guide to Improve Your SEO
- Advanced SEO For E-commerce Websites [ 7 Best Practices in 2020]
- How to Implement Schema To Improve Your SEO [Complete Guide]
- 41 FREE Sources for Instant Backlinks to Your Content [With Real Examples]
- How to build backlinks for eCommerce [The Ultimate 2020 Guide]
3.3 Build An Email List
Your business needs an email list. Even as TikTok and other platforms rise, email marketing remains the most robust marketing asset you can develop.
Yes, it takes more effort to create lead magnets and promote them. However, it is well worth it. According to Campaign Monitor., “the ROI for email marketing can be as high as 4400%.”
3.4. Reviews and Social Proof
Want that “free” word of mouth traffic from other people? That’s a long-term marketing result. You can passively wait for this to happen by putting all of your efforts in creating a remarkable brand.
By the way, don’t be afraid to review products you like on your website. For example, I reviewed an excellent real estate sales book “Why Tech Marketers Should Read “Sell It Like Serhant” Even If You Have No Interest In Real Estate” and explained what it is helpful to marketers in the tech industry.
3.5. Grow A Social Media Following
Growing an audience of followers on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social platforms can be helpful. However, I consider this to be more of a “nice to have” tactic to pursue after you have the first four tactics fully implemented.
#4. Build Your Marketing Portfolio: 4 Short Term Tactics
These tactics can bring traffic to your offer within 24-48 hours. The first two tactics require a budget while the next two tactics require more personal effort.
4.1. Pay Per Click Advertising
You get traffic when you pay. When you stop paying, the traffic stops immediately. In addition to speed, PPC platforms also give you fantastic analytics. Focus on one of the two major platforms at first: Google Ads or Facebook Ads.
4.2. Display Advertising.
You pay to have your ad displayed, and you can receive traffic while the ad is online. You can find these advertising opportunities through the Google Display Network and specialized websites like Buy Sell Ads.
4.3. Events (Virtual and Traditional)
Participating in trade shows, conferences, and industry events is one of the best ways to generate leads. If you are looking at developing highly targeted leads in B2B, it is tough to beat events.
For example, I attended several dozen Tech Toronto events in 2019-2020 to grow my following and network. You can show up to an event and immediately spark three, five, or more conversations with potential leads.
Resource: Planning to attend virtual events? There is an art to making these events successful. Find out more in my recent article: New normal success strategy: build your connections through virtual events.
If you already have an extensive network of contacts, you can ask those people to promote your business. For more guidance on this strategy, check out my article Y.
However, networking is not like paying for ads. It would be best if you were mindful about asking for too many favours from your contacts.
#5. Bringing It All Together: Choose One Of These Plans
In investing, it is common practice to have a variety of assets to meet your goals. A person who is going retire in the next two years might take a conservative approach (e.g., 75% bonds).
In contrast, a younger person might put 80% of their assets in stocks to maximize growth because they can tolerate a higher level of risk.
Building a marketing portfolio from scratch is tough.
So, I’ve simplified it for you by offering you two marketing plans.
5.1 Marketing Mix Plan 1: 80% Short Term Marketing Tactics, 20% Long Term Marketing
Who This Plan Is Right For:
This marketing plan is a good fit if you need immediate results, or your business is relatively new.
How To Implement This Marketing Mix Next Week:
Monday (Short Term Focus)
Work on researching potential advertising opportunities on Google Ads for 30 minutes by doing keyword research.
Tuesday(Short Term Focus)
Work on Google Ads targeting options (e.g., geography, time of day, etc.) for 30-60 minutes
Wednesday (Short Term Focus)
Write three to five Google Ads for your campaign.
Thursday (Short Term Focus)
Verify Google Ads conversion tracking is properly set up.
Friday (Long Term Focus)
Contact five customers to ask them for testimonials or to write reviews for your product.
5.2 Marketing Mix Plan 2: 80% Long Term Marketing Tactics, 20% Short Term Marketing
Who This Plan Is Right For:
How To Implement This Marketing Mix Next Week:
Monday (Long Term Focus)
Market Research: Do 1 hour of SEO and content research
Researching what your target market wants is one of the best ways to improve your results. You could commission a market test with a service like Pick Fu.
Alternatively, there are plenty of free ways to do this research. When possible, I like to join relevant Facebook Groups for my niche and pay attention to the conversations and questions people ask. Even with research tools, you need a marketing mix between free methods (e.g. observing discussions on social media sites) and paid tools.
Tuesday (Long Term Focus)
Content Creation: Invest in creating high-quality content that adds to the conversation
Are you interested in the revenue, profitability, and key data points for SaaS companies? In that case, the Get Latka website is an incredible resource.
For example, you can find out how much companies are spending to acquire customers, revenue numbers, funding information and a link to an interview with the founder. This database is built on a foundation of thousands of original interviews. That is one way to build a high-value asset!
The Get Latka website is also a good example of repurposing content in several ways. The process starts with an interview which is distributed as an audio podcast and as a YouTube video. Later on, the interview content is used to create a company profile such as the Braze profile shown below.
Wednesday (Long Term Focus)
For example, I recommend checking to see if your content has more than a 50% “topic coverage” in Frase. This approach raises the odds that your content will address a topic comprehensively rather than just a single keyword.
For example, I recently used Frase to develop a new blog post “How to Create a B2B SaaS Marketing Plan in 6 Steps,” and I achieved a topic score of over 90%.
In Yoast, I make sure to address as many of the problems and suggestions as I can manage in the post.
To optimize text content like blog posts even further, there are two tools that I recommend. First, use Grammarly (the paid subscription is well worth the cost) to take care of minor grammar and spelling problems. To go the extra mile in optimization, use the Hemingway app to improve readability.
Thursday (Long Term Focus)
Ask your network for support in distributing the content
Depending on the project and the strength of your relationship, support will take different forms. A colleague might send an email to her list to promote your new project. Or you might ask for a backlink from a friend’s blog. To include this technique in your marketing mix regularly, make sure that you also proactively give back to your network (e.g. upvote great products on Product Hunt).
Friday (Short Term Focus)
Set up a $50 Facebook Ads campaign to boost distribution for the content you published this week. Since you are aiming to increase distribution for your content, this campaign could be a simple boost to a Facebook post linking to your campaign.
#6. Bonus: Professional Development Time
There’s one critical element to marketing success that we haven’t covered so far. It is your skill as a marketer! To improve your results, it is vital to spend time and resources on improving your skills regularly.
Here are two professional development resources that I recommend:
6.1 Develop your copywriting skills
Now, I’m a bit biased here because I came to online marketing from a background as a writer. However, copywriting skills are incredibly powerful!
For a basic introduction to copywriting fundamentals, read “How to Write Magnetic Headlines” from Copyblogger. If you’re ready for something more demanding, I recommend CopyHour. In CopyHour, you hand copy successful sales copy daily for 90 days (with a few breaks).
6.2 Boost your productivity with software
In August 2020, I started to use Frase for content creation. Earlier this year, I started to use SEMrush for client projects. Make it a goal to test one software product each month so that you can boost your productivity over time.
For content development, I also use and recommend Grammarly and Frase.