If this article sounds like a rant, it’s really not meant as such. Rather, the aim is to shed a bit of light on the way we work here, at Novus, and how you can get the best out of the relationship.
Certainly, for many small and medium-sized businesses, the thought of working with a marketing company is attractive, if their budget allows. The ability to simply offload those tasks that you can never quite get round to—because you’re too busy fulfilling orders and dealing with every other aspect of your business—is an attractive concept.
This is typically where the problem begins.
Yes, outsourcing your marketing does mean that someone else will be committed to the timely, strategic and imaginative publishing of your content. The agency will indeed get your messages in front of your target audience in a manner that sees them act. That much is a given.
However, if you think that handing them your social media logins is all you need to do, you’ll get a shock. If that’s your belief, you may as well shred your money, as you won’t see a return for it.
Here’s how to get the best results from your relationship with any marketing agency…
Have plenty of content ready
Who knows your business better than you? Not your marketing agency. If you want to see optimum results, you need to create content…and continue creating content even when you’re working with your agency of choice.
The agency will indeed hone it, dress it up and put it where it needs to be, but they can’t see inside your mind. They can’t create compelling content like you can, based on your clients’ buying decisions and habits. They don’t have the bank of knowledge you have about your business, customers and industry that you’ve compiled over many years. You will still need to produce raw material if you wish to appear anything but generic.
We may require you to take new images, create new articles/content, provide new product information. Yes, it’s a pain when you’re already chasing your tail, but remember, it’s for your benefit that we’ll be asking for these things, not ours.
Don’t disappear into the ether
You’re busy, which is why you need help with your marketing—we get it. But busy periods always come to an end at some point, and without any consistency in your marketing you’ll forever ebb and flow between feast and famine. We know it’s difficult but please do find the time to promptly respond to all our requests and messages. We may just be getting in touch about a fantastic collaboration we’ve attracted or a huge lead we’ve created for you—you never know.
Don’t expect instant results
We’re marketers, not magicians. It can take, on average, six months plus to receive consistent, engaging results from SEO work, social media strategies, lead generation and more. You must have heard of the ‘5 to 7 mentions’ rule of thumb. Prospective clients need to see your brand and hear from you a number of times before they act, so playing merry hell after a couple of weeks that you’ve ‘seen nothing’ isn’t logical or helpful. Consistency is the key word here, and if you don’t have the budget for a long-term approach, don’t begin such a strategy in the first place.
Whilst we can (and are happy to) work on short-term promotions and campaigns, these come with limited results.
On a similar note, don’t assume that once the consistency of message kicks in, that you can stop pushing it and cancel your marketing efforts. Within a matter of days, the momentum we’ll have spent all those months building will tail off before your very eyes.
Be aware that too many cooks spoil the broth—or rather, too many opinions can spoil the website
We often do websites for associations and organisations with boards/trustees, etc. Whilst we appreciate that different department/positions within the company may have different needs from a communal website, these should be gathered prior to the work starting (and narrowed down, if the list is as long as your arm).
It not only holds up the process, it also bumps up the price, if the site is practically ready to publish when someone shouts up that ‘x’ is needed, or ‘y’ has to be incorporated before it goes live. We’ve even seen some requests contradict themselves, and all the while we’re simply sat in the middle, confused and stationary, when we could have completed the task and moved on to serving the needs of another client.
If wrangling over the website is inevitable, get it all out of the way before you even involve us. Then just tell us what needs to be done.
Have a vision or two
Sometimes, when we sit down with a new client, we’ll ask them what they want to achieve. What kind of impression their marketing materials or website should give. What they want their content to realise.
“I’m not sure,” they may say.
Fast forward a few weeks, and we’ll all sit down again to discuss what Novus has created based on fresh air alone.
“I didn’t think it would be like that. I was hoping for a, b and c…”
Why didn’t you tell us that when we asked?! How do you expect us to know what you want when you don’t even know yourself?
We ask for a brief at the outset of a project…please use it, please think about it wisely, and please only stray from it with good reason if you ever want the site/content to see the light of day.
Remember that nothing is perfect. Nothing. You may look at something and feel it could be improved, but whilst you’re fretting over the 127th tweak that week, the time spent worrying about it is time that it could have been live—out there, doing its stuff, enticing and engaging your customers.
We’re professionals, we know what we’re doing. We wouldn’t put anything out if we didn’t feel it was a) suitable, b) a credit to your brand, or c) ready. Don’t sweat the small stuff and put your trust in what we do for clients every single day.
As we said at the top of the article, these tips aren’t designed to offend—we hope, if anything, they make you chuckle. Overall, we hope it gives you a better idea of how you can help us to help you.
Call 07983 575934 for more information on how we can make a real difference to your marketing efforts, or email email@example.com.