Everyone is looking for that magic bullet to drive more leads, more sales and more customers to their business. The problem is that there isn’t one simple tactic or strategy that fits for every type of business.

So where should marketers focus their efforts to generate maximum results? Before you determine if Facebook Ads or e-mail marketing or social media is the right fit for you, I think you should back up a step further. Whether you’re a start-up or a mature business, I believe every marketing strategy should be built on three key elements: Analytics, Content and Brand.

In our Captains Commentary video we posted this month, my co-founder Mark Teague and I discussed these three keys. You can watch the segment here or just read below.

Analytics

This isn’t just Google Analytics. It’s not just Facebook Insights or knowing how many visits you got this month. This is understanding how every trackable metric contributes to your bottom line. It’s not just about traffic or followers. It’s taking a deeper look at your analytics and finding the gaps that will help you develop a plan to maximize revenue and be more efficient.

A client of ours recently ran a holiday campaign with a Facebook Advertising component. At first glance, the metrics looked solid. Good visit totals, low cost per click, decent revenue. However, when we went further and looked at the shopping cart analytics, we found that only 20% of the people who added an item to their cart actually completed the purchase. This allowed us to recommend a follow up strategy to reach those users who have already shown interest but haven’t converted yet.

Take the time to understand what your cost per acquisition and cost per sale is. Knowing these figures will help you make better strategic decisions when it comes to paid advertising or when you’re testing a new strategy.

Content

Some people say “Content is king” but at Hook & Blade, we say “Content is captain.”

Developing a long-term strategy for content creation and syndication is important for every organization. At the minimum, try to plan out your content on a quarterly basis so you’re always working ahead and your content production doesn’t get too rushed (which impacts your quality).

Content used to be more about keywords and search rankings but in today’s visual world, users want to see more than written blog posts. Get creative with your content and add photography, infographics and video to your plan.

Content is vital for your brand’s credibility. It helps you share your story and communicate your value proposition to consumers. One brand that I think absolutely crushes it in terms of content marketing through all of its channels is Huckberry. Their digital channels are full of content that truly connects with their target audience.

Brand

Don’t neglect your brand. Don’t underestimate the importance of brand marketing. A lot of people think “brand” simply means your name and logo, but it’s much more than that. Your brand is your reputation. It’s the first impression you make on a prospective customer.

It’s tempting for a company, particularly start-ups, to skimp on “branding” costs because of the challenge in measuring ROI. We recently recommended a new brand look for a prospect and they said “well, how much more money is that logo going to add to my bottom line?” We can’t tell you that a new logo will guarantee X additional dollars to your annual revenue, but it will have a major impact.

Brand isn’t just the logo on your business card. It’s all of the multiple entry points someone has for your organization – it’s your website, it’s your social media, it’s how your videos look, your print materials. Your brand is your elevator pitch. How do you talk about your company whether you have 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute or 30 seconds?

One of the best compliments I’ve received about our company was from someone who said that when they looked us up online, all of our social media channels and each part of our website told a consistent story about who we are.

Make these three areas a focus throughout the year and you’ll find you have a more consistent message to your target audience and a greater understanding of what your marketing efforts are doing for your bottom line.

Need help getting started with building your brand’s foundation or content strategy? Complete the form below to chat with us: