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The Ultimate Marketing Handbook

45 Killer Marketing Tips
Real-world tips and tricks used to drive big results for marketing campaigns of all sizes.

This is the ultimate guide for improving the performance of your current marketing plan.

Let’s face it, things change pretty fast in marketing. Last year we had the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic. This year, who knows? Regardless, one thing I am absolutely sure about is that no matter what is going on in your industry, there is always a path to improved performance.

Finding this path often requires you to step away from your day-to-day digital marketing and have a clear think about where you’re heading. This handbook has been created with the express purpose of exposing you to lots of different ideas and techniques. It’s a chance to take stock of what you’re currently doing, so you can start thinking about whether there are actions likely to help you reach your business goals faster and more effectively.

I’ve sat down with Rocket’s Directors, Strategists, Account Managers, and Specialists to compile the ultimate list of what we’re doing right now to help our clients thrive.

If you’d like to discuss your specific marketing challenges then I’d encourage you to have a chat with one of the senior marketers in my team. We’re always keen to share our experience and see if we can help Australian marketers and business owners move in the right direction. You can reach us at 1300 059 620 or send us a message.

Here’s to a great 2021!

James Lawrence

Marketing tips for Improved Strategy and Results

1 - Look at your leading marketing messages with fresh eyes

One of the scariest things we hear when speaking to clients is that they intend to make all of their decisions based on data. That's because digital marketing has a dirty little secret: marketing data has serious issues and limitations and used poorly will deliver us far less than we think. Sometimes, it will do as much harm as good.

2 - Accept that video is no longer optional

The events of 2020 once again represented a fundamental shift in people’s desire to consume video content. If you were sitting on the fence with video as a way to speak to your audience, then you need to take a stand right now. Whatever it is you have to say, you need to work out a way to say it via video. Best of all, know that a lower production value is more acceptable now than ever before. We’ve all seen mainstream television shows broadcasting from people’s living rooms, so don’t hesitate to get in front of your webcam. Your prospects want to consume video - be the company that delivers it to them. Here’s more on our thoughts around video.

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3 - Understand your data and key numbers

It’s vital to have real-time access to the marketing metrics that matter to your campaign. As always, forget vanity metrics and focus on the metrics which tell you when revenue is being influenced. Make sure you understand how your CPCs, CPAs and conversion rates are affected by the changes made to your marketing. Don’t jump at shadows or review numbers too frequently, but equally don’t live in the dark or let struggling campaigns run for longer than they should.

4 - Build your case studies

Buyers don’t want to make a mistake. Aside from the financial and time costs, people worry about the reputational impact of making a poor buying decision. This is especially true in B2B campaigns. Now is the perfect time to build out stronger case studies and other ways of proving you’re the right company to do business with. Make sure you strike a good balance between numerical data and the less tangible benefits of working with your business.

5 - Be agile

Marketing, and particularly digital marketing, moves incredibly quickly. Marketing campaigns in competitive environments are rarely ‘set-and-forget’. You need to proactively review and adjust your campaigns when new opportunities arise or old campaigns slow down. You can always do better.

6 - Make sure sales and marketing are aligned

In the most innovative and effective companies, sales and marketing work together. At a minimum, you should ensure that sales and marketing communicate effectively to best understand the needs of your current and future customers.

7 - Invest in professional development

Nothing stays the same in digital marketing.If you’re solving your marketing problems inhouse, then you need to invest in constantly upskilling yourself and your team. Here’s a list of our favourite training resources. We’ve also written Smarter Marketer, a book which provides exactly the sort of guidance marketers need at this time.

8 - Grow your partnership network

It’s always a great time to get out there and meet other businesses who share similar clients to you. Today is the perfect time to reach out and introduce yourself. The relationships you build and nurture today could pay off immediately and for a long time to come. You should consider co-branded events, webinars, content or a simple referral program promoted to both sets of customers. This is a fantastic way to grow your database with a relevant audience.

9 - Develop strategies to retain your customers

It’s always a great time to get out there and meet other businesses who share similar clients to you. Today is the perfect time to reach out and introduce yourself. The relationships you build and nurture today could pay off immediately and for a long time to come. You should consider co-branded events, webinars, content or a simple referral program promoted to both sets of customers. This is a fantastic way to grow your database with a relevant audience.

10 - Do your competitor research

The benefits of competitor research cannot be overstated. Before you take any marketing actions, you should review the websites, social media and ad campaigns of your competitors. You should do the same for similar companies in different locations. Don’t start any marketing campaign with a blank piece of paper.

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11 - Ask your customers, ‘How can I help?’

We often see businesses creating marketing campaigns or developing new products or services in a vacuum. The first step should always be to reach out to our clients and see where they could actually benefit. You might just find their answer is your opportunity.

12 - Invest in awareness

We’ve long argued that the move to digital marketing has left many companies under-valuing the long-term benefits of brand awareness campaigns. Now is the time to invest in awareness across multiple channels. If you’re not already known by your prospects when it comes time to purchase, then you’ve placed yourself at a real disadvantage. Depending on your business, consider Google Search Ads, YouTube Ads and LinkedIn or Facebook campaigns to drive awareness and traffic to your site.

13 - Clean-up your database

If you have a database, then you also have data quality issues. Take the time to sort your leads, create better-segmented lists and update the quality of your contact records. This effort will pay off in the future, especially when it comes to email marketing.

14 - Pretend you’re a prospect

Do a search on Google for your main keywords. Where do you appear organically and within Ads? Don’t assume anything. Pretend to be a prospect with very little knowledge. Find your ads, organic listings, social media posts and see where they take you and what they say. Then do the same for your key competitors. Would you be impressed with your prospect experience compared to that of your competitors? Map out your learnings and action the changes today.

15 - Review your tools of the trade

I bet that if you reviewed the marketing tools you’re currently using you’d discover two things. Firstly, there is a bunch of stuff you pay for that generates very little value. And secondly, that there are a bunch of tools you’re not using that would help you generate better results. Now’s the perfect time to research the best way to tackle whatever the future throws at you. Here’s a list of our favourite marketing tools.

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16 - Invest in building or renewing your marketing assets

Now is the time to produce new video, visual & written content for your business. The goal is to add value to the lives of your prospects and customers. Entertainment, information and education are always in high demand.

17 - Convert your top-performing blogs to video

As we’ve already mentioned, video is up. How much new content could you easily create by reviewing your top-performing blog content and creating video content which supports the written word? Where else can this content be promoted?

18 - Articulate how your offering will transform your prospects’ lives

Buyers need to understand how their future will look and feel after they have purchased from you. In a world of constant uncertainty, people need to understand the benefits of your offering and its impact on their future self. Use copy, illustrations and photos to showcase your persona before and after they use your products and services.

19 - Give prospects an incentive to take action now

Finding it tough to get prospects to take that next step? How about offering a small discount or free shipping? If you’re marketing a service, could you package it up with a physical premium or a bonus of some type? Or offer people a highly competitive introductory offer? Whatever the offer is that works best for you, it's worth getting creative.

20 - Build your credibility

Improving your conversion rate is about way more than just improving the experience on your website or testing different versions of your ads. The way your brand is perceived is also critically important. When a prospect starts to explore your offering, what can you do to be more impressive? Think Google reviews, awards, accreditations, memberships and more. The more you can do in this area, the simpler you make the decision for anyone considering taking the next step with you.

SEO Tips for Better Search Results

21 - Thinking long-term? Think SEO

Is now the time to move from renting your leads via paid campaigns to owning your leads via SEO? The money you invest in SEO will see ROI generated in the months and years to come. It’s a great strategy to grow market share for the long-term.

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22 - Review your content calendar

Is the content you’re intending to create in the weeks and months to come customer-centric? Does it speak to the questions they are asking and the problems they are needing to solve? Adding value should always be your number one motivation.

23 - Update your local business listings

For many businesses, directory listings drive serious amounts of traffic and revenue. Make sure these listings are up to-date. For many, the most important listing to maintain is Google My Business. Don’t stop there though, if other listings drive traffic and business for you. Think Bing Places, Tripadvisor and various social platforms. Make sure your listings are up-to-date and maximising all available functionality.

24 - Make those SEO related coding changes to your website

If you’re already doing SEO, there is a very good chance there are technical changes you never made which are holding back your SEO performance. Now is the perfect time to get on top of those technical changes and see the benefits as things improve.

25 - Dive into video SEO

As already mentioned, video is more relevant today than ever before. Now is a great time to get your SEO video strategy sorted out and implemented. There’s no point in creating great video content if no-one is seeing it.

SEM Tips for Higher ROI on Campaigns

26 - Review all your ads

Audit all of your ads today and pause those which aren’t performing. Consider making tweaks to ad copy, delivery time, days, devices and other variables to increase engagement.

27 - Consider the case for increasing your ad spend

If your ad campaigns are creating a positive ROI then you should consider increasing your investment. For some reason, many companies look at media budgets as a fixed expense to be spent each month regardless of performance. Your media spend should be making you money, and if it is, then why wouldn’t you spend more when opportunities are available? Successful advertising is an investment, not an expense.

28 - Consider advertising on Bing

Bing might have a small market share when compared to Google, but its users tend to be over-represented with corporates and older demographics. For many of our clients, Bing campaigns have proven to be highly profitable.

29 - Take a deep dive into your campaign

Look at areas you’ve been wanting to clean up for ages, and get stuck in. Very few campaigns are perfect, as things have invariably changed since they were initially set up. There are always ways to uncover increased performance and today is always a great time to find them.

30 - Review your search terms report regularly

Your paid search budgets will be quickly eaten up by serving your ads to people who will never purchase from you. You also need to regularly review your keywords to ensure you’re not bidding on newly trending, but unprofitable terms.

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31 - Reach your customers where they are

We’ve always said a single channel is never the answer in marketing. Take your message to where your prospects are in their buyer journey. Make sure you’re not relying on a single channel for all your sales or leads.

Email and Content Marketing Tips to Engage Your Audience

32 - Now is the perfect time for content marketing

People are spending more time than ever online. If you’re a business that heavily relies on bottom of the funnel campaigns, then you’re likely missing out on a big opportunity to attract prospects earlier in their buyer journey. It’s time to consider pivoting your marketing and investing more in the long-term. This guide is an excellent example of content marketing aimed at people who may not be ready to appoint an agency right now, but may well in the future. Good content marketing can deliver results today and continue working for months or years to come.

33 - Invest in building your database of prospects

Businesses who have spent the time and money to build a large database of future prospects have a powerful platform for their marketing efforts. These companies can reach out, at virtually no cost, and communicate via email, SMS, retargeting, 1:1 calls and even physical mail to large numbers of potential customers. If you don’t have such a database, get started building it today. It’s never too late to start. How about swapping a piece of valuable content for an email address or mobile phone number? If you’re stuck, we can help you decide on the best marketing automation software to get started with.

34 - Run a webinar

2021 presents marketers with a great opportunity to run webinars. The tools have never been better and prospects are more familiar than ever with this format. If you’ve got a valuable message, it’s time to consider delivering it via a webinar. You can’t go wrong with Zoom. Record your webinar and use the content to generate leads well into the future.

35 - Create a monster piece of content

There’s still a place for short SEO-driven content. The reality though is that a really in-depth definitive piece of content will out-perform shorter and more superficial content. Now is a good time to make a start. Here’s an example of this sort of content, launched for ourselves.

Social Media Tips for Better Brand Awareness and Reach

36 - Review your investment in social media

Many businesses have been slow to explore social ads opportunities. Regardless of your industry, your prospects will be spending time on social media. It’s time to understand which platforms are right for you and what message is likely to generate effective engagement.

37 - Take a serious look at LinkedIn

If your offering is B2B and you’re not already dominating LinkedIn, jump on this channel now. The opportunities to connect with current and future prospects directly or through promoting great content are significant.

38 - Improve your remarketing campaigns

Social media is a great place to invest in awareness right now. Even if your prospects aren’t buying today, you can still heavily influence their future purchases by overhauling or launching your social media remarketing strategy.

39 - Go live on social

Live streams, live premieres and broadcasts are gaining traction. This might be the perfect time to entertain and educate your prospects in real-time.

40 - Create a Facebook Group

If there’s a way to assist your prospects as a group, you should consider a Facebook Group. Promote it to customers and prospects alike. Done well, you’ll create a strong community where support is openly shared and value delivered. It’s a great way to communicate with, and add value to your community.

Website Improvements for More Traffic and Conversions

41 - Seriously consider Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Genuine prospects are like gold for most businesses. Don’t be the business that misses out on a lead because your competitor’s site was more effective. Work out how to do more with your existing traffic by increasing your conversion rate.

42 - Make sure your site is lightning fast

A fast website is critical to achieving healthy conversion rates, strong organic search results and overall visitor satisfaction. When was the last time you reviewed the performance of your website? This free tool from Google is a good place to start. Don’t forget to review your site performance on mobile and desktop devices.

43 - Audit your mobile experience

For most businesses, mobile traffic delivers a significant percentage of valuable prospects. However, far too many businesses still offer a mobile experience well below their desktop experience. Be sure not to lose sales, leads and revenue because your mobile experience is below par. Grab your mobile, browse your site and start jotting down issues you find. Get them fixed.

44 - See and hear what your site visitors are actually thinking!

User testing is the process of getting a small number of people unfamiliar with your site to attempt to complete a few simple tasks on it. Their screen is captured and they talk through their thinking. This is the best way of finding ways to improve your site that you’ve missed because you’re too close to the problem. We’re big fans of Usertesting.com, but you’ll get the best out of the process by using an agency like us to manage the process and unearth the key recommendations for you.

45 - Consider live chat

If answering your visitors most pressing questions is a priority for you, then you should consider installing live chat on your website. There are a number of excellent paid and free options in this area worth exploring.

The Ultimate 2021 Digital Marketing Checklist

1. Look at your leading marketing messages with fresh eyes
2. Accept that video is no longer optional
3. Understand your data and key numbers
4. Build your case-studies
5. Be agile
6. Make sure sales and marketing are aligned
7. Invest in professional development
8. Grow your partnership network
9. Develop strategies to retain your customers
10. Do your competitor research
11. Ask your customers, ‘How can I help?’
12. Invest in awareness
13. Clean-up your database
14. Pretend you’re a prospect
15. Review your tools of the trade
16. Invest in building or renewing your marketing assets
17. Convert your top-performing blogs to video
18. Articulate how your offering will transform your prospects’ lives
19. Give prospects an incentive to take action now
20. Build your credibility
21. Thinking long-term? Think SEO
22. Review your content calendar
23. Update your local business listings
24. Make those SEO related coding changes to your website
25. Dive into video SEO
26. Review all your ads
27. Consider the case for increasing your ad spend
28. Consider advertising on Bing
29. Take a deep dive into your campaign
30. Review your search terms report regularly
31. Reach your customers where they are
32. Now is the perfect time for content marketing
33. Invest in building your database of prospects
34. Run a webinar
35. Create a monster piece of content
36. Review your investment in social media
37. Take a serious look at LinkedIn
38. Improve your remarketing campaigns
39. Go live on social
40. Create a Facebook Group
41. Seriously consider Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
42. Make sure your site is lightning fast
43. Audit your mobile experience
44. See and hear what your site visitors are actually thinking!
45. Consider live chat

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